With food prices on a steady climb this decade, cost matters now to American households more than ever.
So, is Amazon Fresh more expensive than its competitors? Keep reading to find out what I’ve learned!
Is Amazon Fresh More Expensive In 2023?
For households that already have Amazon Prime accounts, and who live in a delivery area, Amazon Fresh can be a more convenient, less expensive alternative to grocery stores in 2023. There is no delivery fee and, in many cases, individual item prices are lower.
To learn more about how much extra you can expect to pay for Amazon Fresh, whether it’s still free for Prime members, and even which stores Amazon Fresh compares favorably, price-wise, read on!
How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?
To get free delivery, Amazon Fresh compares favorably against the grocery delivery market leader, Instacart.
That’s because Instacart normally charges $3.99 for delivery, and it can be as much as $9.99 in some cases.
Amazon Fresh, however, has built-in free delivery for existing Prime members. However, there are some minimums and extra charges to be aware of before placing your order.
First of all, to qualify for free delivery with Amazon Fresh you have to spend at least $35, and even $50 in some regions.
This is something of an industry standard, though, especially if you’re used to Instacart, which also has a $35 minimum to qualify for delivery.
(If you don’t meet the minimum for Amazon Fresh, it will cost you $4.99.)
Amazon Fresh has also done away with service fees, which Instacart customers will tell you add up quickly on orders.
Is Amazon Fresh No Longer Free?
Amazon Fresh was originally not a free service included with Prime memberships, but as of 2019 it is and has consistently been.
However, despite its affordability, the one major drawback of Amazon Fresh is how limited the service area really is.
Most of the U.S. is ineligible because Fresh is only offered in these areas:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Francisco
If you live outside of these major cities, you’re not going to be able to use Amazon Fresh. Your best bet will be Instacart, which is not free.
Is Amazon Fresh More Expensive Than The Grocery Store?
Multiple reviewers for Amazon Fresh have found that Amazon Fresh tends to be less expensive than major grocery store chain prices.
For example, the author at Bottles + Banter compared the service to typical non-specialty grocery store prices.
Additionally, Amazon Fresh compared very well, beating out competitors’ prices a majority of the time.
Healthline lists as one of their pros for the service: “Product prices are generally the same or less than specialty stores, such as Whole Foods.”
This leads us to the next section below.
Is Amazon Fresh More Expensive Than Whole Foods?
Despite carrying Whole Foods goods (Amazon actually purchased and now owns Whole Foods), Fresh is much more affordable.
However, this is likely because it combines the Whole Foods store brand, 365 by Whole Foods Market, with Amazon grocery brands, like Happy Belly and the Fresh brand.
These are high-quality products that can be sold for less because of the generic labeling (much like Walmart and Aldi do).
Is Amazon Fresh More Expensive Than Instacart?
If you live in an area that offers both Amazon Fresh delivery and Instacart, you have a tough choice to make when ordering groceries.
But if you are already a Prime member, Amazon Fresh can be a lot more affordable than Instacart.
Let’s look at why.
- Amazon Fresh is free for Prime members – no delivery fee, just a tip.
- Amazon Fresh compares favorably to grocery store prices, which are even more expensive on Instacart in many cases, due to operational mark-ups.
- Amazon Fresh has also left off service fees, which Instacart can load on (e.g., bag fees, heavy item fees, operational fees, and so on).
- Amazon Fresh accepts EBT SNAP on all eligible products, whereas only a select number of retailers on Instacart accept it.
However, despite the affordable nature of Amazon Fresh, there are some downsides to consider, especially compared to Instacart.
First, while the storefront carries just about any item you could need, the scope is limited when held up to Instacart’s inventory.
That’s because Instacart has hundreds of different retailers, while Fresh is really just one or two combined.
There is also, as I touched on, the reach of Amazon Fresh. I listed the service areas in a section above – a little under 20 cities.
In contrast, Instacart is present in thousands of cities across North America.
Is Amazon Fresh Only For Prime Members?
Amazon Fresh is only available to Prime members currently.
Additionally, if you are not a Prime member, live in the Fresh service area, and want to give it a try, you will have to purchase a Prime membership.
This will cost you $15 per month or $139 annually if you want to pay all at once.
If you’re a student, you can get a discount – just $70 per year (or you might scoop up a deal, like only $9 for an entire year!).
If you are a lower-income household that receives EBT SNAP or other forms of assistance, you could also get a discount on your Prime membership, at just $6.99 per month.
If you are lucky enough to live in a city with Amazon Fresh, and you’re a Prime member, Fresh can make grocery shopping very affordable and convenient.
This is because it tends to be less expensive than many regular grocery stores and less expensive than its major competitor, Instacart.