4 online grocery delivery services that make life easier for New Yorkers — and how their offerings, prices, and promotions compare

By Connie Chen

In New York City, a city of almost 8.4 million people, navigating the crowds to shop fresh produce, packaged foods, and household essentials is harder than you'd imagine — or like.

When everyone else has the same brilliant idea to shop after work or on weekends, grocery shopping in person becomes a major time, energy, and money suck that doesn't seem worth it (and undoubtedly contributes to an uptick in Grubhub and Seamless orders). 

NYC is slowly opening back up in the wake of the novel coronavirus, but you may still want to avoid brick-and-mortar grocery stores for fears of overcrowding or low in-store stock. 

Enter online grocery delivery services to help us maintain our sanity in a world where we already have enough things on our mind and to check off on our to-do lists. During this time, they also help us maintain distance and unnecessary social contact. 

There are a handful of major nationwide grocery delivery services that East Coasters rely on specifically, all with different shopping experiences, delivery-fee structures, and special promotions. Read on to learn which one is best for you. 

Here are the 4 best online grocery delivery services in New York City:

Prices and links are accurate as of 9/8/2020. We've updated this post to reflect each service's latest news on stock and delivery availability. Since our last update, Peapod has been integrated into Stop & Shop's website. Previous Peapod users should be able to access their account information and order history in their Stop & Shop account. 

grocery delivery update 5
Instacart/Instagram

How it works: Instacart brings together local supermarkets on one platform. Create a free account, then choose your store to start shopping. Store availability depends on your zip code, and we saw stores like Costco, Fairway, Whole Foods, Morton Williams, and CVS when we tested different zip codes.

The platform allows you to select back-up items in case the ingredient you want is sold out or unavailable, and you'll have a dedicated shopper who communicates with you via text or app to let you know when items aren't available or when they've been swapped.

Delivery is available in as little as an hour, but you can also schedule it up to a week in advance. Delivery fees may increase during popular times of the week and delivery hours depend on your local store hours.

Instacart is a great grocery delivery option for groups like apartment roommates or families because you can create group carts to shop together. 

Fees: 

  • Free to create an account
  • Delivery fees depend on the size of your order and the delivery time you choose. There is a minimum order amount of $10. 

Grocery offerings: The online prices can differ from in-store prices, but you can find each store's policy regarding price adjustments under the store name. 

Price comparison:

  • Fuji apple: Varies by individual store
  • Boneless chicken breast: Varies by individual store
  • One dozen large white eggs: Varies by individual store

Special programs and discounts: Instacart compiles each store's coupons on to the store page so they're easy to find and use.  

Instacart Express is a $99 annual membership for free delivery and reduced service fees on all orders of $35 or more. You can take advantage of a free two-week trial before committing to the program. 

$3.99 from Instacart
amazonfresh
AmazonFresh/Facebook

How it works: Only Prime members (sign up for a free trial here) are eligible to use Amazon's grocery delivery service. Once you've added AmazonFresh to your account, you can start shopping.

There are two types of delivery available: Attended and Doorstep. Attended Delivery is a one-hour slot where you receive your order in a paper bag, while Doorstep Delivery is a two- to three-hour time slot where your order is dropped off in temperature-controlled totes. 

Fees: 

  • Free membership with a Prime account
  • $9.99 delivery fee on orders under $50
  • Free delivery on orders of $50 or more, or $35 or more in select areas 
  • Free to pick up orders in select areas 

Grocery offerings: The biggest advantage of using AmazonFresh is the ability to shop Whole Foods Market produce and prepared foods. If you like the organic and natural options at Whole Foods, it's easy to get them through AmazonFresh. The Local Market category highlights local makers like Maple Hill Creamery, Tate's, and Junior's Cheesecake. 

Price comparison:

  • Fuji apple: $0.76/ea
  • Boneless chicken breast: $6/lb
  • One dozen large white eggs: $2.79 

Special programs and discounts: As of publishing time, first-time customers can get $10 off any order of $35 or more with code "GROCERY10". 

Coupons change often and are available across categories in the Fresh Deals section. 

$0.00 from Amazon

You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at reviews@businessinsider.com.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email covidtips@businessinsider.com and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

More:

Features Grocery Food New York City