Fighting the crowds at Whole Foods can bring even the most stoic New Yorker to tears, especially if they're trying to quickly grab items and get home to start cooking. A new delivery service wants to relieve you of the produce pressure by sending in personal shoppers to grab your groceries for you and deliver them to your door—all within one hour.
Instacart—which has already set up successful operations in San Francisco, Chicago, DC and beyond—began servicing New York City earlier this year, with coverage zones including all of Manhattan below 110th Street. Now they've expanded to include a large patch of Western Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Red Hook, Bed-Stuy and more. It's a simple premise: you place an order, pick a delivery time (one hour, two hours or specific future time) and then wait for your groceries to arrive.
It's more a time-saver than a money saver; deliveries requested for two hours have a fee of $3.99, while ordering delivery within an hour sets you back $14.99, plus Instacart prices items differently from the stores (FreshDirect also does this, by the way). However, the order minimum is only $10 in contrast to FreshDirect's $30. If a requested item isn't available you can either tell the shopper to get the next best thing or have them nix it from the order entirely; you can even select the ripeness level of different fruits, should you choose to.
Stores depend on your delivery area, but include Whole Foods, Key Foods, Food Emporium and Costco; you don't even need to be a Costco member to stock up on ungodly amounts of toilet paper! Users can also combine orders from multiple stores into one order and still get them delivered within the hour. There may be delivery times that aren't available—depending on how busy the shoppers get—but it definitely kicks FreshDirect in the butt when it comes to expediency, a boon to last-minute shoppers. Plus, they operate from 9 a.m. until midnight daily.
They're offering some deals to first-time users, including some free delivery options and the like. We could definitely see employing the service for an unexpected get-together—they'll deliver beer and wine if it's available in-store—or if facing the checkout line after a day's work seems like too much to handle; they also deliver prepared foods. Plus, New Yorkers love anything that makes their lives more convenient and efficient; and millionaires need something to spend their money on