Online Groceries in New York City

As I just moved to New York City and I do not start work until Wednesday, I figured I should make my time as productive as possible. Today, my productivity activity was fueled by a fascinating venture I witnessed. My temporary roommates engage in online grocery shopping. Instead of going to the grocery store (or in NYC’s case, the nearest market), they log onto FreshDirect.com and place their order there, press submit, annnnd they’re done. The next morning, their groceries show up at their door! Wow! Intrigued, I decided to do some comparison shopping. Since no one else has seemingly done this already, I decided to do this myself.

MyWebGrocer.com

  • After some light research, many good things were said about this New York based concept, but it turns out, this company is directly affiliated to certain chains/brands. The only affiliation in Manhattan is D’Agostino. A bit pricey for my cheap needs so I moved on.

FreshDirect

  • This is the website my roommates used. In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve also seen a subway ad.
  • They offer your basic grocery store needs: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, pasta, paper goods, etc. Even frozen items are available (though the time I witnessed an order, the frozen box was forgotten by the company).
  • By far, this site is one of the easiest to use and organize.

NetGrocer.com

  • This is good for anyone across the nation. There is not an issue of “local” stores involved here. As long as you can receive FedEx, you can use NetGrocer.com.
  • Already surprised to discover that fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are not offered! Clearly, FreshDirect.com is in the lead for New York Cityers.

YourGrocer

  • This seems to be a start-up company in New York. Not as sophisticated as FreshDirect, but trying to be on the heels of it.
  • The website needs some improvement in organizational browsing. If I wanted to just search milk, I’d have to browse through the Milk, Butter, and Eggs category to find it. Boo. Using the search feature is no better. Not only did I get more more items while searching for milk, but the pictures disappeared.

Gristedes (via Amazon.com)

  • Amazon.com bills this as a gourmet food company, but still in beta testing.

Peapod

  • Not available in New York City at this time.

doortodoororganics

  • This Pennsylvania-based family business prides themselves on delivering organic foods straight to your door (as long as you are in their delivery area).
  • They offer pre-made boxes of fruits and vegetables to send at a flat rate depending on the box size.
  • Delivery is limited to Wednesdays of each week.

Urban Organic

  • Similar to doortodoororganics, Urban Organic offers pre-boxed fruits. I did not see

Some comparisons of specific items are below.

Yellow Bananas

  • FreshDirect: $.49/pound
  • YourGrocer: $.66/pound
  • Gristedes: $.66/pound
  • D’Agostino: $.79/pound
  • Netgrocer: Not offered

Organic Bananas

  • doortodoororganics: $1.09/pound
  • FreshDirect: Unavailable at time of post

12 oz. Wonder White Bread

  • Gristedes: $1.99
  • FreshDirect: $2.19
  • NetGrocer: $2.55

Grade A Extra Large Eggs

  • YourGrocer: $1.26
  • FreshDirect: $1.59
  • UrbanOrganic: $3.49
  • Gristedes: $3.49

What I learned: Though FreshDirect prices are not consistently the lowest in all categories, the website is clearly the best website: organized, efficient, and it remembers your orders from order to order. If consolidation and one-stop shopping is important to you, this site is also a necessity. I recommend FreshDirect to all New Yorkers. I welcome anyone else’s experiences though!

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3 Responses to Online Groceries in New York City

  1. Anonymous October 18, 2005 at 12:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My mom used PeaPod a long time ago. She found that it often took as long to pick out groceries online as it would have taken to go to the grocery store anyways. I guess that could vary depending on the user-friendliness of the site, though.

    -Rachel

  2. leith October 19, 2005 at 3:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    you listed peapod twice. maybe you just really wanted peapod to have service in new york.

    but then, i would think you would have listed it three times.

    so, only listing it two times has given me the upper hand in pointing out your egregious fault, and thus in turn allowing me to feel good about myself.

    but now i feel bad, because i liked your post. it was quite informative, and i have fowarded it to a friend who goes to NYU as I am sure he will find it useful.

    fine, i apologize. happy now?

  3. Anonymous January 23, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I can highly recommend OrganicDirect.com. Good service. Deliver to NY and NJ. Organic Produce, groceries, baby foods etc. Weekly specials, frequent shopper discount. My family loves it.

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