Instacart and Amazon Prime Whole Foods Delivery
Although Instacart and Shipt do markup Publix, Kroger, and Aldi groceries Instacart does not markup Amazon-owned Whole Foods. On their respective pages, Instacart tells the customer in the fine print, that items on sale may not be on sale on the platform. That could be a key differentiator for Wholefoods shoppers because they may miss out on sales. As much as Amazon touted the slashing of prices I am still unconvinced. I’ve been in Whole Foods several times since that announcement and continue to be underwhelmed. Also, if you use an Amazon Prime VISA, you get 5% back when shopping at Whole Foods. You could spend that on Subscribe and Save on Amazon or use AmazonFresh.
Is Amazon getting ready to change up again? A friend sent me an article yesterday detailing plans for Amazon to offer Prime customers 10% discounts at Whole Foods. That’s certainly a game changer as it pushes the prices closer to actual competition with grocers such as Publix and Kroger because that 10% is in addition to sale prices. So if I buy 24 ounces of organic steel cut oats from Kroger at $3.99 and it’s on sale for that same price at Whole Foods, I could save an additional 10%. If Amazon adds free delivery to that 10%? Let’s do another scenario! Yay!
Whole Foods hasn’t changed one thing: It continues to gratify the grocery experience shopper. That and sweet perfumery commingled with steadily increasing “conventional” placard marking the non-organic produce. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Having delivered several Whole Foods customers groceries, I can tell you they usually want organic. When you walked through the produce at Whole Foods a year ago, you could assume most of the produce was grown organic. Amazon’s sign for non-organic = “Conventional”. Ordinary. But let’s get to that scenario.
To demonstrate this, I’ll take a list of odd groceries I purchased from Whole Foods for a customer (in the store) and then use the Instacart interface to check the prices in the Atlanta Georgia region. In my area, it doesn’t appear that Shipt is integrated with Amazon yet, but as I found in a prior blog post, the Shipt markup is higher than Instacart.
For our scenario, we’ll use the $119.00 Amazon Prime subscription cost because as they have announced it will be increasing this year. I balked at the new price given my unique circumstances at 200% FPG (Federal Poverty Guidelines), so I don’t order as much anymore. However, if you are a Whole Foods fan and are an Amazon Prime member, you may need to rethink the grocery strategy.
Also, let’s consider that for an Instacart Express Membership it’s $149.00 annually unless you choose to pay a delivery fee every time you order. Instacart Express does have benefits as there are no limits but as of this writing, you would still have to pay the 5% service charge. If you ordered groceries each week with Amazon, you would probably save around $6-7 each week. Here’s why:
|Date of Purchase||Item||Unit of Measure||Whole Foods In Store||Date of Price Check||Instacart Online Price|
|2/25/2018||Zevia Mandarin Water 8 pk||Carton||$3.50||4/28/2018||$4.99|
|2/25/2018||Conventional White Onions||Pound||$1.49||4/28/2018||$1.49|
|2/25/2018||Alleg Italian Roast Whole Bean Coffee||Pound||$11.99||4/28/2018||$11.99|
|2/25/2018||365 Energy Shot||Bottle||$1.99||4/28/2018||$1.99|
|4/18/2018||Organic Fuji Apples||Bag||$4.99||4/28/2018||$4.99|
|4/18/2018||Grape Tomatoes Organic||Pack||$2.99||4/28/2018||$2.99|
|4/18/2018||Organic Romaine Lettuce||Each||$2.50||4/28/2018||$2.49|
|4/18/2018||365 Chopped Walnuts||Bag||$4.99||4/28/2018||$4.99|
|4/18/2018||IMA Organic Tomato Basil Soup||Pack||$3.99||4/28/2018||$3.99|
|4/18/2018||Toms Toothpaste Ppmnt||Box||$2.99||4/28/2018||$2.99|
|Annual Subscription||Weekly Cost||Service Fees Per Delivery||Discounts||Final Cost|
|Amazon Prime||$119.00||$2.29||$0.00||$4.14 (Prime 10%)||$39.57|
|Instacart Express||$149.00||$2.87||$2.07 (5% mandatory)||$0.00||$46.36|
While I consider my Amazon Prime membership important, I was indeed not happy when I heard they were raising it just when I’m up for renewal. I don’t live anywhere near a Whole Foods, so I won’t be able to take advantage of in-store discounts, nor does Instacart deliver Whole Foods to my neighborhood. I wonder if like a Costco membership, Instacart will team up with Amazon to also add this membership for their customers. Walmart is already putting up the block to Instacart, and I can certainly understand given the markup.
With all of this talk of grocery delivery and the rapid expansion in some metro areas like Atlanta, you wonder if the new grocery store employees who were recently hired to pick groceries will opt out because they won’t get paid tips.
What do you think of Amazon’s new prime cost? Is it worth it?
Update May 16, 2018: Amazon announced today that the discounts were starting in Florida and then rolling out this summer. However, the sales apply to shoppers in-store only! (for now)