One of the earliest internet start-ups, Peapod came into being in the Chicago area in 1989 as a grocery delivery service. It has survived challenges from much better financed competitors (see WebVan debacle), and is presently held by the Dutch grocery company Royal Ahold. They are active in about a dozen cities and deliver groceries from their owned stores as well as warehouse operations. A more recent innovation is the company does the shopping only for you, and customers pick up their order at neighborhood centers.
Delivery fees max out at about $10, are less depending on the size of the order. The company has a very deep inventory of brands, including a house brand, and sell everything a modern brick and mortar grocery does, including meat, fish, produce, boxed goods, deli, pet food, beverages (including alcohol), and prepared meals. A separate category includes some hardware, household and office supplies.
Prices are close enough to regular stores so as to not hurt, and like your weekly grocery shopping, if you actually “shop” the Peapod website, you can save some money when you need to.
If there’s a drawback to the current service, it is that the minimum order is $60; one of the great services in the space was Pink Dot, in Los Angeles, from which you could order something as small as a single bag of chips, and they were working 24/7. Pink Dot has survived, but not grown.
The Peapod website is easy to navigate, and like most web enterprises these days, it’s intuitive, learns your preferences quickly, and has features like saved shopping lists.
You can receive delivery very quickly (at worst, by noon the next day), and there are delivery windows which offer discounts on the fee. You can specify whether or not you will be home for the delivery, and in that instance, the company packs perishables into cooler type containers.
I’ve used services like this in the past, Safeway had one on the West Coast for quite awhile, and I never had an error with them.
You’ll receive a text prior to arrival, you can pick a two hour window. If you’re on hand for delivery, the driver unpacks bags (separated by department) from sturdy cardboard boxes, and perishables from foam coolers within boxes. The driver doesn’t put your groceries away, but he does carry them inside if you wish. Deli meats are available in 1/2 pound increments, sliced to your specifications, and delivered in zip-locs.
My first order was about 30 items; there were no errors. Thumbs up.
So now it’s time to make a pastrami sandwich!
Peapod Grocery Delivery Review