CINCINNATI -- Kroger is the latest grocery chain to jump into delivery game, starting home delivery at just over 100 Cincinnati and Dayton Kroger stores.
Kroger follows the lead of Meijer, Amazon/Whole Foods and most recently Walmart, which just launched its own delivery service a few days earlier.
Kroger is teaming up with the national delivery service Instacart, which brings several years of experience and a team of professional shoppers and drivers who will be handling the shopping and delivery.
How to order, what it costs
Erin Rolfes of Kroger says it was designed for simplicity: you can use either the Kroger mobile app on your phone, or a home desktop or laptop.
"It's really easy," she said. "You either go onto the app or launch the website, and navigate to the delivery tab. You sign and fill your cart and we bring it right to you."
The cost? You will pay $11.95 for the personal shopper and delivery service, which at first may seem high compared with other grocers.
Meijer ($7), Walmart ($9.95) and Whole Foods (free) all charge less.
But Kroger points out there is no 10 percent per item surcharge, unlike Meijer.
And even though Whole Foods delivery is free to Amazon Prime members, Whole Foods prices are significantly higher than Kroger, with milk and eggs often costing twice as much.
Instacart's Scott Holloway says your bill may actually go down, because by ordering online, they find that customers tend to buy less.
"You tend to shop a little healthier, because you can really browse nutritional information on the site," Holloway said. "And you are not overspending on impulse items, because there is no checkout line to navigate, or end caps to grab your attention."
In addition, Instacart will accept all digital coupons on your Kroger Plus card.
What if you are a picky shopper?
Kroger realizes some shoppers will be a bit skittish because they like to pick out their own bananas and beef.
But the app will let you specify the look of your produce, such as whether you want yellow green or brown bananas.
"Just tell them exactly how you want your produce picked out. If you want 3 green bananas and one yellow banana just type it in there and they will pick it up for you," Rolfes said.
Shoppers we spoke with at the Newport Pavilion Kroger who struggle to get to the store, such as moms with newborns or Seniors, told us they love having the option.
Heberta Reynolds, using a mobility scooter, said "I have a foot I had surgery on it would be wonderful to not have to come to the store for groceries. I would love it."
We found an Instacart shopper named Kelly loading her car for one of the first delivery customers. 10 minutes later she delivered it to a Ft Thomas, KY doorstep. "Success, yes!" she said of her first delivery.
And if you use the promo code "HICINCINNATI" your first delivery is free, through early April.
That way you don't waste your money.
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