When Kroger recently launched home delivery at more than 100 stores via the Instacart delivery service, it appeared to be a home run.
The grocery chain promised speedy delivery and Kroger's everyday low prices. It seemed like a much cheaper option compared with Whole Foods/Amazon's recently launched delivery service.
But that's not necessarily the case, according to a new survey just published in Forbes Magazine.
Delivery fee impacts final price
The survey, by Barclays Capital, claims that on two-hour delivery orders in the $35 to $50 price range, Whole Foods was actually the low-price winner.
How can that be possible, given Whole Foods' reputation as "whole wallet?"
Anyone who has casually shopped Whole Foods knows that milk can cost $4 a gallon, while a dozen eggs can top $3, double what Kroger charges. It would seem to be a no-brainer that Kroger would be cheaper.
But Amazon-owned Whole Foods has an ace up its sleeve: its delivery price advantage. Delivery is free to Amazon Prime Now members (though the survey did not include the $99 annual membership fee).
Kroger's delivery fee is $11 per order (once you include both the $5.99 Instacart delivery charge and the ClickList fee for someone to shop in the store for you).
When all fees are factored in, the study claims, Whole Foods is 2 to 7 percent cheaper for home delivery.
However, if you are shopping in-store, the report claims "Kroger handily won," with its market basket 14 percent cheaper than Whole Foods.
Bottom line: for in-store shopping, Kroger is the clear winner. But if you are ordering home delivery, that Kroger advantage may disappear.
That way you don't waste your money.
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