Shoppers who spend up to £280 a MONTH on instant grocery deliveries from apps such as Getir, Deliveroo and Amazon Fresh say they may ‘never set foot in a supermarket again’ – and price hikes are ‘worth it for the convenience’

  • The instant grocery market – now worth £1.4billion in the UK – has soared in recent years, with people isolating due to Covid giving industry a further boost 
  • Shoppers tell FEMAIL how their own grocery-buying habits have changed thanks to apps such as Weezy, Getir, Fancy and Jiffy
  • Nichi Hodgson, 38, from London, spends £70 a week – and says she adores the fact that she can get ‘a fancy bottle of wine in an instant’ 
  • Chef Elişa Roche claims she saves money by using such apps because there are so many vouchers on offer – and loves the fact it’s more eco-friendly

Ordering a grocery shop has become as effortless as dialling in a takeaway, with rapid delivery apps putting bread, milk and and a whole range of other groceries – chocolate Hobnobs, anyone? – on your doorstep in roughly 30 minutes.

There is a catch of course, delivery charges for such convenience range from around £1.99 right up to £9.99, and the choice is often much smaller than you’ll find on the shelves in your local supermarket.  

However, judging by the boom in rapid grocery orders made via apps, many of us are happy with less choice and higher prices if it means we’ll get doorstep deliveries in less than an hour. 

According to the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), the instant grocery market is already worth £1.4 billion, a figure that’s set to rise to more than double that in the next few years. 

In October, Tesco announced it had joined forces with German instant grocery app Gorillas, and if you haven’t yet heard of the likes of Weezy, Getir, Fancy and Jiffy, it’s likely you soon will.

The pandemic – and the need for self-isolation – has also heightened demand, making slots with standard supermarket delivery services, including the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Ocado, harder to get. 

Here, FEMAIL speaks to three shoppers who say they’re converts – for different reasons – to instant grocery deliveries    

‘When I see couples dragging each other around supermarkets, it pains me. Find a new hobby!’ 

MONTHLY SPEND: £220 

Chef and food writer Elisa Roche says she’s sold on rapid delivery apps…and says if you’re savvy and look out for vouchers, you can actually save money on supermarket prices 

Eco-friendly too? Elisa says she likes the fact that one driver makes multiple stops rather than several households using their cars to go to the supermarket

Elişa Roche, 42, a chef and food writer, hasn’t looked back since instant grocery apps arrived – having progressed from Sainsbury’s and Ocado to Deliveroo Groceries…

So, how much extra are YOU paying if you use an instant grocery app? 

FEMAIL compared an instant delivery shop from Deliveroo’s grocery service with a trip in person to the same supermarket…

What price convenience? A pack of six all butter Taste the Difference mince pies, normally priced at £1.50 in store, gets a 70 pence mark up on Deliveroo’s grocery app

DELIVEROO INSTANT GROCERY DELIVERY FROM SAINSBURY’S

Sainsbury’s mince pies: £2.20 

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Rose:£47 

Sainsbury’s Pink Lady apples: £2.25 

Medium ripe avocados x 2: £1.75 

Kingsmill 50/50 sliced loaf: £1.05 

Semi-skimmed milk (2 pints): £0.95 

Delivery charge: £2.99 

TOTAL COST:  £58.19

 

COST OF SAME GOODS IN PERSON AT A SAINSBURY’S STORE 

Sainsbury’s mince pies: £1.50 

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Rose:£39 

Sainsbury’s Pink Lady apples: £2.25 

 Medium ripe avocados x 2: £1.50 

 Kingsmill 50/50 sliced loaf:  £1.00

 Semi-skimmed milk (2 pints): £0.89 
 

TOTAL COST: £46.14

 

‘If I’m working late in my job as a chef, then Deliveroo Groceries is a brilliant deterrent to ordering a bog standard takeaway. For the same price as a curry, I’ll get a week’s worth of shopping in half an hour!’ 

Roche says that she’s addicted to the variety and ease of instant grocery shopping and doesn’t think she spends more than she used to when she visited stores in person: ‘Conventional shops for me now feel like a massive waste of time, especially when I can get repeat orders with just one click on an app.

‘I’m sure I end up spending less too, because the selection is smaller than visiting a shop so you have to make essential choices – there are fewer temptations winking at you!

‘That said, there’s luxury if you want it. One day I might shop for Co-op groceries, and another I might splash out at a local artisan shop. It’s still cheaper than getting a takeaway, for example, as you have to construct the meals yourself.’

Elisa says shopping this way feels friendlier for the planet too.  

‘When all the food apps launched I was in heaven. I don’t drive so it saves me lugging around heavy items like washing powder and sacks of potatoes.   

‘I don’t have to fill up a car with a tank of petrol to trek to the supermarket and one delivery driver will usually see multiple customers. To me, that’s more eco-friendly.’ 

On price, she says a cash-savvy shopper can easily find ways to bring down the often marked-up prices of instant groceries too.   

‘I am the queen of special offers and always use discount coupons or codes when they are available, which is often.

‘There are fantastic discount codes for all the new apps like Getir and Gorillas. If you’re smart you can save lots by using them all. ‘ 

‘Some retailers have been trying to make their shops more fun and interesting to entice us all back. Selfridges, for example, does a great job at being original with its food market and in-house cinema. 

It’s the only shop I would go to for a day out to. But I’ll still browse the aisles then find a cheaper version online later.’

Elisa Roche is hosting a new podcast in 2022, Careers Conversations, for Food Matters Live

‘Moving 20 minutes away from the supermarket has made me lazy – I’m addicted to Weezy’ 

MONTHLY SPEND: £280 

Writer Nichi Hodgson, 38, lives in East London. She says being time poor has made instant grocery apps irresistible… even if her husband doesn’t agree

A glass of Moet to chase away a bad day? Writer Nichi Hodgson, 38, who lives in East London, says she’s become a huge fan of instant grocery shops (pictured with her husband)

Having access to grocery shopping when you’ve been working long hours means Hodgson has fallen hard for instant grocery app Weezy’s charms.  

She explains: ‘I’ve worked at home for years but recently moved to a new house 20 minutes away from the supermarket, which has made me realise just how lazy I am!

‘I absolutely love knowing that if I need something for dinner, a fancy a bottle of wine, food for the dog or painkillers when I feel unwell that I can get all those things in more or less an instant. 

‘I’ve definitely started to use it more over the past few months – sometimes as much as four times a week. 

‘It’s addictive to know you don’t need to be that organised or that motivated to still get what you need!’ 

While Hodgson still does a regular online shop every two weeks from one of the major supermarkets, she tops up with Weezy deliveries when select items run out.  

‘Usually it’s missing ingredients for dinner, alcohol because it’s a better selection than the local off licence and chocolate when my husband gets a choc attack. 

‘We still do a regular online shop once every couple of weeks, but I realise I’ve started topping up with my Weezy orders much more frequently.’ 

Weezy erases the hassle of having to be organised – and often has a better selection that local shops or off-licences, says Nichi

She admits that she’s occasionally at loggerheads with her husband over her habit – but it isn’t the mark-up they disagree on. 

‘My husband is more bothered about my laziness to be honest! He doesn’t agree with the fact I don’t have to forward-think as much, but I work 60 hours a week sometimes and just don’t want the hassle of having to be organised. 

‘I’m more than happy with the mark-up because it gives me one less thing to worry about when it comes round to dinner time. And it’s perfect for hangovers!’ 

The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder (Little, Brown) by Nichi Hodgson is out now

‘The pandemic has made me anxious about going to supermarkets – and instant shops are great when you can’t get a regular slot…’ 

MONTHLY SPEND: £40 

Viva Andrada O’Flynn, a cafe manager from Gloucestershire, says Covid has made people think twice about going to the supermarket in person and she loves the fact she can pick up necessities on Amazon Fresh without venturing out… 

Viva Andrada, who’s originally from the Philippines, says that the pandemic sparked an anxiety in her about shopping with lots of other people – and online shopping has become the less stressful option.

Cafe manager Viva Andrada O’Flynn, from Gloucestershire, says that anxiety is one of the reasons she’s come to rely on instant shops – because she’s no longer keen to mingle with  shoppers in supermarkets while Covid is ongoing

She explains: ‘Ever since the pandemic started, the thought of queuing up in supermarkets surrounded by hoards of other people gives me the chills. 

‘The way I see it, I’m paying extra for groceries to be delivered to my door but I don’t have to have the stress and anxiety that often now comes with shopping alongside lots of other people.’ 

Viva Andrada says that the current Covid crisis has completely changed the way she shops.  

‘Before the pandemic, I never bought groceries online. Even if supermarkets were giving incentives for people to order online, I wasn’t tempted. 

‘I’d rather go to supermarkets in person and buy the things I needed off the shelf. 

Convenience is a huge part of the appeal too, says Viva Andrada, because the likes of Amazon can deliver in a short space of time – and they have slots where some of the bigger supermarkets don’t 

‘However, like lots of other people, when the pandemic happened, I started buying online – often using instant apps – and I haven’t looked back.’ 

Convenience comes into play too, she adds, saying that while many of the major supermarkets are often booked up weeks in advance during the festive and new year season, she always knows she can get an Amazon Fresh grocery delivery.  

‘All the New Year slots are often full for regular supermarkets but If I need to buy groceries quickly, it’s reassuring to know I can get them within the click of a button.’

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