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Online grocery shopping: the best services available today

Online groceries

(NaturalNews) The phenomenal growth of the Internet, especially in the past five to ten years, has seen an incredible boon in e-commerce sites, as more and more people shun traditional brick-and-mortar retailers for the convenience of shopping online.

One of the industries that has seen incredible online growth is the grocery industry, but why would anyone want to shop online for their food? Isn't that risky? No more so than shopping online for anything else. In fact, as noted by The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey A. Fowler, "online groceries are starting to make sense for the rest of us and, thanks to growing competition, they can even save you money."

"The biggest surprise from our experiment is that, in a few cities, online groceries, even with their delivery charges, were actually cheaper than or roughly equivalent to going to the supermarket," Fowler writes.

One drawback though, at least for now: there are no truly nationwide online grocery retailers, but a number of companies have stepped up services regionally, mostly in major cities. But as the demand increases, so too will access for a wider number of Americans.

In recognition of this trend, Natural News has examined some of the top online grocery services available today:

Peapod: [http://www.peapod.com/] The site says, "Shop anytime, anywhere." Well, okay, that's any online retailer. But you don't have to simply "be online" to shop; there is a Peapod app you can download for both iPhone and Android.

Also, Peapod offers a number of weekly specials, guarantees freshness and also carries a line of "natural and organic" products.

"Grocery shopping from home made easy. Peapod's home grocery delivery allows you to shop online without leaving the convenience of your home," the company says.

There is a delivery fee, however, of about $7 to $10 and a $50 minimum order, but the service is generally good.

Amazon Fresh: [https://fresh.amazon.com/welcome] The gigantic global retailer is getting into the grocery business as well, and that's really not a stretch to imagine - though right now fresh delivery is only available in Seattle.

According to online reviews, Amazon Fresh has an impressive selection of foods and much of the produce is grown locally. Also, you can receive free delivery on just about every category sold on Amazon Fresh.

Planet Organic: [http://www.planetorganic.com] If you live in the Northern California region, you're in for a treat. Planet Organic, like the name suggests, delivers "fresh, local, organic" products "right to your doorstep."

Besides household basics, the service offers a full range of commodities, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), artisan meats, fruits and vegetables.

"Delivery is free in the San Francisco Bay Area. Outside this region, Planet Organics only delivers fruits and vegetables for a delivery charge of $4.99. You can place weekly, bi-weekly or monthly orders," says one review.

Safeway: [http://shop.safeway.com/ecom/home] One grocery chain that has gotten into the online retailing business is Safeway, but of course, you'd have to have one in your area.

The company guarantees delivery within one hour, you can save your "purchase history" for faster selection, and you can try the service for free (on the first order, though subsequent orders may also be free; check the store for details). There is a minimum $49 order requirement, however, which seems to be an industry norm.

Urban Grocery: [http://www.urbangrocery.com] If you live in the nation's capital, this can be a pretty handy service (and if you've ever been to D.C. and had to drive to get around, you know what we mean).

The company, run by the Urban family, offers deliveries of groceries into the city for a flat $8 fee. They guarantee the freshest traditional or organic produce and shoppers can choose from more than 21,000 products.

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