Food delivery services in the northeastern US
May 13, 2004 5:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm all lost in the supermarket. I can no longer shop happily. Therefore, I am toying with the idea of home delivery. Has anyone in the Northeast used Peapod? What did you think? Anything I should know?
posted by Mayor Curley to Shopping (9 answers total)
Used it within the last year or two for massive orders of food, including produce and huge quantities of soda and the like.

Everything comes itemized in nice lists, they'll carry it up the stairs without complaint, and they even know how to select produce. They ask for a time range they can come which is about 2 hours long, they do tend to show up during that time.

Prices are about the same as the normal alternative (Starmarket, here in Boston/Cambridge), but that isn't saying much. Try, of course, to make large orders to make the delivery fee worthwhile.

I hate the local Star/Shaw's business, too, and have been doing my best to bring my business elsewhere. I've been really happy with Trader Joe's downtown on Boylston and the Harvest Cooperative in Cambridge (haven't been to the one in JP).
posted by whatzit at 6:16 PM on May 13, 2004

They're OK - the late, lamented Home Runs was better (and profitable in the Boston area) but sadly gone.

Produce is the big question mark for us with home delivery - Home Runs was consistently excellent in that regard, where I'd tag Peapod with "pretty good" (last time I ordered a bunch of fruit, all but the grapes were fine, but the grapes were sad enough to kind of taint things).

The good: The website is easy to use; they remember what you've ordered (and if you have a Stop&Shop card you can enter the number and it'll bring up everything you've bought recently); they've always shown up during the specified delivery times; and the drivers are courteous (Home Runs really shone in that department, the drivers were fantastic).

If you're a stickler for produce, visit your local farmer's market and order everything else from Peapod and you'll be fine. And I don't mean to say they're terrible, just not always spot on. And beware, once you get used to home delivery, it's hard to go back...
posted by jalexei at 6:31 PM on May 13, 2004

Does anyone know of a service (PeaPod or otherwise) that exposes an API?
posted by yerfatma at 4:38 AM on May 14, 2004

I used Peapod only once, about 5 years ago, while half-living in Wellesley for a summer, and it was very, very good. Excellent, friendly, fast service, and well-selected produce. No complaints at all. I definitely second the large-orders notion, though, as the delivery charge and tip you'll give wind up being a bit high.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:49 AM on May 14, 2004

I've used it in the DC area a handfull of times. Excellent produce and meat, but somewhat pricier than brick and mortar.
posted by grateful at 10:19 AM on May 14, 2004

I mean Peapod is pricier than brick and mortar, not produce and meat...Oh, whatever!
posted by grateful at 10:21 AM on May 14, 2004

Is Peapod the only choice?

Here in Portland, we now have (at least) Albertson's and Safeway delivering. I've been using them for a couple years now.
posted by frykitty at 11:39 AM on May 14, 2004

I'm all lost in the supermarket. I can no longer shop happily.

The kids in the halls and the pipes in the walls
Make me noises for company
Long distance callers make long distance calls
And the silence makes me lonely

It'll be running thru' my head all day now.
posted by Shane at 11:40 AM on May 14, 2004

Peapod in the Northeast may be different from its previous incarnation out here on the west coast. Back in the early days, there was some Windows client software that dialed up to them and placed your order.

At the time, Peapod acted more or less like a Safeway delivery service. They didn't actually have any groceries; instead they would send a shopper to a nearby Safeway, shopping list in hand, and a driver would then show up with your goods. and (which seems to have displaced Peapod around here -- I didn't even know they were still in business) follow the same shopper/driver model and have similar problems, necessitating a careful receiving procedure when the delivery hits your door:

Expect between one and twenty wrong items in each delivery. Even when directed otherwise with the little checkbox and some stern words in an order comment, these personal shopper services seem to think that creative substitution is OK. For the most part, the driver will allow you to refuse incorrect items, but you'll likely have to call some dispatch center to get your money back.

The shopper often selects the "lite," diet, or lo-cal version of a product for no good reason. It may be habitual recognition of that version of the product from their own grocery shopping, but this happens with some regularity and isn't marked on their invoice as a substitution.

Produce can be of variable quality. Some of the in-store shoppers don't appear to know how to select ripe fruit or unrotted vegetables. Expect some disappointments and to return fruits and veggies frequently.

Occasionally when buying meat, the shopper will become confused and purchase these enormous bulk packages. An order for three (3) fresh chicken breasts somehow turned into delivery of two (2) huge Family Pak trays, about 20 pounds of frozen meat. Similar incidents happened close to twenty times over the period where I did business with Peapod. did so less frequently, but still occasionally.

I miss Webvan. They did this right. At least before they tried to open too many markets at once. Only after they spread outside the Bay Area did Webvan start to suck.
posted by majick at 2:29 PM on May 14, 2004

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