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Life Hack Week: Grocery delivery services compared

First Coast News tried two grocery delivery services to find out whether they actually make life easier.

How many times have you been sitting at work, dreading the inevitable trip to the grocery store you’d have to make afterward? Now, you can skip the trip to the grocery store, for a price.

There are several different services where consumers can pay for someone else to grocery shop and deliver the products. First Coast News tried out two services; Walmart grocery delivery and Publix delivery, through the service InstaCart.

For the sake of our experiment, we bought the same or similar items from both grocery stores. However, Walmart’s grocery delivery service required a $30 minimum. Additionally, the service tacked on about $10 in fees at checkout and the earliest delivery window was about five hours later.

InstaCart only required a $10 minimum for Publix groceries and total fees upon checkout were about the same as with Walmart. The estimated delivery window for these groceries was within about two hours of the order.

In the meantime, First Coast News went to Dr. Courtney Nations, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of North Florida, to find out why convenience apps and services like this are growing in popularity.

“A lot of people believe Americans are getting lazier, [that] they just don’t want to go out or they just don’t want to cook,” Nations said. “But I think the thing is that we’re shifting the way we use our time.”

In a time when Americans are working more than ever, Nations said people are making the most of their free time.

“When they do have that down time they want to be at home,” Nations said. “They want to be spending time with their families, with their friends, those kinds of things.”

Less than two hours after placing the order, the InstaCart Publix delivery arrived at the First Coast News station. All the food was in good condition.

About three hours after the first grocery delivery, the Walmart delivery arrived. Again, everything appeared to be in good condition.

Overall, we had a positive experience with both grocery delivery services. However, both services charged about $10 in fees, so people needing just a few items are likely better off just going to the grocery store.