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Fresh Direct Has Come to Philadelphia

I tried to find a thread on this in Chowhound, but nothing came up.
I took advantage of two trial offers from Fresh Direct, and expect
delivery tomorrow morning at a convenient time.

Has anyone else used their services? In general, produce prices seemed higher than Whole Foods, but there were many specials.
Meat prices seemed quite reasonable. Will report back
on quality after I've had a chance to try things.

The trial offers were very tempting: $50 off the first two orders over
$125, plus free delivery for two months. Door-to-door delivery in a
two hour window also appealing. I'd been away for a week, had no
food in the house, and trying them out saved me a quick trip to Costco
for now.

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  1. I keep getting their emails but have not taken the plunge. Eager to hear what you think....

    1 Reply
    1. re: phillybakingqueen

      I've been getting their deliveries since before Christmas. My sister-in-law lives in New York and has been raving about them for years. I buy mostly fish and produce and quality has been very high. I also like their breads -- par-baked croissants and rolls. Fresh Direct saved me a lot of trips to Whole Foods when It was really really cold!

    2. Haven't used them, but ShopRite delivery has been very good. Same prices as in the store,

      1. So far they don't come out to Newtown Square, but I have been using Peapod's (Giant) service for the past couple of weeks - and it has been great! Same deal, but not as much selection as Fresh Direct. My main concern was the quality of the produce and meat , but so far it has been good. The prices seem to be about what Giant charges, but they offer specials. The ease of ordering from my desk at work and changing my order as the week goes on is great and with the two hour delivery window, I am done my shopping for the week by 9 AM on Saturday.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OM42Braz

          My order came at 8am sharp, in my 8-10 am window.
          The delivery person was courteous and efficient; everything
          in my order was right, and appropriately packaged, including frozen items in a small bag that was kept in a freezer in the truck.

          Quality of the produce (honeycrisp apples, asparagus, bananas) looks great, and by appearance at least the meat
          was as advertised: little fat on edge, marbled, a bargain of sorts. Ground lamb a tad fatty perhaps, but I can't get it'
          in my local market, so it will be a treat. Soups look interesting, in 16 oz containers, which is about right. Only nit-picking complaint: no salt content listed on label for soups.

          The best deal for me was delievery of a case of Pellogrino, right to the spot where we store it. I don't think my husband should be lugging this from Costco any more.

          Not sure whether I will continue after trial period, but in terms of quality I was pleased. Will report later once I've tried more of the items I ordered, like vegetarian chili, a rotisserie chicken.

        2. Reporting in on the meat quality: pretty darn good.
          Club steaks were well trimmed, at least as tender as
          Costco Choice, and the same price basically: $12.99/lb.
          Ground lamb @ $6.99/lb came pre-packed, made some mighty tasty lamburgers with a little chopped garlic, onion, parsely, soaked bread and egg beaters.

          Split pea soup as tasty as the corn chowder, $3 for 16 oz of
          store-made soup: perfect. Asparagus, bananas, Honeycrisp Apples all super. I liked the side entree of barley vegetable risotto, my husband didn't like it as much as I did.

          No complaints from the entire order.Packaging excellent, delivery prompt and courteous. Ordering a case of Pellegrino was my idea of smart.

          1. After 13 years living in New York and using fresh direct since literally the week the started in 2001 (?? A guess), if they are using the same model here in Philly, I highly recommend them. I did receive a mailer the other day and went online to see what they had available and their offerings aren't even close to what was offered in New York. Maybe with time they will have more stuff. I think for the basics and a bit beyond it is totally worth it to use fresh direct for ease - especially if you work a lot. In New York they were always on time and they only hired friendly and non-surly workers (which is hard sometimes in New York!). They have good customer service and were always on time. And they tried hard to work with local restaurants, food producers, etc.

            I am lucky to have time to go food shopping so until they offer better and more diverse cheeses, salumi, Spanish and Italian meats and seafood (used to get awesome octopus from the in NYC), I will probably wait.

            But I do highly recommend them and hope the are a success here in Philly!

            2 Replies
            1. re: amysep

              Whole Foods does delivery in Center City now (not sure how far they go) so if you're in the zone you can probably get all that stuff from them.

              1. re: barryg

                That;s interesting, Barry. I'm in the zone alright; we don't live that far away. Whole Food quality if great, but quite
                pricey on many items. I shop very very carefully there.
                Meats and fish are good, but very expensive. Fresh Direct
                had them beat on both steaks and fresh flounder.

            2. I finally made my first order, and I only wish I had done it sooner! Fresh Direct delivered INTO MY KITCHEN, on time, and with a smile. Fantastic service. HUGE time saver. If you value your time at $0, then perhaps going to the store is cheaper. Plus, they stock grass-fed flank steak, which is basically impossible to get at Whole Foods (WF is ALWAYS out of stock). And, they stock quark at $3.19/8oz. What more do you need?!

              3 Replies
              1. re: phillybakingqueen

                Is there a delivery charge or is it built into the prices? Is there a minimum order? How good are they about letting you know when it will be delivered?

                1. re: cwdonald

                  There is a $7.99 delivery fee, but it was waived on my order (I think because my order was over $100). The minimum order is $30. You choose a 2-hour delivery window on a specific day. They showed up 30 mins into that window for my delivery. Google "freshdirect coupon" before you order. There are several promotion codes out there for first-time shoppers.

                  1. re: phillybakingqueen

                    Considering there is a waiver of the delivery charge over an order level of $100, and the charge below that level is $7.99; does one tip the delivery man?. Well I mean is it basically expected? Nothing against tipping a delivery guy but just trying to add up the totals for some sort of a comparison. It seem convenience and quality could easily off set some higher pricing for sure.

              2. Here's what's interesting about tipping. The service was so
                great I was happy to tip. But, the delivery person was definitely not waiting/expecting a tip; he placed everything on my counter, got my signature, thanked me, and was on his way. I had to ask him to wait a sec so I could give him a tip.

                Now, if I were paying $7.99 for delivery, I don't think I'd be so
                willing to tip.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bashful3

                  Thanks, I like to see a good delivery guy leave with some extra bucks myself. No question if the fee has been waived that I would tip and a more modest tip if there is a fee.

                  1. re: Bashful3

                    When l lived in Manhattan l used them often, no one there EVER tipped delivery charge or not.

                  2. Another great benefit is that Fresh Direct has some items you can't get in the greater Philly area. My husband loves the "Defense" flavor of Vitamin Water. You just can't buy that flavor anymore here. But FD had it and I ordered 2 cases delivered to my door! Oh, and at the time they were charging $.69 a bottle!

                    1. I ordered from FreshDirect once and the amount of packaging was unbelievable. Each small box contained maybe 3 items. Did I do something wrong? I don't want piles of boxes sitting in my small kitchen.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: katebauer

                        Just started ordering from Fresh Direct as they recently expanded their delivery area in the Philly suburbs. I don't think you did anything wrong. While there was more packaging than Peapod, it wasn't too bad. However, they don't recycle their packaging like Peapod does with their bags.

                      2. I've been pleased with Fresh Direct's delivery service and
                        quality has been fine, but over time I've become aware of
                        how pricey they really are most of the time, most items.

                        For a working person, this has got to be great, but one is paying extra, especially when produce is in season. I will
                        still use them occasionally, and perhaps more often in the winter when weather is more dicey. I also think 'President's
                        picks' are less discounted, with few true bargains showing up.

                        Sigh.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Bashful3

                          Yes - their prices tend to be higher. And I don't think that their selection of non-fresh items (paper goods, frozen goods, etc.) is as extensive as Peapod. However, their fresh items tend to be more varied and of higher quality than Peapod.

                          I try to play the 'special' game with both of them - try to use those things that are on sale. Perdue Oven stuffers this week at Peapod, dry aged steak a couple of weeks ago at Fresh Direct. But I agree with Bashful3 that the real bargans are scant at Fresh Direct. On the good side, free delivdery for two months.

                          1. re: Bashful3

                            As I mentioned earlier, we have generally been satisfied with ShopRite's delivery offering. They dont have the same variety of gourmet options but the prices and sales are exactly the same as the store, which tends to be the cheapest of the full-service supermarkets. Produce and meat quality has been good. If you want the convenience of delivery and can live with regular supermarket selection, it's a very good option.

                          2. I've been tempted to take the plunge, but have hesitated. They never seem to have every thing I want. Their organic options are good, but not stellar.