What Is Amazon Fresh and How Does It Work? The Ultimate Guide

what is amazon fresh

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I’ve been a long-time Amazon Fresh shopper.

Amazon Fresh is super convenient if you don’t have time to shop for groceries.

If you’re wondering:

  • What is Amazon Fresh?
  • How does Amazon Fresh work?
  • Where does Amazon Fresh come from?

I wrote this guide to answer all your questions and provide detailed info on Amazon Fresh.

Let’s begin.

What Is Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery and pickup service that Amazon launched in 2007. Amazon Fresh has an online storefront and physical stores in several US states, including California, Illinois, New York, and Virginia.

Amazon Fresh aims to provide you with a convenient and hassle-free grocery shopping experience, whether online or in-store.

Amazon Fresh offers various popular brands and high-quality fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood. Furthermore, Amazon’s culinary team offers customers delicious prepared foods that the team makes in-store daily. You can find fresh bread, rotisserie chicken, sandwiches, and more.

Amazon Fresh page

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

You can order groceries online via the Amazon Fresh section of the Amazon website or app, pick them up at the store, or request delivery to your door.

With attended deliveries, you’ll receive your orders in regular plastic bags.

With unattended deliveries, the items are in temperature-controlled bags that keep products fresh when no one receives them immediately.

Amazon Fresh offers two delivery options: 1) attended and 2) unattended deliveries.

What Can You Buy on Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh products - produce, breakfast foods, wine
Amazon Fresh products - meat & seafood, household supplies, frozen

You can buy almost anything you typically see at your local grocery store on Amazon Fresh, including vegetables, fruits, meat, packaged snacks, canned goods, and condiments.

You’ll gain access to more than 1,000 Whole Foods products since Amazon acquired this popular organic grocery chain in 2017.

Aside from grocery items, you can buy household necessities like cleaning products, toilet paper, plastic goods, and batteries from Amazon Fresh.

Here are some examples of products you can buy on Amazon Fresh.

  • Meat and seafood
  • Dairy products
  • High-quality produce (fruits and vegetables)
  • Canned goods
  • Frozen foods
  • Condiments
  • Cleaning products
  • Snacks
  • Paper and plastic goods

Amazon Fresh customers can also access around 1,000 Whole Foods products, including cereals, frozen goods, beverages, meats, snacks, and baking supplies.

Where Does Amazon Fresh Food Come From?

Amazon Fresh warehouse

Amazon Fresh sells organic, seasonal, and locally-produced fruits and vegetables through Whole Foods, a grocery chain Amazon bought a few years ago to gain a stronger foothold in the retail industry.

Amazon has multiple warehouses strategically located nationwide, allowing the company to deliver grocery items within 24 hours.

The retail giant also has tie-ups with local grocery stores in several US cities to make same-day delivery easy to fulfill.

What Are Amazon Fresh Stores?

As a relatively new grocery store, Amazon Fresh is designed primarily to offer online grocery shopping services.

However, Amazon Fresh’s physical stores are also in major cities in various US states, including California, New York, New Jersey, and Pennslyvania.

These stores are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you can find two types of physical stores.

1. Dash Cart Stores

In these stores, you shop with a Dash Cart, a smart cart that lets you add, remove, weigh, and scan products in the cart.

When you’re done shopping, skip the traditional checkout lanes and go through the Amazon Dash Cart lane to pay automatically.

2. Just Walk Out Stores

Amazon Just Walk Out Store
(Source: About Amazon)

According to Amazon, Just Walk Out combines computer vision, sensor fusion, and de

This technology lets you go to an Amazon Fresh store, pick up your desired items, and skip traditional checkout lines when you’re done shopping.

Before entering a Just Walk Out Amazon Fresh store, the entry gates ask you to choose traditional checkout or Just Walk Out.

You have three ways to choose Just Walk Out:

  1. Scan the QR code in your Amazon Shopping app.
  2. Scan your palm using Amazon One.
  3. Insert the credit or debit card linked to your Amazon account.

Just Walk Out links to your credit or debit card and charges you accordingly before exiting, allowing you to skip the long lines at traditional checkout lanes.

Who Can Use Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh used to be available only to Prime members. Before, you could only access Amazon Fresh online delivery and pickup services if you were an Amazon Prime member.

However, starting in August 2023, even non-Prime members could get Amazon fresh deliveries if they lived in eligible cities.

Furthermore, anyone can shop at physical Amazon Fresh stores. However, you need an Amazon account and a linked credit or debit card to use these stores’ Dash Cart or Just Walk Out options.

Where Is Amazon Fresh Available?

Amazon Fresh’s grocery delivery services are available in 42 cities across eight states.

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. New Jersey
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Maryland
  6. New York
  7. Seattle
  8. Illinois

You can find the nearest Amazon Fresh physical stores on the Amazon website.

Amazon Fresh opened its first physical grocery store in London in 2021. As of 2023, there are 19 Amazon Fresh stores across the UK, most of which are in London.

How To Shop at Amazon Fresh Store

You can order using the Amazon app for Android or iOS or the Amazon Fresh website.

How To Shop at Amazon Fresh Store infographic

Follow this step-by-step guide to shop at Amazon Fresh Store.

  1. Add items to your cart.
  2. When you’re ready to purchase, navigate to your cart and select Check out Fresh Cart. The Amazon app and website have two separate carts: one is for Fresh items, and the other one is for standard orders.
  3. Schedule your order. You can either request delivery to your doorstep or visit the store to pick up your groceries.
  4. Choose Continue.
  5. If you schedule a delivery, wait for your package to arrive. For pickup, visit the store during your selected schedule.

Amazon Fresh Pricing: How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?

Is Amazon Fresh Free?

The subscription fee for Amazon Fresh is free, but most customers need a Prime membership before accessing this service.

An Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 monthly or $139 annually.

If you’re a non-Prime member, you can get Amazon Fresh deliveries if you live in the following cities:

  • Austin, Texas 
  • Boston
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Dallas (Fort Worth)
  • Denver
  • Nashville, Tennessee 
  • Phoenix
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco

There are no Amazon fresh fees for deliveries for orders over $150. You’ll only incur an Amazon Fresh delivery fee if your order is less than $150.

Here are the Amazon Fresh delivery fees according to the order value.

  • Orders under $50 – $9.95 delivery fee
  • Orders between $50 and $100 – $6.95 delivery fee
  • Orders between $100 and $150 – $3.95 delivery fee

Is Amazon Fresh Expensive?

Grocery shopping at Amazon Fresh is mostly cheaper than your typical retail store. Amazon’s primary flagship store also carries many brand-name products that consumers already know.

You can save money while shopping at Fresh’s physical stores or using their grocery delivery service. For example, you can enjoy 5% cash back when you pay with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card.

Does Amazon Fresh Accept SNAP EBT Cards?

Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is a social welfare program allowing qualified recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP to pay for food.

SNAP recipients can use their EBT card to pay for groceries on Amazon Fresh without being Prime members. However, they can only buy eligible food items like meat, dairy products, fresh and frozen produce, bread, and baby food.

EBT cards don’t cover household supplies, cleaning products, personal care items, alcohol, tobacco, and childcare items like diapers.

If SNAP recipients need to purchase non-eligible grocery items, they must use other payment methods (credit card, debit card, or digital wallet). EBT cards don’t cover grocery pickup and delivery fees.

Did you know you can buy many surprising things with EBT on Amazon?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Amazon Fresh?

Here are the pros and cons of Amazon Fresh


  • Convenience

    Amazon Fresh offers many convenient options, including same-day delivery in some locations, attended delivery, pickup, and doorstep delivery options, and Dash Cart and Just Walk Out checkout options.

  • Product selection

    Amazon Fresh offers extensive products, including national brands, local and organic produce, fresh meat and seafood, and household items.

  • Competitive prices

    Amazon Fresh offers consistently low prices for its products, which is amazing considering the quality you get.

  • Free deliveries

    You can get free same-day delivery for orders over $150


  • Cost

    Unless you’re a SNAP recipient, you must be a Prime member to use the service. An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 monthly or $139 annually.

    A Prime membership comes with additional benefits.

    However, if you only use it to order groceries on Amazon, you may want other grocery delivery services without a subscription fee. Note: Orders under $150 incur an Amazon Fresh delivery charge.

  • No bulk orders

    You cannot purchase items in bulk. Amazon is more expensive if you regularly shop at discount stores like Aldi and Costco.

    No alcoholic beverages

    Most Fresh stores don’t offer alcoholic beverages. Only a few selected locations carry them.

  • No Substitute Items

    You cannot choose substitutions for items currently out of stock because Amazon is the one that selects the replacement product for you.

    Some delivery services allow customers to choose which item they would like if their preferred item is unavailable.

  • Packaging

    Amazon’s unattended grocery deliveries come with thick shopping bags and other packaging materials to prevent damage or spoiling.

    However, some grocery bags and packaging materials are not recyclable.

Amazon Fresh Review and Brand Reputation: Is Amazon Fresh Worth It?

Amazon holds an A- rating based on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranking. This rating system considers a company’s business practice, responsiveness to customer complaints, duration, etc.

On the other hand, Amazon’s TrustPilot rating is currently 1.7 out of 5 stars based on around 20,300 customer reviews.

This deplorable score stems from issues with food quality, unauthorized charges, missing orders, and delays.

Nonetheless, many reviewers have mentioned the convenient and seamless grocery shopping experience with Amazon Fresh and the promptness of its customer service.

Amazon Fresh vs. Prime Now

While both delivery services allow customers to buy groceries through Amazon, they differ in specific areas.

For instance, Amazon Fresh operates in more cities than Prime Now.

Another key difference is that Amazon Fresh fulfills orders from Amazon’s warehouse facilities. Prime Now sources its items from local stores, including Whole Foods Market, Bristol Farms, and Westside Market NYC.

However, Prime Now offers faster delivery services than Amazon Fresh as customers can opt for its 1-2 hour deliveries.

How To Return Amazon Fresh Totes

You can return Amazon Fresh’s green tote bags for a refund or exchange within 14 days of receipt if you meet all the requirements for a return.

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Follow these steps to return an Amazon Fresh Tote.

  1. Sign in to your Amazon account.
  2. Go to the Returns page to see the different options to return your totes.
  3. Select the number of totes you want to return.
  4. Click Submit for Pickup.
  5. Choose a pickup time and date.
  6. Print the return shipping label and attach it to the tote. Ensure it’s tightly sealed when placing your tote in a mailbox or drop-off area.

How To Sell on Amazon Fresh

Just a year after purchasing Whole Foods in 2017, Amazon Fresh stopped selling products from its roster of third-party vendors to focus on the grocery chain’s private-label goods.

In short, brands under Whole Foods are automatically eligible to sell on Amazon Fresh.

Nonetheless, a few third-party vendors still supply items to Amazon via the company’s invite-only policy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Amazon Fresh Deliver to Me?

It currently delivers to customers in Atlanta, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Seattle, Houston, Miami, and Philadelphia.

It’s also available in some parts of London, Tokyo, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Singapore, and India.

If you’re unsure if Amazon Fresh serves your area, use your Amazon account to check its availability.

Is Amazon Fresh Available Internationally?

Amazon Fresh has physical stores in the UK, mostly in London.

However, Amazon Fresh deliveries are available in the following locations outside the US:

  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • India
  • London
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Munich
  • Rome
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo

Is Amazon Fresh Free With Prime?

Yes. Prime members (free trial and paid members) can use this service.

Is Amazon Fresh Good?

Packaged foods and shelf-stable items from Amazon Fresh are high quality.

However, some customers have mentioned that the quality of the produce (fruits and vegetables) is inconsistent.

For example, some customers said they received completely green bananas and inedible, unripe avocados.

Fortunately, Amazon is quick to refund items that are damaged and spoiled.

Are There Any Discounts or Promotions for Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh occasionally offers discounts and promotions, including promo codes you can use at online checkout.

Check the Amazon Fresh section on the Amazon website and app regularly to see any discounts, sale events, or promos you can use to save money on your shopping.

Is Amazon Fresh Different From Amazon Prime?

Yes. Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service, while Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offering faster shipping, free movie streaming, exclusive access to sales, and more.

Is Amazon Fresh Still Free for Prime Members?

All Amazon Prime members can use this service, including free same-day delivery and pickup from local Amazon Fresh stores.

Is It Cheaper To Use Amazon Fresh?

For the most part, the cost of foods and products is slightly higher on Amazon Fresh than at other supermarket chains. However, this is offset if your order is over $150, which incurs no delivery fee.

Amazon Fresh prices are slightly lower than most specialty food stores like Whole Foods Market.

Can I Use Amazon Fresh Without a Membership?

Most customers need a Prime membership or a SNAP EBT card to enjoy Amazon’s grocery pickup and delivery services.

However, starting in August 2023, non-Prime members living in eligible cities can access Amazon Fresh deliveries.

Nevertheless, anyone can shop at Amazon’s physical stores and use their traditionally staffed checkouts. However, you need an Amazon account with a linked credit or debit card to use the Amazon Dash Cart.

Does Amazon Fresh Accept EBT Cards?

Yes. You don’t need to be a Prime member to use Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh grocery services if you have a valid SNAP EBT card.

Amazon accepts SNAP EBT cards in all states except Alaska.

Is Amazon Fresh Only for Amazon Members?

SNAP EBT recipients, free trial members, and paid Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Student members can use Amazon Fresh. However, Prime Video members are not eligible for this service.

What Is the Difference Between Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods?

In general, Amazon Fresh is cheaper and carries more brand-name products than Whole Foods, which focuses on selling organic and seasonal products.

Thus, Whole Foods’ items’ price point is often higher than Fresh’s.

Learn more about the Amazon Fresh vs. Whole Foods comparison for more in-depth information.

Can You Keep Amazon Fresh Bags (the Green Tote Bags)?

Yes. However, Amazon Fresh will charge you a $5 fee for it.

What Are Some Alternatives to Amazon Fresh?

Most brick-and-mortar supermarket chains offer ecommerce and delivery services to their customers. Thus, you have multiple options if you think the Amazon Fresh cost is unjustified.

Here are some alternatives to Amazon Fresh stores and their delivery services.

  • Instacart
  • Fresh Direct
  • Walmart Grocery
  • Vons
  • Peapod
  • Costco
  • Thrive Market
  • Google Shopping

Should You Tip Amazon Fresh Delivery?

Yes. You can tip Amazon Fresh delivery drivers.

However, remember, tipping is optional for Amazon Fresh orders. When you give a tip, it goes entirely to your delivery driver.

Using your Amazon mobile app, you can tip your delivery driver up to 24 hours after receiving your orders. Amazon does not share the tip amounts and customer details with the driver.

The Bottom Line

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that offers a vast selection of items, ranging from fresh produce and personal care items to household supplies and brand-name products.

If you’re a Prime member, this service is a great way to stock your pantry with healthy foods.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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