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

what is amazon fresh

Omar Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Table of Contents

If you work long hours and have too much on your plate, grocery shopping is likely to be one of the things you want to delegate.

Fortunately, Amazon Fresh allows you to stock your pantry without the hassle of physically going to the store.

You can purchase groceries online through Amazon Fresh and request delivery to your doorstep. This service also allows you to order items for pick up at the store.

If you’re new to Amazon Fresh, you likely have these questions.

  • What is Amazon Fresh?

  • How does Amazon Fresh?

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

Let’s begin.

What Is Amazon Fresh Store?

Amazon launched Amazon Fresh in 2007.

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery and pickup service now available in several US cities.

what is amazon fresh

Using the Amazon app or Amazon Fresh website, you can place your grocery order online and pick it up at the store or request delivery to your door.

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.

Who Can Use Amazon Fresh?

You must be an Amazon Prime member to access Amazon Fresh online delivery and pickup services.

However, anyone can shop at physical Amazon Fresh stores.

Amazon operates a few dozen Fresh grocery stores in select cities across the US.

Aside from Prime members (free trial and paid members), invited guests and Prime household members can access Amazon Fresh’s grocery delivery service.

Is Amazon Fresh Free?

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

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

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

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.

Where Is Amazon Fresh Available?

This service is also available in specific European countries, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

You can browse products on Amazon Fresh using the Amazon website or mobile app, add them to your cart, and request delivery to your door.

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

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.

What Are Some Notable Amazon Fresh Benefits?

Amazon Fresh stores offer these benefits.

  • Convenience

  • Extensive selection of products

  • Local and organic produce

  • Free for Amazon Prime members

  • Same-day delivery in some locations

  • Free same-day delivery for orders over $150

  • SNAP recipients can access Amazon Fresh Store service without a Prime membership

  • Attended delivery, pickup, and doorstep delivery options

  • Competitive prices

  • High-quality products

  • Better and faster shopping experience via the Amazon app

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

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.

Where Does Amazon Fresh Food Come From?

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.

Where Does Amazon Fresh Food Come From?

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

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 consumers already know.

Is Amazon Fresh Expensive?

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 Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card.

What Can You Buy on Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh sells items you would typically find at your local grocery store.

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

  • Raw meat

  • Dairy products

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Canned goods

  • 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.

What Can You Buy on Amazon Fresh?

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.

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.

Does Amazon Fresh Accept SNAP EBT Cards?

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 that there are many surprising things you can buy with EBT on Amazon?

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.

What Are the Cons of Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh’s delivery and grocery pickup service provides a convenient shopping experience. Its physical grocery store carries a vast selection of competitively priced products.

Like other grocery delivery services, Amazon Fresh has some potential downsides.


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 fee.

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.


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

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.

How To Return Amazon Fresh Totes

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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, and India.

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

Is Amazon Fresh Free With Prime?

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

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?

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

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.

Amazon Dash Cart uses computer algorithms and sensors to identify items in your cart, allowing you to skip the checkout line.

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.

For in-depth information, you can learn more about the Amazon Fresh vs. Whole Foods comparison.

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.

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