Ordering supermarket groceries via a delivery app such as Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats could cost you twice what you’d pay if you bought direct from the same store, according to new Which? research.
Meanwhile, Amazon is charging up to 45% more for Morrisons products than if you bought from the supermarket’s own website.
Snapshot analysis conducted by Which? in May found shocking price differences across a range of products. Read on to discover the worst examples we found, plus whether there are any advantages to ordering from a third party site or app.
The cost of convenience
Ordering groceries from Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats is undeniably appealing. In some areas, you can get your shopping list delivered to your door in as little as 30 minutes.
But there can be a significant cost attached to this convenience.
We compared the price of a basket of 15 popular grocery items at five major supermarkets against what you’d pay if you ordered the same basket, from the same supermarket, to the same postcode, via a delivery app (not including delivery fees).
Almost all of the items were either more expensive on the delivery apps or the same price.
Morrisons groceries are also available to order on Amazon, depending on your postcode, so we did a similar comparison there (this time looking at 35 items) and found that you’d pay on average 8% more on Amazon than you would by ordering directly from Morrisons.
However, the average masks some more extreme differences: one item – a 250g pack of Country Life unsalted butter – cost 45% more on Amazon.
Meanwhile, the rapid delivery apps were also charging a significant premium – as much as 106%, in one instance.
- Find out more: which supermarket is cheapest?
Do groceries cost more on Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats?
In a word, yes – and sometimes the difference was substantial. For example, our basket of items, which included branded goods like Doritos crisps alongside own-label milk and ready meals, would have cost £36.63 from Iceland. But getting those same items delivered from the same Iceland store by Just Eat would have cost £50.50 (not including delivery fees) – that’s a whopping 38% premium on your grocery bill.
This table shows the difference in price between the supermarkets’ own websites and what you’d pay on a delivery app for the exact same items, from the same stores. (Note that we’re not comparing supermarkets against each other here as the baskets weren’t identical across different supermarkets):
Some of the most shocking individual price differences we found included:
- Own-brand Fairtrade bananas: 85p on Sainsbury’s website; £1.75 on the three apps – 106% more
- Warburtons Toastie Thick Sliced White Bread: £1 on Iceland’s website; £2 on Just Eat and Uber Eats – 100% more
- Hovis Best of Both Medium Bread: £1.19 on Morrisons’ website; £2.05 from Uber Eats – 72% more
- Lurpak Spreadable Slightly Salted Butter: £3.75 on Waitrose’s website; £6 on Deliveroo – 60% more
- Own-brand Pinot Grigio: £7 on Asda’s website; £9.10 on all three apps – 30% more
Tesco wasn’t available through the apps we looked at, and offers its own rapid delivery service in some areas.
Find out more: best and worst supermarkets revealed
Morrisons costs more on Amazon
We checked the cost of a basket of 35 Morrisons items, including own-label baked beans, milk, cheese and pasta plus Hovis bread and McVitie’s biscuits. The exact same items cost £69.90 on the Morrisons website and £75.24 on Amazon – meaning Amazon was charging 8% more.
But some items had significantly higher price differences. These are the six items we found with differences of 10% or more:
- Country Life unsalted butter (250g): £2 from Morrisons; £2.90 on Amazon – 45% more
- Morrisons 6 Fresh Bake Pork Sausage Rolls: £2 from Morrisons; £2.54 on Amazon – 27% more
- Morrisons cornichons with dill: on offer for £1.59 at Morrisons (full price £1.79); £1.90 on Amazon – 20% more
- Morrisons Baking Potatoes (2.5kg): £1.80 from Morrisons; £2 on Amazon – 11% more
- Morrisons baked beans: on offer for 45p from Morrisons (full price 49p); 49p on Amazon – 11% more
- Filippo Berio Olive Oil Classic: £9.99 from Morrisons; £10.99 on Amazon – 10% more
Seven items had no price difference between Morrisons.com and Amazon.
Find out more: what’s happening to food prices?
Delivery fee differences
As well as the cost of the food itself, delivery fees and minimum order amounts are important considerations when you’re deciding where to order from (or whether to go to the supermarket in person).
Supermarkets’ delivery fees usually range from free to around £7, though most offer annual delivery passes that can cost a lot less in the long run.
Supermarkets also usually set a non-negotiable minimum spend to qualify for home delivery, which can range from £25 with Morrisons and Sainsbury’s to £50 at Tesco:
Minimum spends with the rapid delivery apps work differently in that they depend on which retailer you’re ordering from, but you may be charged a ‘small order fee’ if you don’t meet a certain threshold. The amount will vary depending on how close you are to the supermarket.
Deliveroo charges a 99p-£4.49 small order fee for orders under £15, plus a service fee of 99p-£2.49.
For Just Eat, the delivery fee ranges between being free and £4.50, alongside a ‘small order fee’ set by supermarkets, and a 50p-£1.99 service fee.
Uber Eats, meanwhile, has no minimum spend, but there’s a service fee of 99p-£2.99.
So delivery apps can make life easier if you’re not buying enough food to meet a supermarket’s minimum spend threshold.
- Find out more: how to spend less at the supermarket
Amazon hikes ‘free shipping’ threshold
Amazon announced last week that it was making the following changes:
- The minimum order amount for free two-hour delivery included with Prime membership will change from £40 to £60
- Orders between £40 and £60 will be available for delivery within a two-hour window for £2 or a one-hour delivery window for £5
- Orders between £15 and £40 will be available for delivery within a two-hour window for £4 or a one-hour delivery window for £7
It’s a significant jump for Prime members, who already pay £95 a year for their subscription.
In comparison, Morrisons offers one-hour delivery slots that cost between £1.50 and £7 with a minimum £25 spend.
Our shopping list cost £5.34 less on Morrisons.com, so picking a delivery slot carefully could mean significant savings.
The supermarket also has its own delivery pass scheme, which costs £40 a year and means you can get free deliveries any day of the week. If you plan to use Morrisons for the majority of your shops then this is worth considering.
- Find out more: Morrisons reintroduces ‘More’ loyalty scheme – how much could you save?