The speculation turns out to have been true: as of this morning, Amazon's grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, is up and running in the Bay Area. SFoodie was the first to notice that the company's SF site was up and running, marking its third city to offer the service (it's also available in L.A. and the company's hometown of Seattle). The service offers pricing similar to the company's overall package pricing: free "super saver" delivery for a purchase of $35 or more, or a $299 annual Amazon Prime Fresh membership, which includes unlimited free grocery deliveries as well as a regular Amazon Prime membership. Shoppers in a proscribed circle of Zip codes can try the Prime service free for 30 days, though they'll get charged if they don't cancel the offer before the interval runs out. Books and electronics from the Amazon warehouse can also be bundled with orders, which arrive "around dinnertime" if placed by 10 a.m. and "around breakfast" if placed by 10 p.m.
Though it boasts all the usual favorites (bananas, tofu, yogurt, canned soup), the company's offerings can be a little erratic: while there's a sizable liquor selection, AmazonFresh offers only 50 bottles of wine and a handful of beers, most of them high-end 750 mL bottles. There are no six-packs to be found and only one wine under $10. Meanwhile, other staples come in way-too-massive quantities. Still, it's an admirable project, especially considering its involvement of local restaurants: in a similar manner to competitor Good Eggs, shoppers can get everything from Marcella's lasagna to Homeroom mac & cheese to Rosamunde sausages. Local retailers also get their share, with wine from Biondivino, meats from Avedano's, treats from Batter Bakery, Philz coffee, and Hot Sauce & Panko's considerable hot-sauce lineup.
The grocery-delivery space has been a competitive one in SF of late, with Safeway.com's hegemony being challenged by the likes of the aforementioned Good Eggs (which focuses on local farms, meat producers, and culinary artisans), Instacart (which sends a proxy shopper to pick up items at Whole Foods, Safeway, or FoodsCo), and Envoy (which delivers from Trader Joe's and soon plans to add Whole Foods and Costco as well). Even smaller stores are stepping up their game, with Local Mission Market offering online ordering and memberships that include delivery within the Mission. Browsing the aisles at the supermarket, just like keeping a sheaf of takeout menus on hand, may soon be a thing of the past.