An Honest (and Surprising) Review of Jet.com Fresh Grocery Delivery
I really hate grocery shopping and everyone who knows me knows that about me. I love to cook, I love to cull through fresh ingredients, try new recipes, and chop up a rainbow of veggies for my kids. But when it comes to stepping foot in a bright, busy grocery store and making decision after decision about prices, deals, coupons, labels, and lines I'm almost completely fit to be tied.
I hate it so much that I'll do just about anything to avoid actually going into a grocery store and that includes online shopping. I have my pantry items down to a science, regularly dragging them in from our front porch. Unfortunately, in our area, fresh grocery delivery services have only been available to those who can pay a private service to shop for them—until now. When I logged onto Jet.com two weeks ago to pick out a few of my usual pantry items I noticed there was suddenly a fresh delivery option available to me and in total disbelief packed my virtual cart full of fruit, vegetables, lunch meat, cheese, and even some frozen food.
With hesitation, I checked out and waited two business days for my delivery, expecting a box full of cracked eggs, burst juice jugs, and soggy frozen pizza. I wondered how they were going to keep it all cold. One of those fancy boxes that you send back, like with meal prep services? Styrofoam? Black magic?
Well, I was wrong on all of that for sure. What I got wasn't quite what I was expecting. Read on for the good, the bad, and the just plain awesome of Jet.com's fresh grocery delivery.
What I Ordered and the Condition it Arrived in
Condition it Arrived In
3 Bags of Steam-in-Bag Frozen Corn
Frozen! One of the bags popped open slightly, but there wasn't really any spillage and I've had this happen with the same brand from the grocery store too.
Absolutely. Sometimes all I can get my kids to eat IS corn. Also, these were about $1.00 cheaper than the same exact brand/package at my local grocer.
2 Boxes Frozen Soft Pretzels
Frozen, as they should be.
Yes, my husband loves these! And again, a really good price - under $2 for each box.
2 Bags of Baby Spinach
Cold, packages in good shape, good dates.
2 Boxes of Newman's Own Pepperoni Pizzas
Again, frozen as they should be, I was totally impressed.
Yes, as with the other items these were also a good price.
2 Bags Alexa Frozen Onion Rings
Frozen, great condition.
Heck yes. These things are my cravings-nirvana.
2 Bunches of Bananas
Also basically frozen, mushy from getting too cold, inedible.
I don't think so, I've heard the same from others. This is a grab-from-the-grocery store item. Bananas don't do well when they get too cold. However, Jet refunded me with zero issues.
2 Dozen Eggs
PERFECT. I was pretty impressed. My first job was as a grocery store bagger and the first thing I always did before bagging a customer's eggs was check for cracks as they were inevitable. So the fact that I received 24 cold, intact eggs is pretty great.
Yes, and the price was, again, awesome.
2 Three-Pound Bags of Macintosh Apples
Cold, a little bit of bruising, but still totally delicious.
2 Pounds of Strawberries
Oh, yes! Great price and packaged well.
Tub of Cottage Cheese
Cold, good date, totally intact.
Yes. Healthy snacking made convenient, woot woot!
Melted! I couldn't believe it, because the other items in this box were frozen perfectly. I think the issue here is that these were sugar-free which was an accidental purchase on my part. I actually bought these to test if everything else in the order stayed cold but it was obvious it did and that something went awry with these, possibly because they're sugar-free?
No, because I didn't even mean to buy these. However a family-member purchased ice cream through Jet Fresh Delivery and said it came perfectly frozen. So frozen treats aren't out.
Four Sticks of Butter
Cold, not at all squishy, a little bit of tomato seeds on the package (from my tomatoes)
Yes. I can't do life without butter. <3 And I don't want to.
Package of Turkey Bacon
Cold, great date.
Yes, but I learned my children don't share the same fondness for turkey bacon. Too bad.
Package of Natural Bacon
Cold, good date. Also much appreciated is that this "raw" meat was wrapped in meat bag like all good baggers know to do to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. I dig that.
Veggie Burger Patties
Cold, great date.
12 Burger Buns
Good date, NOT squished (!!!)
Good date, cold
Yes, but not this brand because it turns out I don't like the taste of salami unless it's filled with bad stuff...
1 Pound of Tomatoes
Cold, two got a little squished. But no mold or signs of rotting. Fresh.
I probably would, my kids always stick their fingers through the tomatoes before I get a chance to slice them up anyway.
16 oz. Shredded Mozzerella
Good date, nice and cold.
Yes. Easy healthy snacking!
59 fl. oz Calcium Orange Juice
Good date. The top was squished in a little. But because this product is delivered cold, with a seal, it didn't leak or affect the safety/taste.
1 pound of Baby Carrots
Good date, cold!
Yes, my kids love baby carrots, we can't go a day without them. And they were a good price.
Cold Pressed Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Cold, good date, delicious af.
Oh yes. These are my favorite and kind of pricey at my local grocer. Jet had them for a significantly lower price.
Good date, cold.
Yes, this is basically miracle juice, right? Good price too.
8 oz. Whipped Cream Cheese
Good date, cold.
20 oz. Blueberry Bagels
Nice and cool, good date, NOT squished.
What I Didn't Like About The Delivery Service
I like to start with the bad news first because if you're like me, this is probably the only real information you're looking for, so here it is:
Okay, so, the packaging is a necessary evil. As I said, I ordered two dozen eggs and not a single one came cracked. My bread wasn't squished either. But there is so much darn packaging that undoing it all and sorting it for recycling does take some time. The packaging has several parts. These parts are:
- The outer cardboard Jet box
- Paper packing material
- Dry ice in plastic bags
- Water-based ice packs in plastic bags
- A soft packing material that is bio-degradable if you take it out of its plastic bag
I'm glad all of the parts are recyclable or bio-degradable. The dry ice can be set outside to melt or evaporate (do not put dry ice down the toilet, tub, or sink drains) and the ice packs can be snipped open and run right down the garbage disposable. But doing all of this is a process that took me almost as much time as it would to grocery shop in person. However, I would personally rather be in my own home doing this after unpacking my groceries than spend time in a grocery store. If you're looking for total convenience, this isn't the solution. If you're a one-car family, trying to save on gas, or just really hate the grocery store as much as I do and you are willing to take the time to properly dispose of these packaging materials, then this is still a good option. My kids personally had a lot of fun making this job 100x harder than it should have been.
A word of warning though, dry ice is dangerous. Don't touch it without gloves and don't let kids or pets near it.
Some Produce Gets Too Cold and Is More Easily Bruised
This was the case with my bananas. My apples also had a few bruises but weren't as bad as the bananas. I cut apples up for my kids anyway (or they'll eat the core...) so slicing off a bruise or two wasn't so bad. If you're using them to display, then you might want to grab a bag from your grocer.
The Boxes Are Heavy
For me, this is no problem. I live on the ground level and just have to drag the boxes from the porch through my front door. It was much easier than hauling my groceries to the car, loading them into the car, and then unloading them again. But if you're unable to lift heavy objects this might not be a great solution, or you may just want to start unpacking the box on your porch to lighten the load.
- You can't use coupons unless they're Jet coupons (and some of those are pretty good).
- You can't shop store brand except for some Great Value varieties since Jet was recently purchased by Walmart.
- You can't shop local and if this is non-negotiable for you, then this isn't a great option.
- You can't use an EBT. Boo.
- Everything was very carefully packaged. This is something I really appreciate. There's nothing more depressing than one leaky grocery ruining all of the rest. But Jet did a phenomenal job protecting my groceries from raw meat, my eggs from cracking, and my juice from leaking.
- Food stayed cold and I didn't have to worry about anyone getting sick from unsafe temperatures. I couldn't believe how the cold foods stayed cold and the frozen foods stayed frozen (albeit those sugar-free popsicles...). Jet seems to have the temperature thing down pretty well and perhaps with more tweaking, the delicate produce won't get too cold.
- I didn't have to leave my house. That is just amazing.
- The prices were totally reasonable and with many of the items even cheaper than at the grocery store. As the commercials suggest, the more you spend at Jet the more you save, and those savings can be steep.
- So many healthy options are available. I felt like this made healthy shopping for my family easier. At the grocery store, I tend to become overwhelmed by the selection, but at an online retailer, it's easier to sort by preference including the brand. That's a big time saver.
- Jet only ships Monday-Friday so you know your food is arriving fresh and hasn't been sitting on the delivery truck all week.
- The freshness factor. An icky truth about having once worked in a grocery store is that I know grocers don't always practice safe food-handling habits. I've never worked behind the scene at Jet's either, so I can't really say anything for sure, but I do remember many a shift that consisted of someone ditching their cart full of meat and dairy at an end cap, only for it to be found an hour later when some sorry sap at the end of her shift (that would be me) was sent to return those items to their refrigerated home...after sitting out for a while...yuck. Since Jet's groceries are delivered to them cold, stored cold, then delivered to me cold, they're always cold. And that's pretty awesome. I also know that the food wasn't handled by a bunch of people before it arrived on my doorstep.
I'm in no way affiliated with Jet.com or it's parent/sister companies. I didn't receive any compensation for this honest review, but I couldn't find any on this service out there and thought the internet could use one.
Are There Hidden Fees?
Are there any extra fees for Jet.com fresh grocery delivery besides the price of food? Nope, there are truly no hidden fees for fresh grocery delivery with Jet.com
Shipping over $35 is free, but you will pay a $4.99 cold delivery fee for each order (to cover the costs of cold packaging).
What Are the Prices in Comparison to My Local Grocers?
- Some of it, like the bagels, was maybe right on par or just slightly above the average grocery store price, while others were priced at or slightly below grocery store price, with the total cost dropping with each added item.
- With the first-time-order coupon and the number of groceries I ordered I ended up paying considerably less than I typically would at my local grocery store (the above order came to just over $80).
- I tend to buy the same things over and over again, without a lot of variation, so purchasing my food this way saves me from making impulse purchases at the checkout. If you're someone who utilizes extreme couponing and only shops sales, this probably won't be a cheaper option for you.
Will I Use Jet.com's Grocery Delivery Service Again?
You betchya I will.
- Next time, I think I would do a bigger order, since as I mentioned, the more you add to your cart, the lower the prices drop.
- I would make it an event: chop, freeze, prepare, and store things appropriately, and try to keep my fresh-shopping down to every other week to streamline dealing with the packing materials.
- I would also be thoughtful to be home during the warmer months when my groceries arrive so I can unpack them right away. Even as carefully and well packaged as my cold and frozen items were, I wouldn't want things to get soggy while I was at the beach.
As with anything, this service will be a total lifesaver for some people and a pain in the butt for others, but hey, a few years ago everyone thought I was ridiculous for ordering my toilet paper and laundry soap online and now...
It's been four months since I first wrote this, and I just wanted to update this review to include some information I learned this week about Jet.com's account policies. After a couple of weeks of trying to login to my account to order more groceries, I thought Jet might be experiencing a glitch that I honestly didn't have time to deal with, so I skipped sitting on the phone with customer service and bought my groceries elsewhere.
Last week my mother asked me to pick out a birthday present for my youngest. I tried again to login to Jet.com to purchase a foldaway slide. I still couldn't log in so I tried to use my mom's account to login and make the purchase from her account. When her account also wasn't working, I decided to just make a new account using my school email. I've had to do this on their sister site, WalMart.com when I had a glitch with my old account (I entered my billing address incorrectly, and it just never forgave me). I want my groceries, dagnabbit! Feeling kind of frustrated I threw the slide in my cart, checked out with the new member coupon (cue the pearl clutchers), and waited.
And... you get the idea. It didn't come.
Since it's summer, I don't check my school email often, but this morning I logged in to see if there were any updates from Jet on the slide, and I was greeted with an e-mail informing me that my order was canceled and my account suspended for using a new member coupon when I'm already a member under a different account. When I contacted customer service, I explained that I wasn't able to login to my previous account and that's why I made a new one. That's when I was informed that that old account was suspended too, along with my mother's, for having the same mailing address, hence why I couldn't log in to either of them.
Up until this spring, my mom and I did have the same mailing address because I lived with her.
Although the fresh grocery delivery service is definitely pretty kewl, I'm no longer a Jet member because of the no-same-address policy, and I have no desire to be one again after this experience.
Go ahead and use Jet.com's fresh grocery delivery service but seriously, don't upset the JetHeads by having the same address as another Jet member or using a welcome coupon when you're not new. They'll make you pay. Or, rather, they'll make it really, really hard for you to pay them *big eye roll*
If I hear back from customer service with a better solution to this situation, I will definitely update. Until then, with so many other options for grocery delivery bursting on the scene this year, I'm sad to suggest that you might want to shop around before settling on Jet.
Update: Jet No Longer Servicing My Area
So, I just received an e-mail from Jet this evening (I don't really understand how, since they terminated my account) to let me know that they are no longer servicing my zip code with fresh grocery delivery until they can properly work out some "issues" that aren't really explained in the e-mail. This is too bad, and I hope for others who use the service in my area and other canceled service areas that they can find affordable alternatives.
Would you try a fresh grocery delivery service?
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Kierstin Gunsberg