When it comes to online food shopping, ordering a weekly grocery delivery is a quick and painless way to restock your home. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with driving to your local supermarket (only to discover you don’t have a pound coin for the trolley again), but almost every major store now provides an online food delivery service. Services like Tesco Groceries, Ocado and Waitrose online offer easy ways to get the food you need.
Update: due to unprecedented demand, many online grocery services aren't currently offering delivery. We're keeping you up-to-date with which supermarkets have food delivery slots elsewhere on the site.
The choice of meal delivery and food subscription services has also increased dramatically in recent years, with the likes of HelloFresh and Abel and Cole joining the party, so there’s no need to settle for a soggy sandwich for lunch, or risk that questionable fried chicken joint down the road.
When it comes to grabbing your weekly shop, the benefits of online food shopping are clear. Grocery delivery saves time, makes it easy to take full advantage of special offers, and delivery can be arranged for whenever suits you. Bear in mind that there’s usually a small service charge to pay, but this can often be reduced or avoided entirely, depending on the delivery slot you choose.
While all the supermarkets are currently experiencing some kind of slowdown thanks to the sheer volume of people staying indoors and ordering online - many don't have open slots for at least a few weeks - once they're back up and running it may help to know which online grocery delivery service is best. Here are the main differences we've found, based on our mix of research and testing, and we'll be adding more information on services in the coming days too.
The top online grocery delivery shopping sites
Take the stress out of grocery shopping
Minimum spend: £40, but £4 charge if under
As the leading supermarket in the UK, it’s more than likely that Tesco will deliver in your area. Food comes with a freshness guarantee, which means if you don’t like the look of a particular box of blueberries you can return them to the driver and receive a refund.
Online users can also reap the benefits of Tesco’s new Aldi price-match scheme – the German supermarket has grown in popularity due to its incredibly cost-conscious pricing, and Tesco is hoping to hold on to its customers, and tempt people away from the discounters, by offering the same deals as Aldi on both own-brand and branded products.
Like its competitors, Tesco also offers a Delivery Saver pass for regular customers, and Tesco's has the added benefit of priority access during the busy Christmas and Easter periods.
Minimum spend: £40
Morrisons online is a pretty standard experience when it comes to the online world, with a wide range of products and an 'average' £40 spend. You can sign in with Facebook, although password re-entry to confirm what you've chosen isn't offered. Many other brands don't have that option, but it means you need to be careful that you've spelled it accurately.
There's a delivery pass to make it easy for you to choose and save - if you go for the annual weekly pass (for any time delivery) it'll cost £60 annually, and £35 if you choose midweek (Tuesday to Thursday).
Morrison's Quick Shop also fills your trolley with the top things you might be wanting to buy with a single click - there are meat free options for this too (and you can finesse what's in there afterwards if you, inexplicably, don't want Pepsi Max in the mix, for instance).
Eco friendly and ethical
Minimum spend: £40
You’ve probably spotted an Ocado van before, but what is it, exactly? The online retailer has been going for well over 10 years, and delivers a large variety of items from various brands. You’ll soon be able to choose products from Marks & Spencer, too, as Ocado is ending its long-running partnership with Waitrose.
Ocado is one of the few online delivery services to offer one-hour time slots, and it also endeavours to make its deliveries as environmentally-friendly as possible. Along with green delivery slots that utilise vans already scheduled to be in your area, Ocado has made great strides in minimizing food waste, with unwanted supplies being donated to food banks and local charities.
If you’re interested in trying Ocado for the first time, you can get three months free delivery with the Smart Pass, which also gets you 10% off a range of products, priority access to Christmas deliveries, and many more benefits – oh, and if you invite a friend to sign up you can share £40 between you.
You could be better off at Asda
Minimum spend: None, but £3 charge if under £40
Asda is widely regarded as one of the best-value supermarkets around, and its online delivery service offers the same great deals as its brick and mortar stores. The website, and mobile app in particular, are easy to navigate, with top offers and seasonal products clearly displayed so you never miss a deal.
A delivery pass is also available for those looking to take advantage of unlimited deliveries – choose between a 6-month or 12-month pass for potential savings of between £80 and £100. If you’re new to the service, you can also enjoy a one-month free trial.
No need to wait for Waitrose
Minimum spend: £60
While relatively new to the online delivery game, Waitrose is serious about attracting new customers. With £30 off over your first three online grocery shops (although you need to spend a minimum of £60), there’s nothing stopping you from giving its service a go.
Waitrose generally offers more premium products, along with hundreds of enticing recipes for you to discover online, so if you’re tired of cooking the same shepherd's pie it’s easy to find something new to whip up – quickly add the required ingredients to your basket and you’re all set.
Nectar of the gods
Minimum spend: £40
With delivery from just £1 when you spend £40 or more (or free when you spend £100), Sainsbury’s offers a range of cost-effective solutions when it comes to receiving your goods, and regular customers can purchase a Delivery Pass to save even more. Sainsbury’s also offers eco time slots – you can book a delivery from a van that's already scheduled to be in your area, which helps reduce the carbon footprint of your delivery.
Ordering is a simple process, and incredibly intuitive if you have strict dietary needs – you can create a specific dietary profile that will flag any products you should avoid, including those chocolate cupcakes that definitely contain dairy.
Nectar card users can also benefit from the offers they usually receive in store, including money off petrol, multiple Nectar points and more.
Our top food subscription services
Seriously healthy, seriously sustainable
Mindful Chef provides everything you need to serve up scrumptious, healthy recipes. All of its ingredients are 100% gluten and dairy-free, with lots of vegan options available. Simply choose from 16 yummy recipes every week, and enjoy the fresh, local ingredients, which are ethically-sourced. There's no commitment necessary, and a money-back guarantee – and you can also grab £10 off your first two orders.
Mindful Chef has also taken extensive steps to ensure that packaging and food waste is kept to a minimum. Recycled denim insulation keeps ingredients cool, and for every meal you buy Mindful Chef will donate a school meal to a child in poverty.
Say hello to delicious dinners
HelloFresh provides convenient weekly deliveries of fresh ingredients so you can cook up a storm in the kitchen. Simply pick a plan that suits your needs, wait for your delivery, and follow the simple step-by-step instructions to create delicious dinners in no time.
All the ingredients are pre-measured and come complete with full nutritional information, and if you’re a picky eater you can tailor your subscription boxes to avoid the foods you dislike… coriander, anyone?
HelloFresh also offers a flexible subscription, allowing you to skip a week if your pantry is still full to the brim, or cancel your plan at any time if the service isn’t for you. The service is currently dealing with a high volume of orders, however, so won't be taking anything new for a short period.
Abel & Cole
Build your own grocery box
Minimum order: £12
From weekly essentials to pantry staples, Abel & Cole offers a selection of boxes for almost every household. You can build your own box full of your favourite ingredients, or choose between a veggie, fruit or mixed boxes.
Abel & Cole also offers recipe boxes, which include everything you’ll need to create a healthy meal. Minimum orders start from just £12, and you’ll never spend more than £1.25 for delivery. You can pick up a box today by using the code BOX20 at the checkout.