Amazon’s free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries for its Prime members is expanding to San Diego on Tuesday.
Already delivering to seven metro areas, Amazon is broadening its new Whole Foods service for Prime subscribers to not only San Diego but also Sacramento and Denver this week.
The greater Los Angeles area, which includes much of Orange County, was added two weeks ago.
The new delivery option makes sense given Amazon’s nearly $14 billion purchase last year of Whole Foods, known for its organic and natural foods products.
The free delivery service, which applies to orders of $35 or more, is available to anyone who has an Amazon Prime subscription. Orders can be placed via Amazon’s Prime Now app or online at primenow.com. For those preferring one-hour delivery, a fee of $7.99 will apply.
Delivery is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and in San Diego, orders can include beer, wine and spirits.
Not all of San Diego County is covered by Amazon’s Whole Foods delivery. The service will be offered to communities as far north as Encinitas, south to Otay Mesa and east to El Cajon, said Tanvi Patel, head of business development for Prime Now.
Amazon Prime members can put their ZIP code into the app to determine if they qualify for delivery, and if their area is not served they can ask to be updated when service will be available, Patel said.
She was not willing to disclose Amazon’s future growth plans for Whole Foods delivery. Other cities currently served include Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, San Francisco and Virginia Beach.
“We have said we are excited to roll out promotions associated with our Whole Foods acquisition, and we will continue to launch into new cities,” Patel said.
The expansion of Whole Foods delivery is sure to intensify competition in the grocery delivery sector. In 2014, Instacart signed Whole Foods as its first national partner for delivery, long before Amazon acquired the upscale grocer. Since then, Instacart has expanded its portfolio to include well-known grocery stores like Albertson’s and Ralphs.
“I cannot comment on what others will continue to do, but we want to do what’s best for the customer,” Patel said. “We realize customers want choice but we do know our Prime members tend to appreciate the services we offer to them.”
In addition to Whole Foods, Amazon’s Prime Now offers delivery from Bristol Farms and Sprouts to households in San Diego. There is no delivery fee for purchases of $50 or more at Bristol Farms, and the fee is waived for an order of at least $35 at Sprouts, according to the website.
The e-commerce giant also offers grocery delivery via AmazonFresh but that service costs an additional $14.99 a month for Prime members.