SALT LAKE CITY — Fans of Whole Foods Markets who are also Amazon Prime members can start receiving supplies from the comfort of their couches, thanks to a new delivery service that launched Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
Prime Now brings the online shopping experience to bear on most, but not all products offered at Whole Foods with guaranteed two-hours-or-less delivery turnarounds and is free of charge if you spend $35 or more on groceries.
Tanvi Patel, head of business development for Prime Now, said the new service will cover a large swath of the Salt Lake Valley, stretching from south Davis County to the southern border of Salt Lake County.
“We are excited to bring superfast Prime Now delivery to Salt Lake City for the first time," Patel said in a statement. "Our goal is to cover as many Prime customers as possible with grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market.
“Today we’re excited to reach customers from Bountiful in the north, to Bluffdale in the south and past the Salt Lake City (International) Airport to the Great Salt Lake in the west to the mountains in the east.”
The delivery service launched earlier this year and has been slowly expanding throughout the Whole Foods chain. The offering, now available at 63 stores according to the company, is the latest customer perk from Amazon following its acquisition of the 479-store Whole Foods operation last August for $13.7 billion.
Since then, Amazon has also cut prices at the organic and natural food retailer, offered discounts to Prime members and some Whole Foods outlets have begun selling Amazon tech products like the Echo and Echo Dot home assistants, Fire TV, Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet.
Grocery delivery service is not new to Whole Foods, as the chain struck a contract with third-party delivery service Instacart shortly before the Amazon sale and is still an option for shoppers. Instacart functions in a similar fashion, with an online shopping portal, but consumers have the options of buying a $149 subscription to get free delivery on orders of $35 or more, or paying a scaled delivery fee on each order as a non-subscriber.
Instacart also offers shopping services for Kroger Brands, including Utah Smith's grocery outlets. Shiptis another subscription delivery service available to Utah customers of Dan's, Dick's, Macey's, Fresh Market, HoneyBee and Target stores in Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden.Comment on this story
Food delivery has become one of the latest business endeavors to successfully leverage gig economy concepts to extend the convenience of online shopping to those who would rather have someone bring them prepared meals and/or grocery items.
A recent Wall St. Journal report noted that some $3.5 billion has been invested by venture capital firms in food and grocery delivery service businesses so far this year. That bullish support from investors has helped a handful of efforts amass sizeable valuations like Uber Eats, which now accounts for $20 billion of the ride sharing service's $120 billion market value.