Grocery deliveries in under an hour – are you paying too much?

How do speedy grocery delivery services rate?

If you are missing an ingredient for a recipe, or you’re just not feeling up to going to the shops, then a grocery delivery service is a luxury option. We know we’re paying more for the benefit but exactly how much extra are we paying for this convenience?

I’ve looked at just what your favourite takeaway apps are offering as part of their grocery delivery service and what they are charging, as well as how the supermarkets own version of these speedy delivery apps compare.

Which delivery apps offer grocery delivery?

It’s never been easier to get your supermarket shopping delivered to your front door in minutes – including getting those groceries collected and dropped off by the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats. You can even have your groceries delivered at the same time as your takeaway!

But these aren’t the only services. You can get them direct via new apps from Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s and there are a number of independent ones out there too.

However, we’re going to focus on the core takeaway and supermarket apps in this comparison.

Which supermarkets are on each app?

The core apps have partnerships with Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as smaller shops like Londis, One-Stop and some petrol station forecourts.

Not all supermarkets are available on every app. These are the main supermarkets I found on each app.

SupermarketDeliverooUber EatsJust EatTesco WhooshSainsbury’s Chop Chop

How to order groceries

Making an order is exactly the same as with a takeaway. You’ll obviously need an account with the app first, and do check for any welcome offers for signing up.

If you have a participating supermarket near you, it’ll appear on the app. Then add the items you want to your basket and pay. Then wait for them to arrive at your door. If you order your groceries at the same time as a takeaway delivery, then you may save on delivery fees.

Using these apps is completely separate to each supermarket’s own online delivery service.

How much more do you pay?

Charges and extra fees

There’s a minimum order cost of around £15 – but that’s normally less than if you went direct via a supermarket’s own website, but more than if you just went to the shop yourself. If you don’t meet this threshold you’ll be charged an additional fee, often around £2 to £3.

On Deliveroo most of the supermarkets say it’s free delivery (although there may be a larger minimum spend to qualify for this), but on Uber Eats it’s more of a mixed bag with some charging a small delivery fee and some offering it free. The rate depends on how close you are to the supermarket for most, although some charge a flat fee.

You’ll also find most add an extra service charge. For Uber Eats and Deliveroo it is normally 10% of the order although it is capped. And on top of this you might be charged for carrier bags. Then there’s also the option to provide a driver tip.

And then there’s even more additional optional costs to consider, such as paying more to get a priority delivery on apps like Uber Eats.

Grocery costs

To see just how much difference there is in price, I compared the prices of a basket of essential groceries, including items such as milk and loo rolls, from different supermarkets and delivery platforms.

I also looked at the price for those same items if you just visited the store yourself.

The selection of products is limited but you’ll still find all the essentials on the majority of these apps. Some retailers on the apps, such as Morrisons on Deliveroo, claim to offer some in-store prices, but for most, there is a noticeable markup.

ShopSupermarket in-store priceDelivery appBasket priceBag feeService feeDelivery FeeTotal price (excluding any tips)
Morrisons£14.18Deliveroo£16.70 (17%)30p£1.670£18.67
Tesco Express£13.06Tesco Whoosh£16.35 (25%)0£2.990£19.34
Waitrose£14.55Uber£18.06 (24%)50p£1.8129p£20.66
Sainsbury’s Local£13.99Sainsbury’s Chop Chop£17.00 (22%)10p0£4.99£22.09
Co-op£18.55Just Eat£20.60 (11%)10p£1.990£22.69
Asda£15.38Asda Express Delivery£15.38 (0%)0£8.500£23.88

Prices correct as of May 2024 based on a basket of eight products

My shopping basket

  • 4 pints of milk
  • 6 medium eggs
  • Loaf of sliced bread
  • Butter
  • Toilet rolls 4 pack
  • Tooth paste
  • Laundry liquid
  • Nurofen 16 pack (deodorant at similar price point if medicines aren’t available)

Nicky’s analysis: up to 58% extra

For a start, all but Asda charged you more for each item than picking up in-store yourself, with a huge 25% added on to goods from Tesco. And that’s before you factor in the delivery fees.

Obviously this is just a snapshot of the providers out there, but on average, the delivery of a basket of essential items cost 43% more to be delivered to your door versus the cost in-store (the range was 32% to 58% in those we analysed). And that’s before you tip the driver, which will push the price up even more.

Paying around 50% more to have your groceries delivered is huge and you have to decide if that’s something you’re willing to pay.

But just as bad is how these premiums are hidden from customers. Even if you expected to pay more in delivery charges, you might not have realised you’re overpaying for the products themselves too.

Part of this will be due to missing out on special offers in-store that can bring prices down. And the limited range also means you might not be able to pick out lower priced alternatives – which could inflate the price difference we found by even more.

Who else is in the marketplace?

Amazon Fresh as well as Morrisons at Amazon and Co-op at Amazon are also available and competitively priced, although the delivery fee varies considerably depending on how quickly you want your groceries delivered which can really push up the price. Plus, they can be very dependent on where you live.

Other platforms for ordering groceries include Gopuff, Delivercart, Flash Delivery, Locallybest, Snappyshopper, Trolleymate and Milk & More (if you can wait until the next morning for your delivery).

Although we did not test all of these, as many are also limited on location, it’s worth looking at which ones offer local delivery to you and taking advantage of all the welcome discounts offered by the various delivery apps, if you’ve not used them before.

Getir is another well known grocery delivery service, but it will be ceasing its operations in the UK. I can’t say I’d miss it, when the cost for delivery of our set basket of essentials was nearly £10 more than the cheapest we sampled.

And new to the market, but currently only available in West London is Zoom by Ocado. This delivery service is one to watch when it expands into more locations, since it has over 10,000 products to choose from and delivery starting at 49p.

Make use of the offers to bring the cost down

There are so many welcome offers available for these delivery services. We’ve listed the best offers we can find for delivery apps on our supermarket deals page.

Both Deliveroo and Uber Eats also offer ad hoc discounts which you’ll find in your promotions section. For example, I often get £7 off the next shop promotions at Deliveroo and I’ve even had a 40% off your shop offers from Uber Eats.

There are also some promotions, such as Uber Eats giving you 50% off fruit and veg every Monday, while Deliveroo has reduced prices on select products.

The pros and cons of shopping through food delivery apps


  • Quick delivery – as little as ten minutes
  • Convenient – delivered straight to your door
  • Lots of welcome offers to bring the price of your first shop down
  • The apps have their own special offers


  • Limited range of products
  • Increased prices (average mark up of between 11% and 25%)
  • You’ll miss the in-store special offers
  • Extra service charges
  • No loyalty points or prices (unless you use a supermarket own service)

Should you shop from grocery delivery apps?

If you have an urgent need for groceries and can’t get out of the house, then these speedy delivery services can be the answer. But you will pay well over the odds for the benefit. 

Our advice would be to use these grocery delivery services only when necessary – perhaps you’re ill or have mobility issues. Or maybe live in a more remote area and won’t order enough for a larger order.

If however you use them for the adhoc item, there’s a danger you could end up relying on these, when a little planning ahead would mean you can pick these up in person when you’re near a supermarket instead. 

Or you could make it part of a larger supermarket online delivery order and pay much less or even nothing for next day delivery (although the minimum spend may be higher). With both you’ll not miss out on all the in-store offers too.

How do the delivery times compare?

If you are using this service, then you probably need your essentials ASAP! So I also took a quick look at how soon you could get items sent to your front door. Bear in mind it’ll vary by location and time of day.

Uber Eats and Deliveroo work just like the takeaway deliveries, so they give you an estimated time of arrival, with some groceries from nearby supermarkets, delivered in as little as ten minutes.

Tesco Whoosh and Sainsbury’s Chop Chop both promise deliveries in under an hour, but Asda Express Delivery is a little more complicated!

With Asda Express Delivery, you can’t pick a delivery time until you put the products you want in your basket (although you can see what delivery times are available). For myself, once I added some simple everyday groceries to my basket, the Express Delivery times disappeared and it only offered me next day delivery. 

So I guess it’s a little hit and miss whether or not you’d get the delivery slot you want. And just to note, the delivery times weren’t even that close – they were some four hours later in the afternoon, had they actually been given to me.

I couldn’t find a pattern with this, and tried changing my selection of products, putting more in my basket, changing the address (I even used the same address as the store at one point so you couldn’t get any closer). And with a service fee of £8.50, I’d say this one is a little more hassle than it’s worth, although there’s no mark up on the products.


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