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Amazon Fresh vs. Amazon Pantry: What’s the Difference?

Amazon has the largest share of the online grocery market, but it is a close competition with Walmart. Both companies continue the race to dominate the online grocery business. To keep its leading position, Amazon offers multiple grocery delivery options to meet customers’ needs, but sometimes that may create confusion.

In this article, we’ll cover the differences between Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry.  

The main difference between Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry is the type of groceries you can order. With Amazon Fresh, you can order any grocery item, including perishables, fresh and frozen foods. With Amazon Pantry, you can only order items that do not require refrigeration, such as packaged foods or pantry staples.

Let’s continue to explore the differences between Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry. We’ll also cover the costs associated with each service, how they work, and the type of groceries you can order.

Just keep reading to find out more!

Amazon Fresh vs. Amazon Pantry Comparison

The table below gives you a side by side comparison to explain the key differences between Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry:

 Amazon FreshAmazon Pantry
CostFreeFree
Who has accessPrime membersPrime members
Non-Prime members
What to orderPerishables,
Non-perishables,
Local products,
Household items,
Personal care,
Health & beauty
Packaged foods,
Pantry staples,
Household items
Delivery time1-2 hours delivery
30 mins pickup
1-4 business days
Delivery feeFree 2-hour delivery
(orders over $35)

$4.99 to $9.99  
(orders under $35)
Free
Prime members
(orders over $35)

$5.99
Non-Prime members,
Prime members
(orders under $35)
Delivery typeAmazon Fresh
trucks
Ground shipping
(UPS, FedEx, etc.)

You can place orders for both Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry using the Amazon app. However, keep in mind that to order from Amazon Fresh, you need to have Prime membership.

Amazon Pantry orders take 1-4 days to deliver since they utilize ground shipping like UPS or FedEx. In comparison, Amazon Fresh orders can be delivered in 1-2 hours with Amazon’s own delivery trucks.

As mentioned earlier, you are limited to pantry staples, packaged foods, and household items when ordering on Amazon Pantry. With Amazon Fresh, you can order and perishable and non-perishable foods.

Let’s further explore how Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry work and the delivery costs for each service.

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can use Amazon Fresh without any additional costs.

Amazon used to charge $14.99 per month for Amazon Fresh, in addition to the Prime membership fee. However, the company announced in October 2019 that Amazon Fresh is now free for Prime members.

Amazon Fresh offers attended and unattended delivery, as well as pickup options in select locations. The service is available to Prime members exclusively, and it’s by invitation only. I will provide the link below to confirm the service availability in your area.

Once you confirm the delivery or pickup service is available in your area, you need to send an invitation request to Amazon.  

You can follow the instructions below to start using Amazon Fresh:

  1. Confirm service availability in your area
  2. Signup for an Amazon Prime account
    • Prime (Monthly): $12.99/month
    • Prime (Annual): $119/year
    • Prime Student: $6.49/month
    • Prime with EBT or Medicaid card: $5.99/month
  3. Send an invitation request to Amazon

What Are the Amazon Fresh Delivery Costs?

Amazon Fresh offers free 2-hour delivery in eligible regions for orders over $35. If your order is under $35, there’s an additional $4.99 delivery fee.

If you’re not satisfied with a 2-hour delivery window, you can request 1-hour delivery at an additional cost.

1-hour delivery fee for orders over $35 is between $4.99 and $7.99. If your order is under $35, the delivery fee is $9.99.

You can change the delivery time after you place the order. But Amazon doesn’t allow you to change it when the order starts processing. 

What Is the Amazon Fresh Pickup Cost?

Amazon Fresh pickup is available to Prime members in eligible locations with no additional cost. There’s also no minimum order requirement for pickup orders.

You have the option to choose a pickup location and reserve a time slot. You can pick up your order in as little as 30 minutes.  The pickup is a great option if you need your groceries sooner than 2-hours and don’t want to pay for the extra 1-hour delivery fee.

Can You Have Amazon Fresh Without Prime Membership?

Amazon Fresh is exclusive to Prime members only. However, if you have a valid SNAP/EBT card in a participating State, you can have Amazon Fresh free without a Prime membership.

I wrote a separate article about using EBT cards for online grocery shopping. You can check out that article for more information. 

What Can You Buy on Amazon Fresh?

You can buy anything you would find at a regular grocery store on Amazon Fresh. It includes perishable and non-perishable foods, local offerings, household items, personal care, and health & beauty products.

Amazon doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons, but you can check out their coupons page to see the latest deals and coupons. If you add an item with a coupon to your cart, the discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

How Does Amazon Pantry Work?

Both Amazon Prime and non-Prime members can shop Amazon Pantry. Using Amazon Pantry allows customers to order grocery and household items in personal sizes, such as a single box of oatmeal or mac and cheese.

Without Amazon Pantry, the cost of shipping for a single item would be prohibitive.

Amazon Pantry groups all items on your order into one shipment. This way,  you can buy personal-sized items at a competitive price and combine them to meet the minimum order requirement for free shipping.

You can follow the steps below to start using Amazon Pantry:

  1. Log in to your Amazon account and search for items
  2. Add items with the logo to your shopping cart
  3. Your first Amazon Pantry item will start the Pantry order
  4. Click “ Proceed to checkout” when you’re ready to place your order

What Are Amazon Pantry Delivery Costs?

Amazon Pantry offers free 1-4 business days delivery to Prime members with orders over $35. Prime members with orders under $35 and non-Prime members pay a $5.99 flat shipping fee.

Amazon Pantry uses ground shipping, and most orders arrive within four business days. There’s no expedited shipping option for Pantry orders. Amazon will show the delivery date of your order when you’re at the checkout.

Can You Have Amazon Pantry Without Prime Membership?

Non-Prime members can order Amazon Pantry items with a $5.99 flat shipping fee. If you have a valid SNAP/EBT card, you can receive the same benefits as Prime members and get free delivery on orders over $35 without the Prime membership fee.

What Can You Buy on Amazon Pantry?

You can buy packaged foods, household items, and pantry staples in bulk or personal sizes on AmazonPantry.  Amazon Pantry does not offer perishables, fresh foods, or items that require refrigeration.

Amazon Pantry prices are competitive, but many items also have coupons that you can apply to your cart. You can find the latest coupons on the Amazon Pantry deals page.

Amazon Pantry coupons can be by percentage or by dollar amount. You can see coupons ranging from 5% to 20%, or $1 to $4 per item.

Summary

In this article, we covered the differences between Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry.

Amazon Fresh is like a full-service online grocery store that delivers to your home within two hours. As the name suggests, Amazon Pantry is for ordering packaged goods, pantry staples, and household items in bulk or personal sizes.

Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry both provide an excellent service, and they are great perks included in the Prime membership.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Amazon grocery delivery, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Amazon Fresh vs. Whole Foods: What’s the Difference?

Amazon Fresh Out of Stock: Here’s What You Need to Know

Can You Use Amazon Gift Cards at Whole Foods? (No, But Prime Works!)

Do Amazon Gift Cards Expire? (Here’s What to Know)

Does Amazon Deliver on Sundays? (Yes, Here’s What to Know)

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Written by Eril E.

Eril is the founder of Shopfood.com. He has over 12 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. He launched many successful products for major brands sold at big retailers like Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more. He likes to write and share his experience with others. Outside of work, you can find him at a hiking trail in New England or playing soccer with his kids.

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