If you're craving a hot bowl of ramen or some fresh fish west of the 405 Freeway at 5 p.m., chances are you won't want to get in your car and spend an hour in traffic to get it. With Amazon Fresh, you may not have to, if you're willing to pay a price.
Amazon started a trial of its Los Angeles grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, on Monday. For L.A. residents, this could translate to less traffic and maybe getting produce without having to brave the West Hollywood Whole Foods parking lot, which is more or less an actual demolition derby.
Amazon Fresh may sound like just another Pink Dot grocery or Eat24 restaurant delivery service, but Amazon is focusing on hyper-local, higher-end shops and restaurants that don't normally deliver. Instead of boxed cereal and canned goods, which you can already order on Amazon.com, you can order off the menu at Jinya Ramen Bar, Fonuts and the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.
Out of the Box Collective, Santa Monica Seafood, Huntington Meats, Monsieur Marcel, The Wine House, Pressed Juicery, Intelligentsia Coffee, Cake Monkey and La Brea Bakery have also signed on to participate. A full list is viewable on Amazon.
The service is free for 90 days to Amazon Prime members living in select ZIP Codes, according to an Amazon spokesperson, but there is a $7.99 delivery charge for orders under $35. After those 90 days, the user's account is automatically upgraded to an Amazon Fresh account and billed $299 for the year, then annually after that.
Customers can also buy the more than 500,000 items listed on the Amazon website that were available before the Amazon Fresh service.
[UPDATED, 10:22 p.m.: Customers can buy more than 500,000 items, including grocery items.]
According to the Amazon Fresh website, orders made by 10 a.m. will be delivered by dinner (3p.m.), and orders made by 10 p.m. will be delivered by breakfast. With meal times varying from person to person, it's unclear as to when your groceries will actually arrive.
A similar Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service has been available to residents of Seattle, where Amazon is based, since 2007.