Foodtown Online Groceries – Review

I really, really hate grocery shopping. I moan about it every time I go to the supermarket. And I hate hating something, and I hate whiners so I don’t like being one. I just can’t stand the thought of giving up a precious hour to the tedium of crowded aisles, bad music, bright lights and the forced feeling of gaiety. So, to my rescue – Foodtown Online!

When my children were very small I was one of the ‘early adopters’ of online grocery shopping in New Zealand. Some intrepid South Islander had set up an online store and my groceries were shipped all the way from Blenheim (to Tauranga). This was probably about 1999. It served it’s purpose well at the time, but apart from the vast carbon footprint I was creating it required me to think a day or 2 in advance because that’s how long it would take for my groceries to get there. Anyone with toddlers will know that thinking an hour in advance is difficult – in fact thinking at all is quite a challenge! So, when I could possibly bear it, I started going to the supermarket again. Until now.

The Foodtown site is very good. Once you have signed up and signed in you can elect to have your groceries delivered or have them packed and ready for you to pick up at the store. The delivery costs are on a sliding scale depending on how much you spend from $14.95 (up to $99.99) down to $7.95 (for orders over $250). You can also select your delivery times based on when you will be home and the best thing about it is; providing you order 5 hours in advance of when you want your order, they will be delivered the same day – till 8.30pm on weekdays. Another handy feature is that all your previous orders are collated and saved in one large list that you can go through and tick for your current order, and new additions are easily added by either ‘browsing the aisles’ or using the very good search function.  The ‘specials’ come up in red so you are alerted to good deals before you order and the ‘specials’ button also allows you to browse the current deals. I do have a minor issue with the specials button, there are 121 pages of ‘specials’ so I am reluctant to think this many are all that ‘special’ and some of them aren’t – less of them being more ‘special’ would be my preference. 

Another little niggle I have is that the added functionality of viewable product labels would be helpful. As I cannot see the product labels I am reluctant to try any new brands as a) I can’t see what is on the ingredient list and b) I can’t find out the country of origin. So there is no chance I will buy anything other than my current preferences. Hopefully this is on the ‘future plans’ list. On that note, make sure you untick the ‘allow subs’ box when you checkout, otherwise if your item isn’t available you have given them permission to substitute it for something similar. Once you check out your order is emailed to you, and when I haven’t been home when my groceries were delivered I have received a phone call advising me they are there. An all round great service, well done Food town and Woolworths!

Now I can go and shop at the Farmers’ Market and the specialty food shops which I really enjoy and my toilet paper and washing powder gets delivered!

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