If you have a restricted diet, the chances are that your local supermarket often doesn’t have all of the yummy things you want to eat. This is particularly true of my city-centre mini supermarkets. A shopping trip can often mean visiting 3 separate stores! Being able to order food online is brilliant. I love that it’s possible to do your shopping using a smartphone whilst on the bus to work, and nothing excites me like getting biscuits in the post or a smiley person showing up with baskets full of beer! (I’m sure it doesn’t excite the delivery man who has to carry them).
But which are your favourite ways to have food delivered? I’m a fantastically disloyal shopper, and pick and choose depending on what I want to order. (And based on who has sent me a money off voucher!). The best value is offered by the supermarkets that deliver as they are not prohibitively expensive due to delivery costs, unlike the mail order companies or direct suppliers that rely on couriers or Royal Mail for small orders.
Here’s a roundup of my experiences:
Best for Range & Ease of Use: Ocado.
These are my favourite. They have recently opened a dedicated ‘free from’ shop, with a rapidly expanding range including a large selection of gluten-free ready meals as well as the new Waitrose Love Life/Free From range. They are friendly, responsive to feedback, and most importantly for me have 1 hour delivery slots and the best-executed smartphone app.
Best for Brands: Tesco
Tesco seems to have a confusing strategy with free from. Last year saw a massive expansion of their range, and they were the only place you could track down many of the new Genius products and the amazing Dietary Specials pizza. Recently, some of those products have been vanishing. A shame as their online experience is a close second to Ocado, and they are probably the best value.
Best for Snacks: Graze
Graze day is the best day of the week as a little package of handbag-sized yum drops through my letterbox, and keeps me from buying chocolate bars in the week! They don’t have a specific gluten-free range, but it’s easy to exclude all of the gluteny products and tell them what you do like (nuts) and don’t like (rabbit poo raisins). You can get a free box using this code: 7QZFYFV
Best for Twee Appeal: Abel and Cole
Every Wednesday, Jacek drops a little box containing a rainbow of nice vegetables on my doorstep for a very reasonable 99p delivery. This has expanded my cooking repertoire considerably, but when he also started bringing gluten free cereal and Daas Beer with the vegetables, I became a loyal customer. Pricey, but lovely.
Goodness Direct have an excellent range, and are the best way to order my favourite Fria bread nationwide, however I find their website wholly impenetrable and their minimum order hard to stomach when I only want a few things to fit in my compact flat. Excellent business idea, but could do with improved execution.
Amazon‘s venture into groceries is a novel idea, and has allowed me to try some new brands, but if you saw my review of the corn cous cous, you will know that the by-weight delivery charges from many sellers make this too expensive to use regularly.
Sainsbury’s is quietly competing for the title of best free from supermarket, with many new own-brand products, and an increasing number of brands too. Their frozen range is the best of the supermarkets but I have found them to be a little hit and miss with product availability.