FOUR short minutes and £7.05.
That is the time it took — and what it cost — for a posh curry ready meal for two, broccoli, tomatoes and sourdough bread to be delivered to my door after I hit “buy”.
That included pickers grabbing the items from shelves and the courier getting to my door . . . via some Star Trek-style transporter, presumably.
It takes me that long to get my shoes on and find my wallet.
I was using Gorillas, one of seven “rapid grocery delivery apps” to launch in the past year. It is showering users with discount codes, so I could justify a treat.
Gorillas is one of five I tested. The other two don’t yet deliver to where I live in East London.
Barely out of breath, the courier (who actually cycled) reckoned she could shave 20 seconds off next time.
Confident investors are ploughing countless millions into these apps, hiring cheery full-time staff and luring shoppers with discount codes.
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These typically offer £10 or £15 off not just your first order but as many as five. Bargain.
In addition to the capital, apps cover Manchester, Birmingham and other cities. All promise delivery in ten or 15 minutes.
When my wife got Covid — having avoided it for 18 months — we were suddenly locked down like April 2020.
Unlike then, we didn’t have to wait three weeks for a delivery slot with Tesco.
For each, we waited an average of just nine minutes — and never longer than 15.
Cost was a concern. I figured there had to be a premium.
But bosses at Getir and Jiffy insist their prices compare to corner shops and the likes of Tesco Metro and Sainsbury’s Local, which charge more than the retailers’ out-of-town stores.
I reckon the apps, which also include Gopuff and Weezy, are generally about ten per cent dearer.
But sometimes the difference is less than that and the quality of fresh food, especially meat, can be superior.
With a few tricks, making the most of all these promo codes, we spent less than we would have at a big Tesco.
How long the price war will go on is unclear.
Probably until the main players are whittled down to two or three.
Late last year, Getir snapped up Weezy while US firm Gopuff bought UK start-up Dija.
I have ordered nearly 40 times — each time with a promo code.
There is always one for the first time you use each service.
If you don’t use the app again for a week or so, you will get another code.
Almost all offer you £10 off for recommending a friend — and they get money off too.
My wife and pals were soon being showered with codes.
Remember, these are not plucky family firms.
The money comes from investors with deep pockets hoping they have backed the right player.
My biggest worry is the threat they pose to small local shops.
Jiffy founder Vladimir Kholiaznikov said: “We can help local businesses. We sell items from bakeries or butchers and other local brands. We add them in.”
We tested five apps against the clock, ordering the ingredients for a warming chicken pie on a chilly winter’s night . . .
Verdict – Average
Delivery time: 21 minutes.
Nothing set it apart, good or bad. Using a half-price code, it was £9.13 for sausages, two packs of fancy pasta, a Spanish omelette and pasta sauce.
Not bad but nearly £20 for that would have been a real extravagance.
It was the UK start-up Dija but got bought out by US firm Gopuff.
Verdict – Best
Delivery time: 19 minutes.
Slickest overall – and no surprise since it has six years experience in Turkey and was first to the UK.
I used it to get £15 off £25 and more vouchers followed.
Not the fastest, but open the longest hours, from 8am and often until 2am, and typically the best availability.
Verdict – Fastest
Delivery time: 4 minutes.
Getting a voucher through the door offering £10 off the first ten orders prompted me to give it a shot, after initially thinking my loyalties were with Getir.
I realised Gorillas was quickest, staff were always beaming and they showered us with more money-off codes.
Verdict – Cheap
Delivery time: 15 minutes.
Good value. My first order should have cost £28.46 but came down to £14.31 with the £10 intro code and £4.15 off for offers like half- price strawberries.
Prices before the £10 off were good.
Four pints of milk for £1.45, soy sauce for £1.29, cherry tomatoes for 50p.
Verdict – Worst
Delivery time: 15 minutes.
It took a while to do my first order on this, simply because the stock levels were low or they did not have what we wanted.
Not the biggest selection, and often closed early.
This was our least favourite. It has now been bought out by Getir.
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