If you asked me, I would have tried the home delivery of groceries already years ago, but since Cristian prefers visiting supermarkets, we have never taken the chance. Last year though, we have considered trying it. We came across Picnic, and subscribed for the service. After about nine months of waiting, I can finally share with you our experience with the first grocery shopping delivered at home – with Picnic thus!
How does it work
The procedure is extremely simple. You download the app, create an account and as soon as your turn comes (you are first placed in a waiting list), you can simply order your groceries on the app, and after placing the order choose the delivery moment. From a total expense of 35 euro, your order can be placed and you will receive it home in the following days.
Picnic is a relatively new reality, and is growing rapidly. It is a Dutch supermarket without physical location that started in Amersfoort in 2015, and then gradually expanded in other Dutch (and German) cities, area per area. Also in Eindhoven, they started providing the service per districts, and they are increasing their capacity in the number of customers. Therefore a waiting list. In our case, it was matter of about nine months (we subscribed on October 6th, 2019, and were allowed to place our first order at the end of June 2020).
I personally like the idea of offering a service when there is good capacity to do that (instead of letting you purchase products in the app and then notify that there is no chance of delivery), and even guarantee the possibility of having the groceries delivered the next day, upon the order until 22:00 of the day before. They also offer wachtverzachters, namely some free products that they randomly place in your basket to make the waiting more bearable. Once you can benefit of the service, you have two weeks to place the first order and get all the free products that had been placed in your basket! We received bananas, oil, softener, avocados and falafel, but did not get them for free because we waited longer than two weeks to place our first order (we were abroad when we first got the chance of placing our order). If you are reading this, be aware of this!
It’s your turn
When your turn comes, you are notified via email. If you thus place your order within two weeks from that email, you already have the free products in your basket. And you can simply go further with your order.
Selection and prices
Picnic offers both A-brand and G’woon products. The assortment of products is rather large, but they deliberately keep the choice limited (about 2/3 options for product). I am personally happy that they often have the organic alternative (of which I am a big fan in case it did not get apparent yet). The choice is not comparable to the one of Albert Heijn XL for example, but still very good and definitely sufficient for standard products. Plus, they are slowing adding new products. It took me some time to get used to the app, but once you are in it, it’s definitely intuitive and easy to use. With the help of a dear reader, I’ve even found out you can see the ingredients of products by tapping on the i on the bottom left corner. Of course, the nice thing of home delivery in general is that instead of annotating the groceries on the phone notes, and then searching them in the supermarket and all the rest of the procedure, you are done just by annotating them when I realize we miss something at home. Plus in this uncertain times of corona, you avoid crowded places and multiple contacts.
For what concerns the prices, I did not make a strict comparison yet, but for single products they were rather similar to what I am used to, only there is in general a way smaller advantage in bonus products (like 10% discount, or 2nd half price). All in all, I believe this is not necessarily a bad thing, since 1+1’s or 50% discounts are probably normally averaged out by other products’ prices. In fact, our weekly grocery total was comparable to the one we are used to, a little cheaper than Albert Heijn, and somewhat more expensive than Lidl or Nettorama (the supermarkets we visit most frequently). As said, this is just a ‘gut-feeling’ approximation, I will dive into this matter in more details in a future post when I will be better informed.
The delivery is always free, upon a minimum order of 35 euro and you do not have the option of paying the delivery apart for a smaller expenses.
Delivery and product quality
A young guy came to our door and placed the typical red and black baskets on the doormat. We just had to take the bags out of it. He was nice and kept distance (you know, that’s also an important factor at the moment!). He welcomed us to the Picnic crew and instructed us that we could return the plastic bags, as well as plastic and glass bottles in occasion of a future delivery. That has been a big relief for my first impression: bio plastic AND reusable. Fine!
The groceries were neatly divided into the bags, according to the destination (fridge, freezer) and type of groceries (e.g. vegetables and fruit). Also, heavy products were carefully kept apart. In short – how I would do that myself. Fruit and vegetables, diary products and meat were fresh and with reasonable expiration date, and also cold.
In a nutshell
Personally, I am extremely satisfied with the first experience with Picnic. It did cost some waiting time, but it was definitely worth it. I like how seriously they take their customers – before granting a place, they make sure they have the needed capacity to offer a good service – and how everything is handled. Plus they keep good contact in the waiting time, even offering some little extras. We placed our order on Saturday, and got it delivered on Tuesday. We could choose an initial time window (between 14:45 and 15:45), and the day before the same window was narrowed to a 15 minutes time frame. And they delivered perfectly on time. From the app you can even follow – live – the little truck that is coming to your home. The truck is electric (and cute), they manage deliveries per area, and they recycle the (bioplastic) bags they use for delivery. There is also an effort in sustainability. For sure they still have room for improvement as all other supermarkets do (there is still a lot of packaging that is made of plastic and in my opinion could be avoided), but I think on that side the only one making a real difference is Ekoplaza.
In a nutshell, this first experience is for me a full yes.
Do you have experience with it? Do you share my view? In case you like reading these posts, sharing is caring and that’s a way to support me in keeping writing!
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