Before the pandemic, buying groceries online seemed like a bizarre, if not completely strange concept. With Montreal now in the red zone and multiple reported cases of COVID-19 being transmitted in grocery stores, online supermarket delivery services have become essential in helping students stay socially distanced while keeping their pantries and fridges stocked.
As the demand for remote grocery services has increased, stores have embraced this new reality by expanding their e-commerce strategies. To help students narrow down the innumerable options, The McGill Tribune investigated six online grocery delivery services in Montreal.
IGA has more than 100 locations in Montreal. Depending on the distance, delivery and assembly fees can vary from free to $10. Students living near McGill will find that delivery costs do not usually surpass four or five dollars. IGA promises to deliver within 48 hours of ordering, although delivery times can differ. For those looking to reduce delivery trips, IGA’S Prix Club offers a selection of bulk products at reduced prices.
Another familiar and staple grocery chain for Montrealers, Provigo offers delivery services through their PC Express Delivery system, which requires a membership to the PC Optimum program. Orders can be placed through the Provigo website, PC Express phone application, or by phone call. Although there is no minimum order value, the flat rate delivery fee on all orders is $9.95, and additional costs can vary depending on the delivery time. For those looking to become regular customers, Provigo provides an effective shopping experience by offering personalized deals.
Costco’s seemingly boundless selection makes it a great option for those with roommates who are looking to stock up on essentials in bulk quantities. Costco offers two-day delivery services for non-perishable food and household supplies. Free delivery is available for orders exceeding $75 before taxes. Otherwise, there is a three-dollar charge. Possible disadvantages are the longer delivery times and limited timeframes—in order to get groceries delivered in two days, orders must be placed before noon from Monday to Friday.
For students without a vehicle or simply the willpower needed to transport bulk groceries by public transit, Costco’s online delivery service allows individuals to enjoy the perks of the membership from home—with at most a trip to one’s laptop.
Known for its low prices, Supermarché PA offers delivery services from three locations in Montreal. For the two locations closest to McGill, delivery hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday. To access PA’s delivery services, the minimum order value is $35. Delivery fees vary depending on the price of the purchase: Seven dollars is charged for orders under $50, five dollars for orders between $50 and $100, and $3.50 for orders over $100.
Metro expanded its online delivery services in April through a partnership with Cornershop, an on-demand grocery service available through their phone application or website that allows orders to be received in as little as an hour. Additionally, orders can be made through Metro’s online grocery site. This avenue requires a minimum order of $50 before taxes and a delivery fee is $11.99 plus HST. Although its surcharges are more expensive in comparison to its competitors, Metro offers same-day delivery and is the best choice for urgent grocery needs. Deliveries can be reserved between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Lufa Farms is a Montreal company known for building commercial rooftop greenhouses and expanding urban farming. Online services formed the base of Lufa Farm’s business even before the pandemic. Subscribers can customize weekly food baskets with fresh, rooftop-grown fruits and vegetables along with staple products from their partner stores. Orders are delivered to customers’ homes for a five-dollar fee or to selected pick-up points across Montreal. Although Lufa Farm’s options may be limited compared to larger grocery chains, using their service is a great way to support sustainable, local farming practices.