10-Minute Grocery Delivery Is a Thing — I Tried It and Here Are My Thoughts

published Nov 4, 2021
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gorillas shopping bag
Credit: Mara Weinraub

I am someone who likes to go grocery shopping. In 2013, I tried an online grocery delivery service, you know, “just to see.” The produce that was delivered looked like it had been through some things and, worse, tasted like it was past its prime; and the milk was sour. It was a bit comical, a total letdown, and, until recently, a one-time thing. 

In the years since, the conditions of the grocery delivery have steadily improved, while the conditions for the people delivering those groceries … not so much, to say the least. So when I got a chance to try Gorillas, one of the new, ultra-fast (and fastest-growing) grocery delivery services sprouting up across New York City, I was hesitant, skeptical, and intrigued. I also had an out-of-state trip coming up, one that had me returning home after 10 p.m. mid-week. It was a convenient excuse to give Gorillas a go. (Full transparency: Gorillas is a client of a former colleague of mine and I received a $50 promo code to try their services.) 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

What’s It Like Shopping with the Gorillas Delivery App?

Thursday morning, I woke up early and went for a run, before placing my order in the delivery app. I had already downloaded the app and set up my account, but my first impression when shopping was how clean and easy the sections were to navigate. The grocery items are divided into categories that, for the most part, are intuitive, if not completely clear; there is natural crossover within certain categories, like “Organic” and “Veggies,” and an unexpected disconnect between others, like “Breakfast” and “Frozen” (surprisingly, “Breakfast” didn’t include any frozen breakfast items; they were sequestered in the “Frozen” section). The app grays out out-of-stock items and labels them “Back soon!” I also noticed it stocks some of my favorite refrigerated-, frozen-, and pantry staples from some of my favorite local producers, and at least one brand I’d never heard of. 

I selected 12 items — mostly fresh produce (strawberries, avocado, lemon, navel orange, baby arugula), along with some dairy (yogurt, halloumi, heavy cream), canned chickpeas, jarred olives, and a bottle of hibiscus water. The hibiscus water was an impulse purchase after I couldn’t find fennel or any type of smaller tomato (cherry, grape). 

When I went to check out, a notification said the strawberries were out of stock, which was slightly frustrating because they weren’t grayed out when I added them to my cart. I ended up swapping them for blackberries, which ended up being the second best batch of berries I’d had all year (first best was from a farmers market in New Jersey, ICYW). My order was received at 9:42 a.m., confirmed at 9:44 a.m., and delivered by a “rider” — Gorillas term for the people who deliver their groceries — at 9:50 a.m. Some quick math: That’s just 8 minutes! (The company stocks groceries in their own warehouses, which likely cuts down on the in-store foot traffic and lengthy checkout lines other delivery service shoppers endure.)

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Will I Use Gorillas (or Any Ultra-Fast Grocery Delivery App) Again?

Under the right circumstances, like returning home after a weeklong vacation or if I ever just need heavy cream to make chocolate chip scones (and a few other things), I’d break my shop-in-store-only rule. The produce, pantry staples, and more are clearly very high-quality. The service is luxuriously convenient, while the prices are shockingly comparable to shopping in-store. (Beyond the groceries — which are priced similarly to the local stories I go to — Gorillas charges a flat $1.80 delivery fee per order, plus tip.)

I did end up walking to the supermarket later in the day for that fennel so I could make a grilled halloumi salad I’d been planning for lunch. I don’t have kids and am fortunate to work from home, so I could have easily gone to the grocery store that morning — even after my run. Although I doubt I’d be able to do it in eight minutes.

What do you think of ultra-fast grocery delivery? Tell us in the comments below!