I did it. As I write this, I am in the midst of a Kroger Boost free trial (a free trial is 30 days).
I have put in 3 orders, 2 of which have already been delivered, with the third delivered tomorrow.
I had many reasons why I was hesitant to try this service and I will outline those reasons and my experience so far in this article.
Let’s be honest, the marketing has not been great for it. If you land on the homepage of Kroger.com, you don't really see anything about the service. I have not been served any digital ads for it either. I think I might have seen some signage at the physical Kroger store that I frequent.
What actually got me to convert? Paul Chambers. Paul has been dissecting and discussing this membership over the last couple of months which kept it front of mind. I finally pulled the trigger on it via the free trial and my objective was actually to prove my theory that it was going to be a less-than-stellar experience. Why did I think that it was going to be a poor experience?
Well, because nobody is going to grocery shop better than me! I had a weird assumption that if it was not actually me procuring the groceries, the end result would be subpar. Fruits or vegetables would be selected that were not as good as the ones I would personally select. Milk with the worst expiration date out of the options. Something heavy placed on something fragile when bagging. I really believed some of this would occur if I was not present when selecting my groceries. This was not an unreasonable assumption. Previously, getting groceries delivered would be done through a service like Instacart which would tap into the Gig Economy.
As a frequent user of the Gig economy, you quickly realize that not all Uber, Grubhub, and Instacart workers are created equal. Much like the traditional workforce, not everyone is a rockstar. More times than I would like to admit I have had a bad experience using gig economy services because of this reason.
Enter the start of my Kroger Boost experience. Using the Kroger app I already had on my phone (previously it was used solely as a way for the checkout employee to scan my membership barcode for discounts) I quickly put together my first order. I selected some items that most definitely would be items where better than average skills would be tested (quality of fruits/vegetables and an eye for expiration dates).
I was pleasantly surprised at checkout that it prompted me to add some digital coupons based on products I had in my cart. I was unaware of the coupons and it saved me a few dollars I had not planned on saving. Next, I was able to pick an hour window that I wanted the delivery. I saw that some available times showed it would be delivered by Instacart and some available times would be delivered by Kroger. Having some PTSD from Instacart experiences, I chose the Kroger option. As soon as I completed checkout, I received a text message (SMS) that my order was confirmed.
Fast forward to the delivery. I received an SMS 30 minutes prior to the window reminding me about the delivery. Nice touch! Like clockwork, a Kroger refrigerated vehicle pulled up to the house and a very polite Kroger employee exited, gathered my groceries, and brought them up to the front door. The gentlemen waved goodbye as I opened up the door and I brought my groceries inside.
The first thing I noticed was that the plastic bag quality was of better quality than the plastic bags you get at the store. In a later discussion with another Boost member, I found out that you can actually return these bags if you want and they will reuse or recycle them which I thought was pretty cool.
As I put the groceries away I was impressed. All the vegetables and fruits were of immaculate quality and all expiration dates were more than acceptable. What an amazing experience. The end result of the procured groceries was just as good as I could have done myself.
The second delivery was on point again. I did receive a text this time an hour and a half prior to the planned delivery that 2 of the items I had ordered were not available with a link to open up the app and choose potential substitutions. The process was super straightforward and easy.
I believe I have been converted. Previously, I did enjoy going to the grocery store sometimes, and I am not sure I will switch 100% to delivery. However delivery with Boost will definitely be the majority of my grocery store transactions.
They offer 2 options of Boost membership.
- Boost with free same-day delivery in as little as 2 hours for $99 a year or $12.99 a month
- Boost with free next-day delivery for $59 a year or $7.99 a month.
The only negative thing I have run into with using Boost is that the monthly personalized paper coupons Kroger sends you cannot be used. With my monthly coupons, I normally have 2-3 coupons that are for a completely free product that I regularly buy. I looked through the app and I did not see a way to scan paper coupons.
If you go with the $ 59-a-year option and order from Kroger twice a month it equates to less than $2.50 per delivery. The fact that the app scans existing digital coupons that can be applied to your account and lets you ‘clip’ them before checking out is of value. Both times, I found more than $2.50 in coupon savings. So with some quick boy math, I have come to the conclusion that I am actually making money by using Kroger Boost.