Amazon will start charging a $10 fee for Whole Foods deliveries across the US after years of offering the service for free

Whole foods prime delivery amazon
  • Amazon will add a $US9.95 ($AU14) fee to Whole Foods grocery deliveries through Prime across the US.
  • The company initially piloted the program in August across six cities.
  • The company said the service charge will be implemented October 25 and help offset operating costs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon is tacking on a $US9.95 ($AU14) delivery fee to Prime orders of Whole Foods’ items across the US.

A Whole Foods spokesperson told Insider customers have already been notified of the fee via email. The additional charge will go into effect across the country on October 25.

The spokesperson said the add-on expense will help the chain avoid raising prices on its products and offset rising operating costs for delivery orders, including equipment and technology. The fee will not impact grocery pickup orders or Amazon’s grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, which is available in select markets.

“Our prices are consistent between the store and online options, which is something you don’t see with a lot of our competitors,” the spokesperson said. “We are starting to see more customers come back to shop in stores, which is something we encourage with our contactless payment options.”

The company initially piloted the fee in late August across six markets, including Detroit, Boston, and Chicago areas, Bloomberg first reported.

Whole Foods launched its grocery delivery service in 2018, shortly after e-commerce giant Amazon bought the chain for $US13.7 ($AU19) billion in 2017. The grocer offered free deliveries for Prime members who had bought over $US35 ($AU48) in groceries.

The Whole Foods service quickly went head-to-head with other top Amazon delivery options, including Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh. In January, Amazon shut down its Prime Pantry service in order to streamline its grocery offerings.

During the onset of the pandemic, grocery services like Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods delivery became increasingly popular as more customers looked to social distance. But, as the cost of goods continues to rise with increased shipping costs, as well as product and labor shortages, the new fee indicates Amazon may not be immune to inflation.