The local online supermarket scene definitely seems to be an exciting one lately with more and more entrants coming in to play. Recently, RedMart heated things up with its unique marketing campaign and low minimum spend of $49 for free delivery.
Of course, Fairprice is the main titan that corners the supermarket retail scene. However, until recently, it still wasn’t monopolizing the online groceries scene due to its higher minimum spend of $150 for free delivery. Now with a fresh new entrant HonestBee helping to deliver Fairprice for free at a minimum of $30, things are certainly getting interesting.
To add extra zing to the whole mix, don’t forget other giants like Giant and Sheng Siong who have e-stores available, which makes it anyone’s guess who’s got the cheaper or better deals online.
Oh yes, Sheng Siong does have a supermarket online, that’s very non-intuitively found on the URL domain allforyou.sg .
We also want to include interesting new entrants Purely Fresh and Go Fresh because they’ve been getting some buzz in the media, and also because they may bring some punch to the mix, complementing supermarkets that don’t focus or don’t offer fresh food online.
So to cut to the chase, here’s a table comparison of 21 groceries that we thing fairly represents the average Singaporean’s shopping cart.
At any point of time, please feel free to scroll down to the end for our verdict if the comparisons get too overwhelming.
1.China Fuji Apple 4 per pack
2. Baby Bok Chye
3. Sweet corn x2
4. SongHe Tai Hom Mali Rice 10KG
5. Knife Cooking Oil 1L
6. Rockingham Chicken Frank (340G)
7. Marigold Orange Juice 1L
8. Nescafe 3-in-1 intense 30x16G
9. Marigold Yoghurt Low Fat Strawberry 2x140G
10. 100 plus 500ml
11. Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Fluoride Toothpaste 110G
12. Scott Extra Toilet Tissue Regular (20×180 per pack)
13. Axion Lemon Dishwash Paste 350G
14. Top Super Low Suds Powder Detergent 5KG
15. Magiclean Toilet Bleach Powder Lemon Cleaner 500ML
16. Dove Damage Therapy Intense Repair Shampoo 700ML
17. Heineken beer (6x330ML)
18. Laurier Safety Comfort Day Silm 22.5cm*30S
19. Huggies Ultra M size 64S
20. S-26 Promise Gold Step 4 (1.6KG)
To sum up, when it comes to fresh veges, no supermarket can beat Fairprice for its price. Furthermore, Fairprice also consistently gives discounts and value pack promotions for its products. However, for its e-store, it does not offer fresh meat or seafood at the moment, and only has frozen meat – which might be a huge drawback for some.
Sheng Siong is a close second, with its prices either being exactly the same as Fairprice or 5 – 35 cents more than Fairprice. Besides that, it also gives good discounts and value pack promotions across its different products as frequently as Fairprice.
Sheng Siong also seems to offer good variety for its baking products, and Japanese food products and sauces. The downside is that it offers quite limited or fewer brands compared to the other online supermarkets. It would seem that its full retail range its not up on the website as yet.
RedMart recently introduced fresh food to its staple of offerings. However, at its higher prices, to be honest, it doesn’t seem as worthwhile to purchase fresh food from there.
What Redmart has though is a very unique and wide variety of imported brands for some of its categories that is not commonly seen in other supermarkets. In particular, it has a wide variety of pet products such as food, treats and shampoo. It also has more choices for brands for its baby food compared to Fairprice and the others. Finally, RedMart is extremely strong in the alcohol area with 902 kinds of red wine, as well as offers more types of alcohol such as sake, soju, liquer and more choices of beer.
Giant on the other hand, surprisingly consistently lagged a few cents behind i.e. is a few cents more expensive than Fairprice and Sheng Siong for quite a lot of the products.
However, they do provide fresh bread from its bakery which could be a big bonus for some shoppers. Furthermore, when it comes to convenience, there is none other like Giant. You can pick up a spare frying pan if yours is too scratched, a new ironing board cover for your worn out old one, extra bowls and cups if you’ve broken a few, or even a power drill for your house if you need some fixing up to do. Basically anything for the household – and at very reasonable or cheap prices.
The drawback would be that there is no free delivery available. However, if you spend over $60, their delivery fee is only $7.
Meanwhile, we found Go Fresh not to be a real contender. Go Fresh is quite expensive for all of its fresh food offerings, and is in fact more expensive than Cold Storage in a lot of the areas, with limited choices. It seems to specialize in western food and even offers lobsters for sale.
And speaking of Cold Storage, it fared better than we expected with prices that were just slightly above the rest. And for the cheese enthusiast, Cold Storage offers the widest variety of cheeses online too.
Last but not least, we’ve become quite a fan of Purely Fresh because it’s got the widest variety for its fresh food which nowadays can only be found in our wet markets, and no longer in our supermarkets. For instance, its range runs from stingray, to pig heart, to chicken feet, whole black chicken, fresh whole fish, in addition to its usual chicken, lamb and others. It also sells freshly-made yong tau foo, and they provide a value-added service where shoppers can request for the fishmonger to slice their fish or meat.
The cons would be that Purely Fresh is is more expensive than all the other supermarkets, with the exceptions of Cold Storage and Go Fresh. It also has a higher minimum spend of $69 to qualify for free delivery, or alternatively you can pay $6 delivery for your items. It does offer your regular non-fresh food items, however again a few cents more expensive than the other supermarkets, and with a very limited brand range and limited size options (only large litre sizes seem to be available).
OUR TAKE AWAY
It would seem that the supermarkets that offer the best and cheapest prices are Fairprice and Sheng Siong, but which e-store you should patronize would best depend on your needs.
If you’re looking to just have your heavy non-fresh food stuff delivered, Fairprice is the cheapest and is probably best for the job with Honest Bee now helping to deliver Fairprice stuff for free for just a $30 minimum spend. However, if you’re adventurous and love to explore, you could look into RedMart if you’re shopping around for interesting snacks, alcohol, baby food and other brands. Their forte definitely seems to be a more interesting variety of brands and a super responsive website/ mobile interface.
If you’re looking to get all your grocery shopping done in one go – fresh food and non-fresh food included – Sheng Siong is the best bet because Fairprice does not currently sell fresh meat or seafood online, and has a rather limited vege and fruit department.
If you have a family and would like to get the best prices, we would recommend you purchase from Giant. Although their non-fresh food items are just a few cents more than Fairprice and Sheng Siong, Giant has a lot of fresh food items that seem to be sold in purely family pack size or large quantities. Its vegetables are also cheaper than Sheng Siong (Fairprice does not sell a big selection of fresh food).
On top of that, you can pick up other items you need from Giant such as bowls, an extra ironing board, extra fan etc, as well as get fresh bread like baquette and croissants from its bakery.
If you’re one who’s willing to pay more for fresher food, do go for Purely Fresh and Cold Storage as their positioning is to have “premium” higher-priced but fresher fruits, veggies and meats.
Well, that sums up our extensive research on the supermarket battle going on.
Do you shop online for your groceries, or do you buy it physically? Which online supermarket do you shop from and why?