story | Yip Jia Qi, Opinion Editor
photo | Rachel Juay
When I began writing this, I thought I could quickly make an exhaustive review of the few online grocery delivery services in Singapore. After all, Singapore is so small and the supermarkets so numerous, it’s impossible for there to be no supermarket near you. You have to be either mind-blowingly lazy or so incapacitated by work to be unable to walk a few minutes to the nearest supermarket. There can’t be much demand for online groceries, right?
To my absolute horror, my first Google search turned up a ridiculous number of websites: Cold Storage, Giant, The Hungry Chef, Tangy Tangerines, The Fishwives, The French Grocer, Kenny Grocery Online, Sabine’s Baskets, and more. Most of these names I’ve never heard of, even after living my entire life in Singapore. Some of them made me cringe.
So the exhaustive review was out the window, but after briefly looking through all the sites I had found, here are the top few sites that look the least shady, and that either I or someone I know have used before. Hopefully that’s going to be more or less sufficient.
Yes, FairPrice Xpress is just a flight of steps from Saga Tower A, but you know, just in case you live in Cendana, you can also click away in your room and wait for them to deliver to you.
FairPrice is run by the government National Trade Union Congress. Their purpose is to stabilize the prices of daily necessities at a reasonable level, so their prices are … wait for it … fair. They are without a doubt the biggest supermarket chain in Singapore, catering to the proletariat masses. So don’t expect boutique wines or organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil infused with saffron. If you are a broke college student, FairPrice is right up your alley.
RedMart is an internet start-up supermarket chain. Yes, when they said no industry was safe from the internet, they meant it. RedMart has no physical stores, just a huge warehouse with a bunch of stuff. When you check out your cart, they might have gotten Santa Claus to deliver it to your doorstep. It’s red and it feels like Christmas when it arrives.
I’ve personally used RedMart many times in the past, and it’s beautifully user-friendly. You shop for your stuff as you would at any online store, check out your cart, and choose a specific two-hour slot (which can be as soon as the next day) for the delivery. So far in my experience, they have delivered within their two-hour window without fail. They will give you a call when they arrive, and you can go down to the Oculus or Education Resource Centre to collect your stuff.
This one is new to me, but I heard that the Residential College Advisory Committee has used it before. HonestBee’s business model is distinct from the first two in that they are an on-demand concierge service. They have no stock of their own and only provide manpower. They will go to any number of their various partner stores to do your shopping for you. This includes a number of atas shops like Anjali Chocolat, Laurent Bernard, Emporium Shokuhin and Da Paolo Gastronomia. As a rule of thumb in Singapore, if the name of the store is not entirely in English, it’s probably some wallet-breaking stuff.
Forgot your partner’s birthday? HonestBee can save your ass by delivering a box of artisan chocolates within the hour.
Of course, what would this list be without some alcohol speciality shops? But why do we need alcohol in a dry campus? For decoration purposes of course! Nothing like a beautiful bottle of Grey Goose to spice up the living room.
Some people just need a pantry constantly stocked with booze (for show), but this can be a costly affair. AsherBWS is an online store, so they save on expensive storefront rental, and pass these savings onto you. Bless them. If you need some (decorative) libations on the cheap, this is the place for you.
The name says it all. They deliver within an hour and they deliver all the drinks cold to your doorstep. And if you get their party set, it even comes together with mixers and ice. No longer do your (hypothetical) suite parties need to be premeditated events involving multiple hikes to Sheng Shiong—you can have one as easy as ordering McDonald’s. This is game-changing, folks.
After some deliberation, I have decided that there are about four things that are critical to the lives of most Yale-NUS College students: laundry detergent, tissue paper, air freshener and vodka.
Comparable house Brand
Glade Fresh Lemon Air Freshener
|Vodka: Absolut 750ml|
|HonestBee||Lowest price from FairPrice + concierge fee|
|Asher BWS||Where got time?!||$45|
Special mention: The Barbie Girls
They sell barbecue stuff. I thought this was hilarious. The colour scheme of the website is blue— extra points for breaking gender norms. Also the irony of a website selling high-end cuts of barbecue meat named after cheap, trashy plastic dolls. A*. I have no words. If you are planning a barbecue, definitely check them out!
Aristotle would have loved online grocery shopping, so you should too
Just like the washing machine and the fridge, online grocery shopping is the next big step in mankind’s evolution towards being couch potatoes. Or you can see it as empowering us by freeing us from doing menial chores, allowing us to exercise our rationality and live a contemplative life of happiness.
The views expressed here are the author’s own. The Octant welcomes all voices in the community. Email submissions to: email@example.com