A deal announced on Thursday will place AmazonFresh order buttons next to popular recipes listed on Allrecipes.com, the latest test of consumer appetites for grocery delivery.
Allrecipes.com is linking up with Amazon’s grocery delivery service, adding an option to get all the ingredients listed in a recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey or artichoke salad delivered after a few clicks.
The recipe listing site will place an AmazonFresh order button alongside some of its most popular recipes, giving customers in the big cities served by Amazon’s members-only delivery service the option of getting the ingredients sent to their doorstep.
It’s the latest in a series of experiments, many of them by or in response to Amazon, aimed at capturing Americans’ growing hunger for groceries purchased online.
The service follows an Allrecipes ordering option using delivery service Instacart that was introduced in 2015 and is still available in some markets.
AllRecipes gets a cut of each sale it refers to Amazon. The online retail giant gets the eyeballs of a recipe site with more than 50 million monthly users, and nudges those who click on its link to sign up for the $99-a-year Prime membership program required for AmazonFresh deliveries.
AmazonFresh recently cut the scope of its delivery service in several states, but it remains available in many of the largest U.S. cities, including Seattle and the Eastside. Allrecipes said AmazonFresh listings will be available everywhere the program delivers.
When a customer clicks a green “buy this recipe now” button alongside a recipe, they will be taken to an AmazonFresh cart filled with the items necessary to make the dish. The specific brands in the cart will be chosen by Allrecipes, though customers can swap out items or continue shopping.
“This is the beginning for us of a larger road map of getting from ordering individual recipes to ordering meal plans,” said Corbin de Rubertis, head of innovation at Meredith, a media and advertising conglomerate.
Meredith bought Seattle-based Allrecipes for $175 million in 2012. Allrecipes’ headquarters in downtown Seattle employs more than 100 people, de Rubertis said.
Online grocery purchases have lagged behind the popularity of other e-commerce categories. Cowen & Co. estimates online sales will account for just 6 percent of all groceries purchased this year in the U.S. By comparison, online purchases will account for 33 percent of electronics sales, 41 percent of toy sales, and a whopping 67 percent of sales of books and other media, analysts with the investment bank and research firm estimate.
Retail analysts say people are more likely to want to physically inspect a tomato than a paperback book before buying. Meanwhile, storing, sorting and delivering fresh food has proven to be a challenge for e-commerce giants like Amazon, which built logistical networks designed for non-perishable items.
Online grocery purchases, led by younger, affluent people in urban areas, are rising, however. Cowen estimates that online grocery sales will surge 34 percent this year.
A range of companies, from grocers, to specialized delivery services and meal kit startups — such as BlueApron and HelloFresh (and AmazonFresh’s own meal kits) — are trying to capture that market