Organic food is on the rise in Bangkok. The dam
bility to eat natural, healthy food is improving people’s diets, well-being and sense of self. There are, of course, the environmental advantages of eating local as well. With the rise of green groceries, there is a corresponding increase in the ability to shop online for said foodstuffs. After all, shopping online saves time, is often cheaper, and with a concentrated shopping list, can be healthier as it’s much easier to avoid impulse buys. Below you’ll find a number of stores that will deliver fresh and organic groceries right to your doorstep. Most of them are in Bangkok, though some even offer the service in other major cities.
Most of the major supermarkets in Bangkok, like Big C, Tesco, and Tops, offer online deliveries – if not directly through their own website, then through a third party site like Happy Fresh. Another large chain, Villa, will soon be offering online shopping as well. The biggest difference between the online stores is usually not so much the price as the product selection and availability of delivery times.
While supermarkets tend to have good selections in-store, their online offering is way more limited – even more so when talking about organic produce. As a rule of thumb, you’ll find some organic items, but if you really want to fill your cart, you should take a look at shops specializing in organic food deliveries.
Big C, the large chain store that includes household items, was one of the first to market online, but sadly the chain does not offer refrigerated items on their own website. Consumers will have to purchase those through third party sites like Happy Fresh. However, Big C does have a stock of non-refrigerated organic products, including chocolate and milk. The chain also offers free delivery from THB 1,500 upwards and will ring up their customers to discuss exact delivery times. If you don’t need any refrigerated items, Big C is a decent option among the supermarkets.
With a great interface that has bilingual capabilities, ordering from Tesco Lotus is relatively easy. What’s important to note is that Tesco Lotus automatically replaces items. You may end up with non-organic products on delivery day. The good news is that replaced items come in separate, green (ironically) bags, and you can just hand them back to the delivery guy without getting charged for them. Tesco Lotus’ organic selection includes eggs, coconut oils and a number of organic snacks. There is a 60 baht delivery fee, and delivery slots for the next day are usually all booked up.
Tops would have left a better impression if it didn’t need customers’ passport numbers. In addition, there is no section for organic products. Though a quick search comes up with a variety of natural products including teas, rice, soy milks and honey. On the plus side, it does offer free deliveries of THB 888 and up along with no produce price markups.
Local and Organic Shops
While the major supermarkets do offer organic food and some specialty items, the real deal are the handful of shops that specialize in them. Some may require you to email the shop or send orders by LINE or phone.
If you are going to order delivery for a special evening, Passion Delivery is probably going to be your service of choice. Offering products from a whole range of local and artisan shops, it’s a company that specializes in the higher end of the grocery market. The difference is really noticeable when it comes to meat and fish products, as well as breads, cheese and other staples.
Adams Organic deals in organic produce and has a solid base of word-of-mouth support amongst the international crowd. Their pre-picked produce packages (along with the customer being able to choose their own stock) makes this a valuable asset in the natural food world.
Radiance Whole Foods
Radiance Whole Foods makes buying organic products especially easy. The site really shines when it comes to healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruits. The superfoods section is particularly relevant to organic shoppers. Radiance even offers organic Buffalo Ghee! Delivery fees are dependent upon your location, and customers must place orders 24 to 48 hours ahead of time.
Sunshine Market, a local health shop, has a good selection of goods including organic cereals such as Barbara’s cereals and natural rolled oats. They also have a vegan selection of goods. The array includes cosmetics, plant based proteins and soaps. The site is well organized and a great resource for those with diet specific needs.
Need some sour cheese? Got a craving for Haloumi? Homemade Cheese is your go-to choice. With an extensive selection of cheeses and yogurts along with some other items such as hummus and tahini, Homemade Cheese is a good option for cheese lovers. The company can be contacted for a price list and offers next day delivery for a 100 baht surcharge.
Aside from traditional supermarkets and online-only outlets, there are also companies that help connect you with shops that otherwise would offer just a very limited selection or no delivery services at all. These companies are often fast, offer an app and come at a slight surcharge.
Recently the LINE app, a popular messaging system, has introduced grocery delivery in conjunction with aCommerce, a Bangkok startup. The service just began in February; called LINE MAN, it offers next day grocery deliveries, messenger services and restaurant pickups.
Happy Fresh is an online site that aggregates groceries from a number of stores including Gourmet Market, Home Fresh Mart, Tang Hua Seng and Big C. A real plus for those looking for healthy foods is that Happy Fresh includes both product pictures and nutrition labels. What is great is the ability to tell them how to proceed if they have run out of the needed item. The downside is the moderate mark up of up to 5%. What sets Happy Fresh apart from all other shops is that they can often deliver within 90 minutes and until 11pm, assuming there’s still a delivery slot available.
Pro Tips: How to Make Your Delivery Life Easier
- Scheduling your delivery times when the maid is at home is particularly helpful. Not only will you come to a clean house, but your refrigerator and pantry will be stocked!
- Stock up! Making sure that you have a good back stock of products will make it a bit easier to handle unforeseen delivery issues.
- Know what you want. Keeping a regular list of your go-to items on the online stores will cut down on the time that you put into shopping online. Many stores support this in the form of ‘favorites’ or ‘wish lists’.
Beyond Organic and Online
Bangkok’s grocery delivery services nowadays are a lot more specialized than you might think. Instead of only covering organic foods, there are now shops with special gluten-free, vegetarian and paleo options. Here’s an in-depth overview of the more than 20 different companies that currently deliver groceries in Bangkok that gives you the full picture.
However, seeking convenience and environmentally-friendly offers doesn’t limit you to the internet. If you keep your eyes open, you might spot a vegetable delivery truck in your neighborhood offering locally-sourced produce. Some of them accept phone orders and deliver to your doorstep as well. No computer required.
By Karsten Aichholz of Thailand Starter Kit, a collection of free guides for people looking to move to Thailand to live and work. The guides cover a range of challenges of expat life in Thailand, from opening a bank account to hiring a lawyer.