October 31, 2007

We all know it: supermarket shopping in London is GREAT because, well, you don’t have to leave the house to do it! 

Sitting on the couch in sweatpants, without make-up or hair-do, but with top-secret glasses (-5.5), drinking red wine, white beer, or whatever I fancy, I could surf (don’t you love that word-sounds like you’re burning calories on the go!) to and order everything our little family needs and more, comme-il-faut organic, delivered by handsome men right to the kitchen and seemingly without cost.
(The system remembered our Amex number, so not only is there no need to go through the hassle of paying – just press next-next-next and it’s done! – but hurray, halfway the year hubby congratulates me on spending the colossal amount needed for that free flight with BA! A reward for grocery shopping! Ain’t we clever! NY here we come! All shopping half price across the ocean! Pay with Amex! Earn free flights!)

Alas, after London bankrupted us, we decided to try our luck back in hometown Amsterdam. It’s been seven years since we last lived in the Netherlands. And… things have changed. Upscale supermarket ‘Albert Hein’ now does the Ocado thing. Yes, delivery right to your kitchen! OK, there is a small delivery fee (around 6 euros), but how much would driving to the supermarket be in gas (hypothetically spoken of course, since we haven’t bought a car yet).

So, after three live trips to the supermarket last week, where, besides going crazy over the amount of great cheese, Zwitsal, Drop, cute Miffy cookies etc., I also went insane from my two screaming children in the Phil&Ted (and so did the rest of Albert Hein). So I decided last Saturday to try out Albert (

And today he came…


So far, so good! Payment is done by PIN, so one actually pays the (cute and well-mannered) delivery boy after delivery. This will hopefully keep one string attached with reality!

The food is delivered in foldable crates, which I like because it diminishes the amount of plastic bags. Think green. (Although I liked the colour-coded Ocado bags, I must admit).

The delivery boy will take with him all bottles or other items with a refund (a lot in Holland) including the empty crates of last delivery, for which one pays 4 euros deposit.

There are some freebies included (which I like, you know me) and overall the quality of the products seem excellent.


Downsides: Holland lags behind a bit on the organic front (here it’s called ‘biologisch’). Not everything is available organic and if it does, there’s no choice and it’s not really sexy. There is an organic box available though; I tried it and it is fine.

Hey – I guess I could live here! (And so could you)!!!



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