Updated 2018! Last year was the first time that Direct Eats (formerly Abe’s Market) came onto my radar. Not only is it an online store that I’ve purchased from a few times, it’s also one of the sites I use to research the latest and greatest products for my work here on Go Dairy Free and with Allergic Living magazine.
Though it’s a great place to find select dairy-free food items (best for natural and organic snacks, mixes, and other convenience goodies), Direct Eats is also a gem for discovering all types of neat natural items – food, household items, beauty, gifts, even yoga products!
Direct Eats Pros
- Free shipping on every order within the continental U.S. – no minimum purchase!
- Comparatively good prices on many health, beauty and wellness items.
- They provide detailed product information, including descriptions, ingredients, and nutrition facts.
- You can search by Diet/Lifestyle, including dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, fair trade, kosher, and more. Plus, you can pick more than one category.
- Many unique food items that might be hard to find elsewhere, plus an eclectic mix of snack foods.
- Ever-changing good sales that are easy to take advantage of with the free shipping.
- Both single item and bulk purchasing options are available for many products.
- It’s just plain fun to wander through their site and find random cool things, including some great gift-worthy items.
Direct Eats Cons
- Sometimes, like when using the search, the Diet/Lifestyle options are not available for filtering.
- Some of their food items seem overpriced, and often don’t beat in-store (at least for my area). However, they do carry many items that might be hard to find in stores.
- It isn’t a one-stop-shop. They do not have fresh items, so it is better for some specialty pantry stocking and buying “fun stuff”.
- They do not ship to Hawaii, Alaska, or outside of the continental U.S.
My Direct Eats Experience
I think my latest shop on Direct Eats is a good example of the pros and cons …
- My initial goal was to find Jason’s 5000 IU vitamin E cream, which seems to be scarce, even online, a good natural sunscreen for a fair price, and a few flours and starches for my pantry. Mission accomplished in minutes on the beauty products, but my pantry-stocking searches left me without my current needs.
- But, I hate paying for shipping, so I started surfing around for other items I needed, which turned into a good hour-long venture since they have a very shallow drill-down system. (Direct Eats now has free shipping, so this is no longer an issue)
- I found the Yogi Green Tea (love that brand!) and Bear Naked Granola (hadn’t tried yet) on sale for great prices, so I had to throw those in.
- I’d been wanting to update my review of Namaste Foods Say Cheez, but couldn’t find it in stores here – fortunately Direct Eats had it!
- Now comes the temptation: how could I pass up a new-to-me salted dark chocolate; ooh, Alba has shave cream, too; well I’ve been looking for a better paper products option – who is this Caboo; and gourmet popcorn – sign me up! Obviously a lot of spontaneous “fun” purchases that weren’t overly expensive, but weren’t what I would call values either.
All in all, Direct Eats is a fun shopping experience, but be forewarned that it’s easy to checkout with only a few necessities and a lot of cool stuff that you probably could have lived without.
Just make sure you have a budget set and peruse their sales and stock-ups before you get in too deep. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual discovery.