After our daughter was born, my husband and I found it difficult to go shopping so we decided to sign up for a grocery delivery service in Japan called Co-op Deli. I had planned on writing about Co-op Deli months ago, before the pandemic, as it is something I truly wished I knew about before my daughter was born to help prepare for those first weeks with a newborn. Since then, grocery delivery services have become an essential service to help people shop safely for groceries and basic necessities without them having to leave their home, so I hope this article on Co-op Deli will also help those who are not parents but looking for more information on grocery delivery options in Japan.
What is Co-op Deli?
You may be familiar with the name co-op, which is short for cooperative and is owned and controlled by its consumers/members. This is an organization that is worldwide and Japan is no exception. In Japan, co-ops are represented by the Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union (JCCU), the national federation of consumer co-ops in Japan. As co-op (コープ) is short for cooperative, it is also known as seikyou (生協) in Japan, meaning “cooperative” in Japanese. There are over 300 consumer co-ops in Japan and almost 30 million people throughout Japan who are members.
There are various kinds of co-ops in Japan, such as insurance co-ops, health co-ops, and retail co-ops. Co-op Deli, a retail co-op, is the largest home delivery service group in Japan for customers living in Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Tochigi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Niigata, and Nagano. There are various members of the Co-op Deli group depending on the area you live in but the member names for most are pretty straightforward:
- いばらきコープ（茨城県）| Ibaraki Co-op
- とちぎコープ（栃木県）| Tochigi Co-op
- コープぐんま（群馬県）| Co-op Gunma
- コープながの（長野県）| Co-op Nagano
- コープにいがた・コープクルコ（新潟県）| Co-op Niigata / Co-op KuruCo
Co-op Mirai (コープみらい) covers Tokyo, Chiba, and Saitama. This is something to keep in mind so you’re not confused if you’re living in those areas and decide to become a Co-op Deli member but notice the name “Co-op Mirai” on forms instead of Co-op Deli.
For those of you who are not living in the areas mentioned above, here are all of the other co-op delivery services located across Japan.
Co-op Deli delivers groceries straight to your door once a week or bentos several times a week. Apart from food, they offer a variety of items such as household items, clothing, etc. They also have organic and gourmet food, as well as delicacies from across Japan.
In order to use Co-op Deli, you need to become a member and pay a one-time membership fee, which can range from 500 yen to 1000 yen depending on where you live (Co-op Mirai is 500 yen). When you cancel your membership, however, the fee will be refunded.
Why Become a Co-op Deli Member?
There are a lot of great reasons to use Co-op Deli:
- The prices are competitive and the cost of fruits and vegetables also tend to be stable, so even if the cost in grocery stores soars due to poor crops, Co-op Deli’s prices will generally be unaffected.
- If you order online, you can see reviews for products.
- You get some presents or bonuses for signing up, such as one free item for three weeks, items for half-price for three weeks, and 100 free points. (Note that this is subject to change.)
- As mentioned earlier, they offer both a daily bento delivery service and a weekly grocery delivery service.
- The delivery fee per week is only 180 yen unless you’re a new parent (I’ll go into the benefits for parents below).
- They deliver straight to your door, so it’s great if you have to buy heavy things like bottles of water or rice.
- They carry a huge variety of food, including gluten-free products and organic fruits and vegetables, and also have an impressive selection of frozen food, which typical grocery stores in Japan tend to lack.
- As you have a week to place your order, you can take your time to shop in the comfort of your own home. You can also schedule the same items to be delivered weekly.
- If you have any problems with a product you ordered, they will readily address your concerns and possibly issue a refund.
- You can cancel your membership at any time at no cost.
For new parents, there are some great additional benefits:
- On your child’s half-birthday and first birthday, you will receive some free or discounted items.
- Co-op Deli offers an 赤ちゃん割引 or Baby Discount in which the delivery fee is free for a certain number of weeks depending on which Co-op Deli you’re a member of. For instance, Co-op Mirai offers free delivery for 52 weeks while Ibaraki Co-op offers free delivery for 104 weeks. After that period, the discount changes to a 子育て割引 or Child-rearing Discount in which the delivery fee is free if your order is more than 3000 yen. For Co-op Mirai, orders under 3000 yen will have a 180 yen delivery charge and there will be an 80 yen charge if you don’t order anything that week.
- They offer a wonderful selection of baby food to help make your life easier, such as frozen purees and formula, as well as baby products like diapers. I personally love their frozen baby food and prepped frozen veggies because it’s made of all-natural ingredients and means less work for me!
- Their meal kits are delicious and wonderful to have for busy new parents who don’t have enough time to cook (although personally I find the portions tend to be small, and I say this as someone who doesn’t eat very much to begin with). Of course, these meal kits are also great for busy people who aren’t parents as well who want to quickly prepare a home-cooked meal and not have to worry about planning, prep, and food waste.
As with any service, however, there are some downsides to keep in mind:
- For groceries, Co-op Deli only delivers once a week and if you miss the deadline to order, you have to wait until the next week (and some sales may no longer be available).
- You can’t choose the delivery time so if you miss the order, the box will be left outside your door. After you take your items, you also have to keep the empty box outside until the following week.
- Their prices are competitive but not necessarily the lowest.
- They will charge a delivery fee even if you do not order anything.
- They send you a mountain of product catalogs weekly. You can call and ask for them to stop sending so much but there are certain catalogs that they have to continue to send.
How to Join Co-op Deli
Visit the Co-op Deli website and fill out the online form to get more information about their service. It asks for very basic information so it shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
The Co-op Deli site. Click on the green box (資料請求はこちら) in the upper right corner to start the initial process to sign up using an online form
The online form asks for pretty straightforward information (name, address, telephone #, email address)
Shortly after submitting this form, a representative from Co-op Deli will call you and ask if it’s okay to visit you so they can explain the service in-person, give you a free item, and help you sign up on the spot if you decide to use Co-op Deli. If you would prefer that they not make an in-person visit, you will receive a package in the mail. This package contains information about Co-op Deli as well as instructions on how to become a member. Keep in mind that the Co-op Deli representative will have to make an in-person visit anyway if you decide to sign up on your own after receiving the information package in the mail, so it may be easier to simply have them visit from the beginning to help you sign up if you’re already certain that you want to try out their grocery delivery service.
The package we received from a Co-op Deli representative after we finished signing up, which contained the weekly catalogs, free items, and more information about Co-op Deli. Please note that the items here may be subject to change.
How to Order Co-op Deli Groceries Online
We use the Co-op Deli weekly delivery service. There are two main ways to order: using an order form or ordering online. I’m going to assume that people reading this article will be more likely to order online, so I’ll talk about that.
Once you have signed up, ordering online is very straightforward. You can use the website or the app.
Ordering Using the Co-op Deli eフレンズ Website
To order using the website, sign in and click on the ウイークリーコープ tab on the main page. Here’s how the page should look like and what’s on the page:
There are several different ways to search for items that you want to buy.
- The easiest way, in my opinion, is to use the online catalog (WEBカタログ). This is how the page should look like after you click on that button:
Click on the catalog you’re interested in ordering from. The ハピ・デリ! catalog is the main one for groceries (fresh produce, meat, etc). We mainly order from that as well as the きらきらBaby&Kids catalog. Below is how a page in the ハピ・デリ! online catalog looks like. (You can see everything in your cart on the right side of the page.)
Each item in Co-op Deli’s catalog has a grey or white box with a number inside, which is the order number (注文番号). If you want to put an item into your cart, you can click directly on the order number, or hover over the box to bring up a small window that’ll allow you to select the quantity (数量) and then order (click the red button that reads 注文する), add the item to your favorites (お気に入り追加), mark it to look at later (マークする) or see more detailed information about the item (商品詳細情報).
When the item is added to your cart, the order number will have a round, red stamp on it with the kanji 済, which I guess is close to “ordered” in this particular context. You should also see the item in your cart on the right side of the page. Below I ordered some white fish (白身魚のほぐし身) from the きらきらBaby&Kids catalog, so 済 is “stamped” over the product’s order number, which is 9011.
- Another way to order is by inputting the order (product) number (注文番号) or searching for an item by keyword (キーワード). This is located on the left side of the Weekly Co-op page.
So let’s say that you saw some nice tomatoes in the catalog that you want to order:
Type in the order number (301 in this case) into the 注文番号 or chuumon bangou box on the website and then click the orange button that reads 検索 (kensaku / search):
Enter the quantity you want in the 数量 (suuryou) box (so in this case, how many 600 g packs of tomatoes) and then click the red 注文 (chuumon or order) button to put it into your cart. You may be asked to input your account password once again.
3. The second search box is for searching for an item using keywords (キーワード). So for instance, if you want to look at their meal kit options, input “ミールキット”, click 検索 and you’ll get the following results:
4. You can also order an item that you saw in the catalog using by clicking the 注文番号で注文 button on the Weekly Co-op page and inputting the order number. This is a quick way to order as you can input as many items as you want at once. However, you won’t see an image of the item.
5. Lastly, you can search for items by category (カテゴリー):
To see the items in your cart or to delete something you no longer want, click the orange 注文内容の確認と修正/履歴 button on the right side of the page and you’ll be brought to a page that should look something like this:
To delete an item you no longer want, check the box to the left of the item(s) you want to get rid of and then scroll down. Click the orange box (チェックした商品を注文から削除) and the item will be removed from your basket. You can also revise the quantity of an item by inputting the new number into the box(es) under 数量 and then clicking the red 修正 button.
Everything remaining in your cart will automatically be ordered once the order deadline (注文締め切り日時) has passed and will arrive on the delivery date. This is very important to remember so you don’t end up with a surprise delivery that you forgot about!
Also note that products and order numbers change weekly, so the same product may not have the same order number and some products may not be available the following week.
Ordering Using the App
Ordering using the app is fairly simple. Similar to the website, you can search for items in several ways:
- Tap 商品を探す (shouhin wo sagasu) to search by entering the name or keyword of the item you’re looking for into the search bar or to search by category (カテゴリから探す).
- Tap 注文番号 to search by the order number for an item(s) in the catalog (see the website instructions above for more information). Enter the number in the search bar next to 注文番号 and tap the light orange button reading 確認 (kakunin).
After the item shows up, tap the darker orange button (注文/chuumon) to order it.
If you want to add an item to your favorites, tap the grey box with a star reading お気に入り (okiniiri). The color of the box should change to orange.
Your favorited items will be listed under お気に入り.
To modify your order or to see what you have in your cart, tap the delivery truck icon in the top right corner or visit メニュー and tap 注文内容の確認と修正/履歴.
Below is what the page should look like with information such as the order deadline, delivery date, points, the subtotal, and items in the cart.
To delete an item, simply tap the orange 削除 button. To revise the quantity, select the number you want next to 数量 and then tap the red 修正 button.
Deliveries from Co-op Deli
If you are not home when your delivery arrives, the delivery will be left outside the door of your house in a styrofoam cooler box (if you live in an apartment, the delivery will be left outside of the apartment building if the main door is locked).
I hope this information on Co-op Deli has been helpful for those of you who are considering using a grocery delivery service in Japan. Please let me know if anything is unclear and I’ll update the post with additional information.
Stay safe, everyone!