US e-commerce giant Amazon has launched a food delivery service called Amazon Food, as traditional online retail firms look for new avenues to keep serving customers, while their mainstream businesses remain locked down in the wake of coronavirus. Amazon’s new food delivery service has been initially rolled out in Bengaluru, in select pin codes of the city. Amazon said that the company has begun this service to help people stay home and safe. “Customers have been telling us for some time that they would like to order prepared meals on Amazon in addition to shopping for all other essentials,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We are launching Amazon Food in select Bangalore pin codes allowing customers to order from handpicked local restaurants and cloud kitchens that pass our high hygiene certification bar,” it added.
The company in its statement clarified that the highest standards of safety have been undertaken to ensure that customers remain safe “while having a delightful experience”. The company has launched this food delivery service at a time when its rivals Zomato and Swiggy have been struggling with finances. Both the firms reported layoffs last week. However, in order to tide over a crisis led by the pandemic, Swiggy and Zomato both announced that they have started doorstep delivery of alcohol in Jharkhand. Both the online food ordering platforms said that they will start their service in Ranchi, and will expand the home delivery of alcohol to other cities in the next couple of days.
Taking note of the hardships that local businesses have been facing due to lockdown restriction, Amazon said: “We also recognize that local businesses need all the help they can get.” The lockdown situation in the country restricted the restaurants from serving food at their location.
Last year Amazon India launched Amazon Fresh store service in Bengaluru, under which customers received daily essentials delivered in two hours. Company in its statement said that customers can order the freshest fruits and vegetables as well as everyday grocery and get it within 2 hours.