Business

Amazon wants to ship you small-sized grocery items … in bulk

Above: Big problems can come in small packages

Image Credit: Joe Ravi / Shutterstock
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Amazon has become many people’s preferred shopping destination for, well, many things, and now it’s coming up with all sorts of ways to keep that crown. The latest: Amazon’s Prime Pantry.

With this new service, Amazon Prime members living in mainland U.S. can order up to 45 pounds of “pantry essentials” at Amazon’s prices and have the order delivered for a flat $6 fee. The item selection includes popular snacks, packaged foods, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and more.

Prime Pantry items come in smaller, “everyday” sizes instead of the bulk sizes. “Shop Everyday Sizes. No more buying in bulk. Buy what you need, when you need,” advertises Pantry’s website. Regular-sized items normally would not qualify for Prime’s free shipping (low-price items are often “add-on” items shoppers are advised to add to other purchases), so this new service enables shoppers to get them at an affordable shipping fee.

And in case you don’t happen to know how to mentally calculate the total weight of your shopping list’s items, a virtual box will show you how much of the box you’ve filled as you shop along. Nifty.

Engadget points out that Amazon seems to be going after Walmart and Costco with this new service, but Instacart could also be at risk. The kinds of items are quite similar to the “grocery” categories Instacart carries, so Pantry, coupled with Amazon Fresh might actually help the company kill Instacart. (There were whispers last week that Instacart could be raising a huge round, so we’ll have to see how this plays out.)

Earlier this month, Amazon launched Dash, a wand-like gadget to make your Amazon Fresh shopping even lazier. Not only can you just point it at a bevy of items you’d like to magically add to your digital shopping list, but you can even tell it — no really, it has voice recognition software — what you’d like, such as “chocolate chips.”

While Amazon hasn’t said much about Pantry officially, other than launching its website, take a look at its intro video featuring all the joys Pantry can bring to a family, of course:

Now imagine your life once the Amazon Prime drones arrive.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where cu... read more »

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