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BENGALURU: Amazon India has expanded its grocery offering Amazon Fresh to Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai.

With this, Amazon Fresh is now operational in eight cities.

The company said it has also expanded its infrastructure with new centres in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR as customer demand for the grocery category grows.

Through this expansion, Amazon India has more than 25 Amazon Fresh centres, designed to ensure safe storage of products in the category with freezer and refrigeration zones, special packaging for frozen food.

This is in line with the upcoming Diwali festival, as the company expects grocery orders to spike up during this period, with more customers looking online to fulfil their household needs.

“The investment in these specialized centres is in line with our long-term commitment to invest in India and create hundreds of job opportunities. We have ramped up our operational capabilities in cities where we already offered this service, and added 4 new cities ahead of the festive season to meet customer needs" said Prakash Kumar Dutta, vice president – fulfilment operations and supply chain, Amazon India.

With Amazon Fresh, customers can order their complete grocery requirements across a selection of over 5,000 fruits, vegetables, dairy, ice-creams, and dry grocery like staples, packaged food, personal care and home care.

“As part of our commitment to fulfill the needs of customers, we are launching Amazon Fresh in four more cities of Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai […] Customers can now order the freshest fruits and vegetables as well as everyday grocery and get them delivered within 4 hours. The service is currently available in select pin-codes and will be soon rolled out across the city," said Siddharth Nambiar, director – category management, Amazon India.

E-grocery has emerged as a sought-after space for online retailers.

Walmart-owned Flipkart is also looking to expand its grocery business -- Flipkart Supermart -- to five new cities and almost 15-16 satellite towns, Mint reported last month. Currently, Flipkart Supermarket operates in five cities.

In October, Flipkart invested another $30 million in Ninjacart, a fresh produce supply chain startup, to boost its online grocery service Supermart and Flipkart Quick, its hyperlocal delivery service.

E-grocery firms such as BigBasket and Grofers are lapping up rising consumer demand and offering heavy discounts this Diwali to boost their sales.

The total size of the e-grocery market in India is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $3 billion by year-end, according to a September report by consulting firm RedSeer and BigBasket. The category is expected to reach $18.2 billion by 2024.

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