With competition among hyper-local grocery delivery services heating up in the midst of the pandemic, Swiggy is planning to introduce “a chain of virtual convenience stores to deliver grocery and household items within 45 minutes”. To be called ‘InstaMart‘, the service will be initially rolled out in Gurugram, before being introduced in Bengaluru. The company reportedly plans to start with around 2,500 items from its partner ‘dark stores’ that will have no walk-in retail operations.

Confirming the plan to ET, Swiggy said that the upcoming service will cater to urban families pressed for time. “With 30-45 minutes deliveries … day and night serviceability (7 am – 12 am), a wide assortment across categories such as instant meals, snacks, ice creams, fruits and vegetables, Instamart will address the unmet grocery needs of the time-pressed, convenience-seeking urban consumer”, a Swiggy spokesperson told the publication.

The report comes amidst exponential growth in the grocery delivery business in the country, with people preferring to stay indoors because of the pandemic. According to a source quoted by ET, “Earlier, a large set of consumers preferred to handpick their grocery items from nearby shops. Now, suddenly, the market is wide open and competitive … It will come down to consumer experience”.

Swiggy is launching its on-demand delivery service just days after Flipkart launched its own hyperlocal delivery service in Bengaluru. Called Flipkart Quick, it allows buyers to choose a 90-minute delivery option for or book a 2-hour slot starting with a minimum delivery fee of Rs. 29. With Reliance also flexing its muscles with JioMart, it will be interesting to see how Swiggy’s move will affect the sector going forward.