Amazon is shutting down its pantry program in an effort to streamline its grocery offerings.
The company will transfer its assortment to the main Amazon.com store, eliminating additional subscription or purchase fees. The move is expected to enable customers to receive their everyday household products faster.
Existing Pantry subscription customers were notified of the change in December and were refunded their monthly subscription fee.
Originally founded in 2014, Amazon Pantry, now formally known as Prime Pantry, was one of the eCommerce giant’s earliest efforts to enter the packaged food and beverages category. Pantry allowed shoppers to bundle products like cereal, paper towels and coffee all for a flat fee.
In 2018, the company decided to turn Pantry into a subscription-based service and made it available to non-Prime members, both under a flat shipping fee. The key differentiator was that Prime members received unlimited free delivery on orders over $35.
And while the coronavirus pandemic did create a boost in demand for the Pantry service, Amazon had to temporarily shut down the service due to the sudden increase in order volume.
In retrospect, Amazon’s Pantry service never really took off, so its decision to forgo the subscription offering makes sense. By shutting down the service, Amazon can now fully focus on its Amazon Fresh and Go Grocery stores and itsother online grocery offerings.
Amazon currently operates five Fresh locations, four in the state of California and one in Naperville, Illinois, which just opened in the last month. Amazon also plans to open additional locations in the next few months and continue its rollout of Whole Foods locations, which now offer pickup at all stores.
Bloomberg first reported the news.