Swiggy has decided to shut its premium grocery delivery pilot Handpicked, according to two people aware of the matter.
“At Swiggy we’re continuously experimenting with new propositions in line with our vision to enable convenience to consumers,” a Swiggy spokesperson said, while confirming the development to ReTale.
“Handpicked was being piloted in a few zones in Bengaluru and we have had several positive learnings from it,” the spokesperson added.
The SoftBank-backed company sold premium, gourmet, imported and hard-to-get grocery products through Handpicked. ReTale was the first to report about the pilot on December 31, 2022. A person in the know had said then that the idea for Swiggy was to build a “Nature’s Basket” on the cloud.
The products sold included Coca Cola’s Cherry Cola, which is available in markets like the United States, Kombucha made by local startups in Bengaluru, and Methi Khakhra from Gujarat. Spreads and ready-to-cook meat across Italian, German and Mexican cuisines were also available on the platform.
Swiggy will continue to sell groceries through Instamart and Insanely Good.
The development comes at a time when the Bengaluru-based firm is facing newer challenges even as it pushes into grocery delivery and ecommerce businesses. It recently launched an ecommerce vertical Maxx, with categories like home, stationary, pet care, among others. Swiggy had earlier renamed and repurposed its essential delivery service Supr Daily to Insanely Good.
Across all of its grocery services, the company uses the same backend infrastructure and operations.
Swiggy has also been cutting costs across the board, and this year laid off about 380 employees and shut down its meat delivery business. The company has witnessed a churn in its top leadership. Its quick-commerce business head Karthik Gurumurthy will step aside and cofounder Phani Kishan is expected to take over the position. Chief technology officer Dale Vaz is also leaving the company.
Vaz, who joined Swiggy from Amazon in June 2018, will be replaced by the company’s senior vice-president of consumertech and fintech (engineering and product), Madhusudan Rao.
In its food delivery business, which has remained stagnant after the pandemic started receding, Swiggy has introduced a platform fee of Rs 2 for all orders, including for Swiggy One customers, who do not have to pay for delivery charges.