Amazon has announced that it’s discontinued its Amazon Pantry (originally known as Prime Pantry) service, instead rolling those household goods and shelf-stable pantry items into the main Amazon website where they can be ordered alongside the rest of Amazon’s products.
Originally launched back in 2014, Pantry worked differently from most Amazon orders. Instead of following the usual Amazon delivery rules, Pantry orders charged customers a flat $5.99 shipping fee per box of groceries, which could be filled with up to 45 pounds of products or up to four cubic feet of stuff (whichever limit customers reached first). The focus of the program was to make it easier to stock up on everyday products that would otherwise be bulky or expensive to ship, like bottled water, paper goods, flour, canned food items, boxes of cereal, and more.
Amazon would later slightly change up how Prime Pantry worked in 2018, shifting the service to a $5 per month subscription on top of its regular Prime fees. That price would offer unlimited Pantry orders each month, provided that customers were ordering at least $40 worth of merchandise. Orders below that $40 limit (or for customers, Prime or otherwise, who hadn’t subscribed to Pantry), would instead be charged a flat $7.99 fee.
Despite the fact that Amazon is removing Prime Pantry, the company’s grocery delivery ambitions are still stronger than ever. Amazon now owns Whole Foods, an entire chain of grocery stores, and has started to roll out its own Amazon Fresh-branded stores as well. And the company still offers its Fresh and Whole Foods delivery service for Amazon Prime members (having previously removed the $15 per month subscription fee for that in 2019) that provides grocery delivery in over 2,000 cities in the United States.
In many ways, the original Pantry program was designed to help Amazon compete better with traditional grocery stores — but now that Amazon owns and operates those very same stores (complete with Amazon Prime delivery), the consolidation of Pantry back into the larger Amazon site makes a lot of sense.