Kerala State Co-operative Consumers’ Federation Ltd, popularly known as ConsumerFed, has started online ordering of grocery kits, starting with the Ernakulam district.
The government-controlled body, however, is yet to scale up deliveries, and is accepting only 100 orders per day.
Moreover, orders are currently being delivered only out of the Kakkanad depot, in an around Kochi. Online ordering can be done via this website.
However, the agency, which already runs 183 super markets and 45 ‘mobile super markets’ in the state, has plans to start deliveries around two more of its hubs – Trivandrum and Calicut – next week, before expanding to other districts.
Those in urgent need in other places can try to order these kits from the regular Triveni supermarkets using their home delivery mechanism.
Keeping in mind ease of processing and delivery, the federation will offer only three kids of grocery items, priced at Rs 499, 799 and 999.
ConsumerFed is organized on a district-level basis in Kerala and operates one district-level wholesale store in each of Kerala 14 districts.
It supplies its goods from 35 godowns located across the state.
Consumerfed, established in 1965, is the apex body of the consumer co-operative societies in the state.
These societies were formed to ensure access to basic necessities at reasonable costs and are part of the non-profit, co-operative movement in Kerala.
ConsumerFed also operates 77 medical stores under the Neethi brand, 36 liquor shops and even operates a beer unit as well as an office stationary manufacturing plant and an LPG bottling unit.
The online grocery market in Kerala is relatively untapped, even though players like Lulu Hypermarket cater to markets like Kochi.
Players like Grofers and Big Basket are yet to enter the state. Some items, however, can be ordered via portals like Amazon and PayTM. However, delivery operations of these private players have been much disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Amazon, for example, has stopped taking orders from much of Kerala, while Flipkart showed ‘out of stock in your area’ for the handful of items we checked.
ConsumerFed, being a quasi-government body that specializes in essential items, is unlikely to face much disruption at the hands of the state police.