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Consumer discretionary

Amazon Takes Part in USDA Pilot Program, Ready for Food Stamps Trend

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Amazon, alongside seven other retailers, will start using food stamps as part of a two-year pilot program being rolled out by USDA for SNAP participants

Speculation confirmed that popular retailer, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) plans on accepting food stamps as part of a pilot program rolled out for SNAP participants. The program, initiated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will go on for a span of two-years, analyzing the outcome and process of ordering groceries online and making online payments.

An Amazon exec stated, “We are committed to making food accessible through online grocery shopping, offering all customers the lowest prices possible. Amazon’s selection and competitive pricing can improve the grocery shopping experience for SNAP participants while helping them extend their benefits further.” 

For now, only SNAP users in Maryland, New Jersey and New York will be able to work with Amazon’s latest addition. Considering that 43 million people are already part of the SNAP program, we believe that the pilot will be able to grasp what audience reactions will be like with the “higher level of security” and give execs a good idea of what aspects will need improvement in the future.

However, it seems that Amazon isn’t the only retailer which signed up to be part of this experiment. Alongside the retail giant, other platforms that will take part in the pilot program include:
– FreshDirect – New York
– Safeway – Maryland, Oregon, Washington,
– ShopRite – Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
– Hy-Vee, Inc. – Iowa
– Hart’s Local Grocers – New York (based in Rochester)
– Dash’s Market – New York (based in Buffalo)

According to Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary, “Online purchasing is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighbourhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited. We’re looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP.”

While the pilot program will currently be limited to eight states only, there are high chances that USDA will gradually launch the feature for customers around the world. With the rising dependency on e-commerce, online payments and home shipments; we believe that Amazon’s decision to test out food stamps will help the company expand its user-base in the future if the pilot program rolls out for global usage and help it to further strengthen its position as the e-commerce giant in competitive markets.

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