Zomato and Swiggy had recently started their alcohol delivery service in Jharkhand, now they also launch their delivery service in Odisha. Zomato’s alcohol delivery service called Zomato Wine Shops would be available on the home page of the Zomato app which will allow users to select any product from the listed retailers. In the same way, the updated version of Swiggy app will have a ‘Wine shops’ category.
The food delivery giants will start delivery services in Bhubaneshwar and Rourkela, and later in cities like Balasore, Balangir, Sambalpur, Berhampur, and Cuttack. “We’re happy to be of service to our users in Odisha who can now use Zomato to get alcohol delivered in addition to grocery and food delivery. We are working very closely with excise departments to ensure end-to-end compliance to the safety guidelines and are also introducing consumption and identity verification protocols to promote responsible ordering and consumption. We are thankful to the Odisha government and the liquor retail industry in enabling safe and compliant delivery of alcoholic beverages in Odisha. We look forward to building this partnership together,” said Rakesh Ranjan, vice president at Zomato.
There are several safety processes and checks in both Zomato and Swiggy apps to ensure the safe delivery of alcohol. In order to be eligible for ordering users will have to upload a valid ID proof, and there would also be product category limits to promote responsible ordering. Swiggy has enabled AI-face recognition for age verification and user authentication for alcohol deliveries by partnering with the AI solutions company HyperVerge.
As both the companies have received approvals for alcohol delivery service from the state governments of Odisha and Jharkhand looking to reduce crowding at liquor stores, the liquid merchants and alcohol retailers’ bodies fear monopolization of user data and exclusive deals that could be provided by these companies. They also fear that Zomato and Swiggy will disrupt their margins which are already very low, given the high price of the sale license. Most retailers buy products from the government wholesalers and have fixed margins. A report by the Economic Times also points out that retailers in Maharashtra, Odisha, and Jharkhand don’t want food delivery apps to enter this state entric and excise regulated liquor space. Presently, these companies have been allowed to deliver liquor under the National Disaster Management Act.