Tesco has filed a trade mark for the name Tesco Now, fuelling speculation that it's considering offering customers deliveries within the hour.
Filed on 29 September and spotted by the Grocer, the trade mark covers five different food areas and the delivery of goods.
The move follows the introduction of Amazon's Prime Now service, which can deliver goods within 60 minutes, including fresh produce such as milk and butter, and which is understood to be a trial of Amazon Fresh.
An almost instant grocery delivery service would be a "keeping up with the Jones'" move, said Accendo Markets analyst Augustin Eden.
"While not exactly ground breaking" said Eden, "really good quality fresh food delivered is something perhaps Tesco is wanting to push. Maybe because discounters have a good reputation for good fresh fruit and veg and that could give a good advantage to Tesco."
He also commended Tesco's willingness to try new ideas out: "It’s good to show that you’re looking outside, not just internally," he said, as the company continues to restructure in the wake of a profit black hole and increasing competition in the sector.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We trademark a range of names to protect potential projects involving the Tesco brand”