by Matt Weik
It seems like people were laughing when Amazon said they were going to start selling and delivering food a little while back, basically making grocery stores obsolete. Well, we might be one step closer to a complete takeover—making this a dream come true for those who don’t like leaving the house or simply don’t have the time to put into grocery shopping due to a busy lifestyle or work. Recently, Amazon came out and said they were looking to purchase Whole Foods Market for an estimated $13.7 billion. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it appears other sharks might also be circling in the water looking to purchase Whole Foods as well. Let’s humor ourselves, though, and think about what impact the purchase of Whole Foods might have for Amazon as well as ourselves.
How did we get to this point?
It appears that Whole Foods is under some pressure from their investors to sell the company due to lackluster performance. Investors are suggesting that Whole Foods sell/merge with another grocery chain. That’s when Amazon’s eyes apparently lit up, and for good reason. The brand (Whole Foods Market) itself really won’t change in terms of what the consumers see should Amazon be the one to buy the company. The CEO will still remain in his position within Whole Foods, vendors will all be the same, and even after the acquisition, Whole Foods Market will still keep its name and it’ll be business as usual.
Many think that Whole Foods would be a great fit for Amazon and their vision to take over the fresh food market and flip it on its head. Sure, we could buy pre-packaged goods from anywhere over the internet. But fresh foods? No one thought the day would come where you could sit on your couch in your underwear and order fresh food to be delivered to your doorstep that very same day or the next morning. Then came Amazon Fresh.
While not available in all areas just yet, Amazon is expanding quickly and getting their fresh foods section of their site off the ground and running. In the small town of Pennsylvania where I live, Amazon Fresh has already made its introduction. I personally haven’t tried it (nor has anyone around me) yet to know what it’s all about, but I plan to give it a try and see what all the hype is about.
On the Amazon Fresh website, you can buy fresh vegetables, meat and seafood, fruits, dairy, deli products, and even frozen foods!
Analysts are saying this could completely shake things up in the market. One analyst was quoted saying, “This is an earthquake rattling through the grocery sector as well as the retail world. We can only imagine the technological innovation that Amazon will bring to the purchasing experience for the consumer. Now, we can see in hindsight that its recent dithering around the brick-and-mortar experience, as an experiment, was only a rumbling of the seismic event in the offing.”
What does all of this mean for us?
Honestly, it allows us to focus on other important things in our lives. Who wants to make a grocery list, drive to the store, buy everything, drive home, and unpack everything? Now on your smartphone, tablet, or computer you can order everything you want, set a time, and it will be delivered fresh without you even needing to leave the house. Think of all the time you can save by utilizing something like this. By acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon will have a greater reach, and potentially the ability to add even more food options to their website.
We are busy people. We go to work, take care of our family, exercise, and have a little down time possibly at night. That said, imagine the weight that would be lifted off of your shoulders if you could get back an hour or more of your week to go enjoy other things rather than having to go grocery shopping.
Or, if you’re simply lazy, then this is definitely right up your alley. It gives you more time to Netflix and chill. Overall, technology is evolving into some pretty cool things—this being one of them. Should this deal go through between Amazon and Whole Foods Market, it would happen in the second half of 2017.
Personally, I’m not sure why I’m not already using Amazon Fresh. I guess it’s because my wife does all of the grocery shopping for our family, but the toughest thing for me personally as a business owner, is finding extra time in the day for things like making grocery lists and going grocery shopping. If I were single right now, I’d probably be Amazon Fresh’s best customer due to convenience or I’d starve to death.
How many of you go grocery shopping and while there you leave with items not found on your grocery list? Been there, done that. Even when shopping with my wife she has to tell me “no” like I’m some eight-year-old child. While you’re strolling up and down the aisles, you may find something new or that sounds good that you throw in your cart. This is one of the reasons why you should never go grocery shopping when you are hungry. EVERYTHING at that point looks delicious and your $50 grocery trip turns into a $100 grocery trip. That being said, if you only search for items that you need through the use of Amazon Fresh, you won’t be bothered by passing everything in each aisle because it’s not there. This is a great way to stick to your diet!
People love food prep services. They place their orders, the food comes, they heat it up, eat it, and go on with their day. Anything to simplify your life. Taking things back a notch or so, and you have Amazon Fresh. Same concept that you order the food you want according to your diet, only the food that arrives from Amazon you would need to prepare. Essentially, if one of your meals was chicken with brown rice and broccoli, you’d order it from Amazon Fresh, it would arrive when you told them to deliver, and you’re set to prepare your meal(s).
I truly believe that this concept can really help people stay on track with their weight loss goals. If you don’t have poor food choices in your house, you won’t find yourself eating them. Yet, I know some people will say you can easily search for poor food choices on Amazon (which you can), but if you have at least a little restraint, your fingers won’t type in foods not found on your list.
With this purchase, Amazon can further extend its reach and continue its dominance in all industries making e-commerce shopping even more convenient and saving consumers time. I’m not sure what else Amazon could think to move into? They’ve already started selling their own line of supplements, and assuming that takes off they will move into the sports nutrition realm fairly quickly I would think. Who knows what else is on the horizon or on their target? But one thing is for sure, Amazon is changing the way we live our lives.