Amazon Eats Whole Foods: While Corporate U.S. Trembles, Consumers…Yawn

Amazon’s announcement that it is gobbling up Whole Foods has Americans mildly interested, but the benefit is not immediately apparent. There is, however, openness to trying Amazon for groceries if it buys Whole Foods.

Not surprisingly, the appeal is mostly to those who already shop at both Whole Foods and Amazon. One-in-two (49%) customers who shop both retailers indicate they would definitely shop Amazon for groceries, while another third (34%) would consider the e-commerce giant. Amazon shoppers who don’t shop Whole Foods aren’t ready to latch on to Amazon Grocery quite yet – only 11% would definitely use.

If there is little excitement amongst consumers, there is no real concern. A mere 4% of Americans think it is “potentially a bad thing.”

Permission to paint a new picture

While the idea of Whole Foods being part of Amazon is not of great appeal beyond current Amazon/Whole Foods customers, the lack of concern indicates Amazon has a blank slate for devising a compelling offer.

While the acquisition will provide Amazon with a strong brick and mortar footprint that can double as local warehouses for more efficient direct-to-consumer access, and Whole Foods can tap into the expansive and lucrative Amazon Prime network, the race is on to develop a concept that will capture the hearts and minds of Americans. And while that is happening, competitors will be feverishly trying to imagine that offer and develop compelling counter offers (looking at you, Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, etc.).

Simultaneously, big brands will be doing work to justify why Amazon/Whole Foods should continue to carry their products and smaller brands will be dreaming of the potential to exponentially increase their reach. It will be a busy time for strategists, product managers and insights teams.

If you need some quick idea or message testing, we can help. For more information about the variety of agile and iterative learning streams we have for retail and consumer goods, or to learn more about our research on Amazon and Whole Foods, contact us.

The story of how Amazon/Whole Foods will transform the industry is being written right now. How it will end is still unknown. What’s certain is that the future of food will be very different than today. And as things change there will be winners and losers. And those who have the best insights and make the boldest decisions will win. How will your organization fare?