When the tech giant acquired Whole Foods, it rocked the industry.
Not only did grocery chains have to now compete with the E-commerce giant, but Whole Foods customers weren't sure what the future held for the organic grocery store.
Were the same unique products going to be sold? Whole Foods grew in popularity because it was the only store that sold certain specialty food products.
But, apparently, customers shouldn't be worried about Whole Foods and the niche products on the shelves. Whole Foods will continue to sell local food products that you often can't find at a common grocery chain.
“This became a media narrative that wasn’t based on anything, truthfully, except for anecdotes of customers who would come in, couldn’t find a local product, and somehow think Amazon forced us to drop them,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO to "Well + Good." “Not only are we not decreasing local foods, we’re increasing them.”
Whole Foods is ramping up its selection of vegan and plant-based products. The grocery chain recently published a plant-based recipe book to encourage a veggie-focused lifestyle.
Whole Foods with the help of its tech parent company will also be using customer feedback to improve stores.
“People can get whatever food they want, whenever they want it, at a price they’re willing to pay,” said Mackey. As grocery stores continue to evolve, “I just think the consumer is going to rule. That’s where we’re heading. And quickly.”
Borrowing from Amazon's business model, the grocery chain will be more focused on customer service. The company has been ramping up the number of focus groups across the country to see what customers think about the store.
“The higher purpose of Amazon is to be the world’s most customer-centric company,” said Mackey. “They build their whole business model around [making] the customers happy, and Whole Foods is trying to do the same thing.”
Read more about how Whole Foods is trying to enhance the customer grocery shopping experience at "Well & Good."
We recently took a deep dive into how Amazon is taking away customers from both grocery stores and restaurants with cashier-less Amazon Go stores. These convenient stores offer grab-and-go food options and have become the most popular around lunch time.
Watch the video below to see how Amazon Go has become a threat to restaurant operators.