Will Thrive Market Become Amazon's Biggest Competitor in the Organic Food Space?

The E-commerce giant Amazon made its plans known to conquer the organic food space about a year ago when it acquired Whole Foods.

While the tech giant was working to revive the organic grocery chain, Thrive Market, the online grocery store specializing in natural and organic products, was quietly and rapidly expanding across the country.

Now, Thrive Market has expanded with new categories and is offering membership perks to compete with Amazon.

Customers pay $5 a month to be a Thrive member and are given access to a marketplace of all-natural foods, beverages, wines, supplements and medicines at a discount, ranging from 25 to 50 percent off. Thrive offers free two-day shipping too.

So what does Thrive Market offer that Amazon doesn't?

It's all about the products and how they are sourced.

“Amazon buying Whole Foods has created a big opportunity for us,” said Nick Green, the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market. “Whole Foods has been the standard bearer for natural foods and organic products, but the challenge it has had is that many people don’t live near one, and many people can’t afford it. When you think about the Amazonification of Whole Foods, Amazon bought it for the real estate, and it’s tried to make it more accessible for everyone. That means you’re going to see different products on the shelves.”

Thrive Market won't be losing sight of its standards. All products on the marketplace are ethically sourced and non-GMO, along with other requirements.

“Already, Whole Foods shelves have Honey Nut Cheerios and Amazon Echos,” said Green.

Although Amazon has introduced products like these to the Whole Foods stores, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently said that the chain will be keeping niche products on the shelves that aren't found at common grocery stores.

“Not only are we not decreasing local foods, we’re increasing them," said Mackey to "Well + Good" in November.

But Amazon has lofty plans for Whole Foods and it is bound to change what products the chain carries.

“Amazon doesn’t want Whole Foods to be a top-five regional or specialty grocer,” said Cooper Smith, principal analyst at Gartner L2 to "Digiday." “It wants it to be a top-five national grocery chain. That’s going to impact the products you see being carried. National brands are hitting the shelves and are in talks whereas they might not have gotten a foot in before.”

According to Green, Thrive Market grew its 2018 revenue by 50 percent compared to the year prior.

See what else Thrive plans to do in the next year to become Whole Foods' biggest competitor at "Digiay" now.

But Amazon isn’t just going after the on-the-go consumer with its grocery deliveries, its cashier-less Amazon Go stores are going to pop-up across the country offering food options. Watch The Barron Report episode below to see how these stores will make an impact on restaurants, especially those in the QSR and fast casual segment.

How Amazon is Making Big Changes to Whole Foods

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When the tech giant acquired the organic grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.5 billion, the world was shocked.

But then came the questions like "how would Amazon make the struggling retail store more profitable?"

Well fast forward to 18 months after the massive acquisition– Amazon has attempted to decrease prices, has plans to ramp up its selection of vegan and plant-based products, and is aiming to make the grocery store more customer-service focused.

Those aren't the only changes though.

According to a recent report from "The Wall Street Journal," Amazon is looking to increase the size of stores in a few areas of the country where Whole Foods isn't established yet.

"It all marks an evolution for the chain from its trendy, mostly urban health store roots, to what seems like it could become a hybrid grocery store and warehouse strategy for Amazon Prime," writes "Inc."

Amazon is looking at 45,000-square foot retail spaces for these new stores.

According to the "WSJ," the larger store sizes are "to accommodate Amazon delivery and pickup from online orders."

Amazon Prime members in over 60 cities in the U.S. can get two-hour delivery from Whole Foods and the E-commerce giant is planning to expand this service to all 475 stores, according to "WSJ' sources.

Although the "WSJ" doesn't name its sources, it's the same publication that broke the story about Amazon dividing up its second headquarters dubbed HQ2 with one big office in Queens, New York and another just outside of Washington, D.C.

Read more about the big changes Amazon is making to the new Whole Foods stores at “Inc.”

As grocery delivery becomes more accessible, this encourages consumers to eat at home. This is only going to cut into the restaurant business.

But Amazon has become a double threat to the restaurant industry with its Amazon Go stores. Although there are a limited number of these cashier-less convenience stores, Amazon has a lofty goal to roll out 3,000 stores by 2021.

The current stores have spiked in popularity during the week in between lunchtime hours, meaning consumers could be picking up what they need during their lunch along with grab-and-go food options.

Check out The Barron Report episode below to see Host Paul Barron explain how these stores poise a threat specifically to the fast casual sector.

How Amazon's Whole Foods Plans to Enhance its Grocery Shopping Experience

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.

Walmart Vs. Amazon's Whole Foods: Find Out Which Company is Winning the Grocery Wars

Walmart Vs. Amazon's Whole Foods: Find Out Which Company is Winning the Grocery Wars

While headlines about Amazon's Whole Foods continue to blanket the media, Walmart is so far winning the battle for grocery customers. 

The retail giant has announced that in this last quarter, its grocery sales have been the best they have been in nine years. 

Currently, Walmart has a share of $800 billion in the U.S. grocery market and collects 25 cents of every dollar spent, as reported by "Euromonitor."

Walmart's affordable grocery items, paired with digital conveniences like online grocery ordering and the curbside pickup has helped to foster massive sales growth for the retailer. 

Specifically, Walmart's online food ordering is available at over 1,800 stores and the retailer has plans to expand this services to about 40 percent of the nation by the end of the year. 

Amazon's Whole Foods grocery business sales, on the other hand, aren't even close to Walmart's.

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Whole Foods' Top Trends for 2018 and How To Try Them

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Every year, Whole Foods Market releases its predictions for the top food trends of the upcoming year. These are determined by seasoned trend-spotters with more than 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, according to the natural and organic foods retailer.

Whole Foods Market uses this trend list as a way to showcase some of its 365 products that are key on trend, as well as, to highlight some of the unique products and brands the store distributes.

Super powders, Middle Eastern food items, plant-based products, taco-styled food, and new bubbly drinks are some of the trending items the Amazon-acquired store is showing off in its top 10 trends list.

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Super powders

“For an energy boost or an alternative to coffee, powders like matcha, maca root and cacao are showing up in mugs everywhere,” states press release from Whole Foods Market.

Plant-based products

This has been a hot topic in 2017 with Beyond Meat Burger making many headlines and brands like Ripple offering unique alternatives to dairy. It looks like it’s going to be a stronger trend in 2018 according to Whole Foods Market.

Taco-styled food

“This street-food star is no longer limited to a tortilla, or to savory recipes: Tacos are showing up for breakfast, and trendy restaurants across the country have dessert variations,” states press release from Whole Foods Market.


To learn about which other trends made it onto the top 10 list and how to try them, visit, “Whole Foods Market”.