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.

Amazon Is Headed For the Grocery Store Industry

Amazon Is Headed For the Grocery Store Industry

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

There’s no doubt Amazon has been killing it in the world of online retail. From books to bedding, jewelry to sports equipment, there is virtually nothing you can’t order from beloved Amazon.com.

Well, except for maybe certain types of groceries, but that may be about to change. 

Thanks to the tech giant’s grocery delivery project, Amazon Fresh, consumers now have a more convenient way to shop for food online. Still, not every consumer may feel comfortable buying raw meat or fresh produce without seeing it first.

Enter the Amazon grocery store. 

According to Wall Street JournalAmazon plans to open branded brick-and-mortar stores that are, “designed to capture the large share of people who prefer to pick out their produce or bring home their groceries on the way home from work.”

As for the customer who’s all about avoiding the grocery store at all costs, Amazon has them covered too. 

Read More

Instacart Brings On-Demand Groceries to Miami

Credit: Instacart

Credit: Instacart

Though Miami is increasingly becoming more of a hot spot for tech and innovation, the Magic City has been lacking — in the past, at least — in adopting on-demand services. Take a look at how long it took Uber to even be somewhat accepted by city officials, for example.

Luckily, things are looking up. And just this week, Instacart, the popular on-demand delivery service, has jumped into the Miami market, its 16th city to date. Stores in Miami that have partnered with the app include Whole Foods, Costco, Winn-Dixie, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Petco. For those not familiar with the service, Instacart connects customers with personal shoppers, kind of like their own concierge service, to deliver grocery orders to the customer in an hour or less.

We all know a trip to the grocery store before hitting the beach is essential, but imagine being able to nix this step to find a parking space earlier, and get your order delivered to the beach? Or not have to go out in those torrential summer downpours when there’s nothing in the fridge? Also, with Publix not being a current partner, will customer behavior habits of wanting things on-demand drive consumers to Winn-Dixie more? Will Miami locals forgo their Publix subs for convenience? Probably not. But it’s an option.

On its launch day, Instacart created marketing buzz by delivering orders to customers by chartered boat for one day only. Boaters were able to request grocery deliveries wherever they were on the water and have their orders delivered in an hour!

For those in Miami, Instacart covers most neighborhoods — from the Beach to Wynwood and from the Gables/Grove areas to Little Haiti.

For more information, check out Instacart’s website here.

Will Modern Technology Kill the Grocery Store?

Will modern technology and the rise of digital-savvy Millennials stepping into the position of household decision-makers be the death of grocery stores? 

A recent National Geographic article raises the question with an underlying sense of agreement, but we beg to differ — at least, not for many years to come. Though VCs are investing more into food technology, the traditional infrastructure of grocery stores that breeds familiarity cannot be replaced. The writer makes a great point: “Grocery tech must feel human, comforting, and intuitive, like the very act of eating, in a way that other commerce doesn’t require.” But can technology really invoke those feelings? 

The original article considers the replacement will come in the form of mobile apps and online delivery services, which would be transported directly out of warehouses. But as consumers become more educated and sophisticated with food & beverage, we want to be more involved with the selection of what goes into our bodies. We want to pick the most crisp kale and the juiciest peaches — not rely on a middleman to do it for us. 

We will certainly have more options available to us — and that’s what consumers want — but what happens if you forget to grab a specific ingredient for tonight’s dinner? If grocery stores die out, what’s the alternative for last minute, day-of shopping? Perhaps this is an opportunity for grocery stores to restructure in small ways to enhance a shopper’s experience. For example, a handful of grocery stores have taken to rooftop gardens by teaming up with local food startups. Read More

U.S. Postal Service Looks to Reshift with Future Grocery Delivery Service

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

In 2014, “you’ve got mail” — at least, to a Millennial — usually means one of two things: either you’ve received an email or someone is referencing the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie that came out way back when, in a time when AOL was at its prime. Snail mail has become a nostalgic thing of the past.

In a recent conference, PostalVision 2020, USPS Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe — in an indication of clear concern — admitted the postal service industry would have to reshift. And this, she said, would come in the form of grocery delivery.

“We are not that far from the point where the refrigerator will simply be able to reorder for you,” she said, in regards to running low on goods like milk and butter. “You will see us looking to collaborate with grocery chains across the country. We’d like to experiment with grocery delivery, so that’s one of the areas where we’re looking in earnest.” Read More