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.

How Supermarket Foodservice Can Compete with Restaurants

How Supermarket Foodservice Can Compete with Restaurants
  • If supermarkets follow these tips they can position their business to better compete with restaurants in the fast casual segment.

  • Grocery retailers can have the real upper hand with time-saving shoppers if they amped their foodservice capabilities.

Grocery stores are uniquely positioned to compete with restaurants when it comes to serving up fresh meals.

Sure. Consumers have more choices today than they did a decade ago with the rise of restaurant openings (especially in the fast-casual segment), but supermarkets can be a one-stop-shop for time-saving shoppers.

It’s true… more and more restaurants are offering healthier options, but if grocery stores can perfect their foodservice game, they will have the real upper hand.

As Supermarket News reports, there are nine things these businesses can do to streamline their operations. Here are four that stood out to us:

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Plated Meal Kits Will Be For Sale in the Aisles of Albertsons by the End of the Year 

Plated Meal Kits Will Be For Sale in the Aisles of Albertsons by the End of the Year 

In September of last year, the grocery giant Albertsons announced that it was buying the meal-kit company Plated for an undisclosed price.

After Amazon acquired Whole Foods, players in the food industry were forced to step their game up. Both grocery chains and meal-kit companies were now going to compete with the logistic giant Amazon and to stay competitive, they each have taken different approaches.

The timing of Amazon’s acquisition influenced the meal-kit company Blue Apron to achieve a lukewarm IPO.                                                    

Cleverly, Plated was looking to be acquired and Albertsons was looking for more easy to-go meals to offer its customers.

“Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” said Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies in a press release from last year.

This week, Plated announced that its meal-kits will be available at hundreds of the Albertsons’ owned grocery stores by the end of 2018. The meals will also be available for on-demand delivery through Albertsons’ partner Instacart. 

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Is an IPO in Eataly’s Future?

Is an IPO in Eataly’s Future?

The refined Italian marketplace, Eataly, known for offering shoppers an especially unique culinary experience, is apparently planning for an initial public offering in the near future.

This news may come to a surprise to some considering the company reported a net loss in 2016.

However, the Executive Chairman of Eataly Andrea Guerra is anticipating that the company’s revenues will spike by at least 25% after opening three new U.S. stores next year. 

With stores in Italy and the U.S, including in New York City, Chicago, Boston and L.A., Eataly plans to open seven new locations in six countries.

The food emporium has aggressive growth plans for the "next 10 years” and plans to “have a store in every world capital,” according to Guerra. 

Like we said, guests visit the Eataly stores for the experience.

It's more than just a grocery store, with an array of different food stations, Eataly takes social dining and quality product perusing to the next level.

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Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices Again, Food Stocks Drop in Response

Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices Again, Food Stocks Drop in Response

Amazon is at it again. The company has released a new list of price cuts at Whole Foods, the grocery chain the technology acquired in June.

A media frenzy has ignited since the acquisition as Amazon continues to change the food industry forever. The company’s aggressive plans to conquer the food sector is influencing more grocery chains and even restaurants to jump on the on-demand delivery bandwagon.

On Wednesday, Amazon made a few announcements sending shock waves through the industry. Whole Foods will be selling turkeys to Amazon Prime members for 50 cents less than non-Prime member price.

Besides the discount for Prime, the grocery chain is cutting prices on a list of items at all stores, most of which are holiday staples. The items include organic russet, potatoes, organic sweet potatoes, value pack boneless skinless chicken breasts, canned pumpkin, Chobani yogurt, and more.

“These are the latest new lower prices in our ongoing integration and innovation with Amazon, and we're just getting started," said John Mackey, Whole Foods' co-founder and CEO, in a press release announcing the new sales. "In the few months we’ve been working together, our partnership has proven to be a great fit."

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