US Insights

Here's What Whole Foods Shoppers Fear From Amazon

Rachel McGuire


Retail 08.28.2017 / 12:00


Shoppers wonder what will be left of Whole Foods under Amazon.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is moving ahead quickly this week, after the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal on Wednesday. Today, company officials announced that the deal would be finalized on Monday, and that consumers would see changes at both Amazon and Whole Foods right away. Kantar Retail was swift in covering the implications of this acquisition when the news initially broke in June.

Now as rubber meets the road and this deal gets underway in earnest, what do shoppers think? In particular, what do they hope—or fear—to see come to fruition from an Amazon-owned Whole Foods?

The “hope” side of that question is clear—more than one-half of primary household shoppers hope that Amazon will somehow be able to make it more affordable to shop at Whole Foods. Many speculated that Amazon’s economic model, not to mention the technology and logistics infrastructure it brings to the table, would be likely to make Whole Foods more price competitive, and the two companies now say shoppers will see those lower prices on key items as soon as Monday, when the acquisition is finalized.

Amazon Whole Foods Shopper Fears

But not all shoppers view the impending acquisition through entirely rose-tinted glasses, as three in 10 shoppers are concerned that Whole Foods will lose some of its uniqueness once it comes under the Amazon umbrella. There is no doubt that Whole Foods has historically been a unique, niche retailer, but more mainstream retailers have been encroaching on Whole Foods’ dominance in natural and organic foods for years now. Amazon’s acquisition has the potential to bring Whole Foods’ natural/organic ethos to a much larger, more mainstream audience, but balancing that with maintaining a unique store experience will be important to leverage the equity of the Whole Foods brand.

For more in-depth analysis of the shopper view of this acquisition, check out this article on Kantar Retail IQ. And please let us know what you think! As a shopper yourself, as a supplier navigating selling through Amazon/Whole Foods, or a retailer faced with a new flavor of competitor, what are your hopes and concerns for an Amazon-owned Whole Foods?

Source: Kantar Retail

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