Whole Foods is Ready for (Amazon) Prime Time

February 27, 2018

consumer basket

It’s no surprise that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods was one of the biggest retail stories of 2017. The acquisition signaled to the world that online shopping was in no shape to kill off brick-and-mortar grocery stores as we know them. Amazon immediately demonstrated how they could add value to the Whole Foods shopping experience by slashing prices on hundreds of products, but the latest news shows how the pendulum can swing in the opposite direction!

On January 11, Amazon quietly added Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value products to their infinite catalog available at your fingertips. The brand is Whole Foods’ private label, and offers everything “from whole grain flours and shade-grown coffees to organic milk and frozen veggies.” Hundreds of food items are now available to online shoppers, who will no longer need to throw elbows in the crowded aisles of their local grocery store to buy their favorite brands.

The perks are even better for Prime members. It should come as no surprise that your online grocery shopping will qualify for expedited shipping, but the usual Prime two-day shipping period is about to seem slow as molasses (which, surprisingly, we can’t find on 365 Everyday Value!). Amazon is stepping up its game to get your groceries to your doorstep faster than ever, with one-day shipping available on most items.

red lentils< choclate trail mix

black beans


Lentils and trail mix and beans, oh my! Photos courtesy of Whole Foods

With over a dozen frozen items available, a big question on our minds was whether Amazon would utilize cold-chain packaging to keep food from thawing during transit. Cold-chain is a great way to keep temperature-sensitive packages nice and frosty for lengthy periods of time, but it looks like Amazon is bypassing the issue completely by doing what they do best: delivering things really, really fast.

If you live somewhere that their Prime Now service is available, you can have Whole Foods delivered within 2 hours. That’s just about as long as a typical trip to the grocery store takes, factoring in traffic and waiting in the never-ending checkout line. The speed and convenience of this service are going to change the game for a lot of Amazon fans, which, by the way, constitutes 64% of all American households.

The world of online food shopping is ever evolving. Heck, when we opened our doors in the ‘40s milk was still delivered by hand! The success of meal kits shows that consumers are willing to dabble in online food shopping, as long as it’s quick and easy. Grocery delivery services have tried to carve out a niche in the market as well, but Amazon may very well be the option most consumers fall back on if this brand new service proves to be as groundbreaking as it seems.

At Ernest, we’re always keeping our eyes on the future of packaging… and our stomachs. Now please excuse us as we fill our cart with $35 worth of peanut butter-filled pretzels.