Organic grocer Whole Foods is notorious for costing consumers a pretty penny, earning it the nickname of "whole paycheck." Which is why news of steep discounts spread rapidly last week after Amazon (who acquired the company earlier this summer for $13.7 billion) announced it would be slashing prices starting this week.
"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality — we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards," Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, says in a statement. "To get started, we're going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples."
What items will be impacted first? The list of foods includes the following:
- Whole Trade bananas
- Organic avocados
- Organic large brown eggs
- Organic responsibly farmed salmon and tilapia
- Organic baby kale and baby lettuce
- Animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef
- Creamy and crunchy almond butter
- Organic Gala and Fuji apples
- Organic rotisserie chicken
- 365 Everyday Value organic butter
According to Amazon, this is just the start and more reductions are on the horizon.
"And this is just the beginning — we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together," adds Wilke. "There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we're thrilled to get started."
Food Dive notes that Amazon is no stranger to this kind of strategy. The company is known for offering unbeatable deals in order to make itself the leading force in a given market.
"You look at how Amazon has disrupted other areas of retail, and pricing pressure seems like it'll be a really significant risk," Brian Yarbrough, senior research analyst with Edward Jones, tells Food Dive. "Amazon comes into this business and lowers prices, which causes other grocery stores to lower prices, which is going to hurt to match."
For the consumer, these lowered prices are a good thing — as long as they remain the same after Amazon becomes a dominant player in the industry.