On Monday, the Amazon Whole Foods merger burst into the world for all to see. Dramatically lowered prices and Amazon private brand devices Echo and Echo Dot featuring Alexa took center stage in Whole Foods store and more than 60 Whole Foods private brand 356 Everyday Value products appeared on Amazon Fresh as well as products from Whole Foods Market, Whole Body and Whole Pet.
“Whole Foods Market’s healthy and high-quality private label products—including 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch—will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry, and Prime Now.”
Although much has been made of “365 Everyday Value” its penetration is still relatively low compared to other grocer’s mid-tier brands. Amazon and Whole Foods have an opportunity to re-evaluate their private brand portfolio and potentially reposition the brands to better serve their business goals and customer needs. The Whole Foods name is the real asset as both a brand and search term.
I cannot help but think that Amazons and Whole Foods have their sights set on stealing share from Kroger’s $1.7B private brand as well as the numerous indistinguishable private labels (Natures/Harvest/Place/Wholesome/Wild/Promise/Organic/Natural) from Americas homogeneous mid-tier grocers.