Online retail giant Amazon, owner of Whole Foods Market, is bringing the two entities closer together with the announcement this week that it's now selling more than 600 Whole Foods Market 365 private-label products on its website.
Amazon Prime members can get free shipping on 365 label items, including a wide range of grocery products, such coffees, teas, trail mixes, rolled oats, pasta and more, the retailer noted.
The products are also eligible for Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program, which allows shoppers to set up repeat monthly orders and save up to 15% on orders of five items or more, according to Whole Foods.
The company noted that all products on the 365 label adhere to Whole Foods’ 260-plus banned ingredients list, which includes hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.
The announcement comes less than a week after Amazon released its Q2 earnings report, where Amazon CEO Andy Jassy explained that the expansion of the company’s delivery network will help grow its grocery businesses.
"We cover several million SKUs in that same-day or one-day fashion, but in general they're smaller facilities with less conveyance, and with more streamlined pick directly to pack and to get out to the dock to ship, and so they're just much more efficient, as well,” Jassy said at the earnings call. “So, we actually think that expansion of those is going to not just help with speed and with demand, but we're going to also like the cost structure associated with that.”
Allowing Whole Foods’ online customers to place the private-label products in their Amazon baskets isn’t the only way Amazon appears to be merging the two entities. It was learned in late July that one of Amazon’s never-opened brick-and-mortar Amazon Fresh stores in Boca Raton, Florida, is instead being turned into a Whole Foods.
The switch comes after Amazon set a goal of opening Amazon Fresh grocery stores across the country, built out more than a dozen locations, installed signage but then never opened them. The company currently faces lawsuits in several states over the unopened stores.
Amazon Fresh also appears to have borrowed a few ideas from Whole Foods in the recent redesign of two of its Chicago-area stores, which were updated to include placing informational A-frame sandwich boards around the store, for example.
Amazon also is making headlines this week with the announcement that it is launching a sale in October similar to its Prime Day sale, which took place on July 11-12.
Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, said in a post online Tuesday that the event will be exclusive to Amazon Prime members. “I’m really excited for Prime members to discover some of Amazon’s best deals of the season across 19 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K.,” Herrington wrote. “We’ll share more details soon as we get closer to the event.”