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Annie’s CEO: Amazon’s merger of Whole Foods is a ‘golden opportunity’ to kill America’s food deserts


whole dishes storefrontNorthfoto/Shutterstock

On Jun 16, online sell giant
Amazon bought a organic, artisanal grocer Whole Foods for a
whopping $13.7 billion.

Many analysts trust a bid will give Amazon
a incomparable share over
food retail and strengthen the
company’s existent smoothness service.

These incentives may both be true, though Annie’s Homegrown President John
Foraker thinks a merger could also meaningfully address
another emanate that plagues communities across a US: food
deserts.

Over 23 million
Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in
civic and farming neighborhoods that are some-more than a mile divided from
a grocery store. These are famous as food deserts — places
where uninformed fruit and vegetables  (and healthy dishes in
general) are mostly untouched to residents.

“The suspicion of Whole Food’s mission combined with
record and a ability of a association like Amazon to help
conquer some of a last-mile issues that have prevented access
and placement into unequivocally formidable places seems like a golden
opportunity,” Foraker told Business Insider. Products
from Annie’s  — a General Mills-owned organic food
code best famous for
a macaroni and cheese — are already accessible on
Amazon and in Whole Foods aisles. 

If a family does not live nearby a supermarket, they could
theoretically shortly sequence organic, healthy food on Amazon,
Foraker said. Amazon Fresh already offers home deliveries, though he
believes a merger will dilate a strech and offerings of
a service.

“So most of consumers’ rendezvous with food and shopping
has changed onto their mobile device. 

This can be
an easy approach to get entrance to these kinds of dishes and have them
delivered directly to their doors,” he said.

In new years, Amazon
has invested heavily in a smoothness service, Amazon Fresh.
This smoothness infrastructure, interconnected with Whole Foods’ 450+
stores, has a intensity to broach healthy produce to most
homes in a US within an hour or two, Foraker said. 

“If we live in an bad civic or farming area that
doesn’t have good grocery stores around, we think, ‘I got to get
in a automobile — if we have one — and expostulate 30 or 45 mins to get to a
place where we can buy fresher, healthier food,'” he said. “The
thought of those dual [companies] entrance together will give we most
of what we need to solve that.”

Amazon Fresh currently
delivers to cities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire,
West Virginia, and Northern California. To meaningfully address
America’s food deserts, a association would need to fill location
gaps around a US. Partnering with Whole Foods, that has
locations across the country, could assistance Amazon do that,
Foraker said.

Access to furnish is not adequate to finish food deserts entirely.
Education around healthy dishes is also key. To make a meaningful
impact, Foraker said Amazon and Whole Foods could team
adult with rural preparation nonprofits, like The Ron Finley
Project and FoodCorps.

There’s also a cost issue. Nearly
half of Americans who live in food deserts are low-income,
that means they expected can’t means Whole Foods’ expensive
prices.

Foraker is assured that Whole Foods and Amazon will figure out
how to reduce prices but profitable farmers (or their employees)
less. For example, in food dried areas where it creates more
mercantile clarity to have smoothness accessible but physical
stores, a association might have reduce operational margins, helping
to expostulate down food costs.

“The business indication needs to be different,” he said. “Amazon has
a prolonged story of reckoning out how to expostulate potency out of a
supply chain. Managing a perishable logistics network is so
difficult. But if anyone in a universe can figure it out, it’s
substantially going to be them.”

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