In a move that is sure to send shock waves quickly throughout the grocery business, Amazon will immediately lower prices of healthy food items once it successfully acquires Whole Foods on Monday, August 28th, 2017.
On the list: organic avocados, organic brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon, almond butter, organic apples, organic rotisserie chicken, and more. Amazon has pledged to continue dropping prices and will offer Amazon Prime members exclusive deals in the future when they phase out the current rewards system that Whole Foods has in place.
In addition, Whole Foods brands will be available on Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now starting Monday.
Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke, says they are “determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality.” He also said they “will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.”
Whole Foods was sued in the past multiple times for price-gouging customers, Amazon seems to be making it clear they will prioritize making prices friendlier to consumers with these statements. Lowering the price of healthy food is sure to put pressure on grocery stores that frequently charge consumers extra for healthy food.
A 2013 study in the British Medical Journal Open found that people with healthy diets spend about a $1.50 more per day than people who eat unhealthy diets. This is mainly a burden for families that have low-incomes. The 2013 study also notes that the food industry itself is part of the problem and needs to change to make healthier food available:
unhealthy diets may cost less because food policies have focused on the production of “inexpensive, high volume” commodities, which has led to “a complex network of farming, storage, transportation, processing, manufacturing, and marketing capabilities that favor sales of highly processed food products for maximal industry profit.” Given this reality, they said that creating a similar infrastructure to support production of healthier foods might help increase availability—and reduce the prices—of more healthful diets.”
Maybe Amazon is trying to do exactly that. Only time will tell.