Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods for 13.7 billion in 2017, there’s been much speculation on how this company, known for being a disruptor, will impact the grocery business. In less than a year, Amazon has firmly put its mark across Whole Foods’ 473 stores with price cuts, online shopping and delivery, prime exclusive deals and a new advertising campaign.

But the big question is how are shoppers are responding to these changes? IRI conducted consumer surveys as part of a series of Market Shift studies designed to give retailers and manufacturers an insight on market dynamics.

Here are the results:

According to the study, while synergies of the acquisition, such as benefits to Amazon Prime subscribers (100 million) in Whole Foods stores, are not yet fully realized, they have already begun to shape behavior.

  • For example, 71% of Whole Foods shoppers with Amazon Prime memberships are more satisfied with their experience at Whole Foods and are more likely to shop there.
  • Furthermore, anticipated benefits, such as free grocery delivery, are expected to motivate over 60% of shoppers to buy more of their groceries at Whole Foods Market stores.
  • In addition, 90% of shoppers surveyed were aware of the Amazon/Whole Foods acquisition;
    • 15% said they are shopping more at the store because of the merger.

IRI’s Market Shift Study includes unique insights from customer shopper surveys, store-by-store competition analyses, and market-level price and trip analyses. According to Fernando Salido, executive vice president of Shopper Analytics, Consumer and Shopper Marketing for IRI, “Results from this study reveal that the combination of Amazon and Whole Foods is accelerating dramatic shifts in shoppers’ expectations around assortment, pricing, home deliveries and e-commerce.”

This IRI Market Shift series provides additional reports addressing key questions such as: How to measure market share when more than 50 percent of food dollars are purchased outside traditional CPG outlets.

Suppliers and retailers alike can expect to see more changes taking place in the marketplace as grocery chains are ramping up their delivery services and online capabilities in response. We’ll be reporting on these changes throughout this year so look for more to come.

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