Over the past few years, Amazon
has repeatedly stated its ambitions to gain a foothold in the grocery market. The introduction of Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and the prototype grocery store Amazon Go has made very clear that the e-commerce giant from Seattle is interested in the field. However, the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, announced on Friday
, is by far the clearest statement of intent yet; and it is no surprise that the stock prices of competing grocery store chains in the U.S. tumbled following the deal’s announcement.
As our chart illustrates, e-commerce still plays a very small role in the U.S. market for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). According to Kantar Worldpanel
, just 1.4 percent of FMCG sales in the United States are generated online. If Amazon manages to efficiently use Whole Foods’ distribution and procurement networks to boost its online grocery offerings, the era of online grocery shopping could be dawning.