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Food Disruption: Amazon’s Whole Foods starts to steal Trader Joe’s shoppers.

Aug 28, 2018

Disruption is coming to every category, including ones which were unmoveable until very recently. Whole Foods under Amazon management is an example of how entrepreneurship can work to bridge the gap for entrenched industries (like food) that sometimes have unsustainable supply chains, and rethink them for the future. The problem, for the famous companies in the food industry working with advertising agencies, in addition to the rise of technology and change, is how to keep the marketing so solid that people won’t have to leave “the real thing” for the “new new thing.”

Overall a very timely opportunity for disruptive brands in the US. Consumer-wise, while there’s been a move to unbranded, “no name” products, there’s a wave of new loyalties that buyers are forming to these new brands. Almost just a mass upset of traditional brands in favor of outcropping brands that stand for something, ignite a movement, and rethink the product categories they work in. Brands like Whole Foods and Fresh Direct are right in that space — legacy product, ripe for disruption, utility impact that can be communicated with the right branding, huge unmovable market to sell into.

If you are one of the large companies facing disruption, how can movement marketing as a tool fueled by advertising agencies help grocery brands really hit that balance well?

When Amazon.com bought Whole Foods last year, many of of us expected a wave of change to hit the grocery business. A year ago, investors dumped shares in Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market and even Walmart over fears of the disruption that lay ahead. Now, it seems that analysts believe that it will be years before Whole Foods becomes a major player in the $800 billion industry.

While the strongest brands in the category remain behind the walls that they’ve built to protect them, there are some signs of change according to a recent Bloomberg article. For one, the Amazon effect is boosting Whole Foods, which had been losing ground to rivals as organic food went mainstream. In more than 100 places around the U.S., the upscale grocer gained foot traffic at the expense of Trader Joe’s, Walgreen and Dollar Tree Stores in the past year, according to Sense360, a Los Angeles company that tracks location data from millions of smartphone users.

Sense360 Chief Executive Officer Eli Portnoy told Bloomberg News that national grocers aren’t hurting yet but says Amazon is getting traction at the “micro” level.

“We’re at the very beginning stages, and these things take time,” he says. “These findings show there will be an impact. Large enterprises that built walls around their markets, are finding themselves being disrupted by the speed and growth of startups. StrawberryFrog, who distinguish themselves from more traditional advertising agencies, are entrepreneurial Movement Makers. We empower large companies and brands to disrupt the disruptors and grow at the speed of startups. StrawberryFrog is change. Low overhead. Low BS. High agility. High impact. High growth capability that scales.

By StrawberryFrog

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