In a $13.7 billion deal, Amazon is set to purchase natural food behemoth Whole Foods Market. The news comes on the back of a number of changes within the company, from a complete overhaul of its board (including a new chairwoman and chief financial officer) and plans to improve operations and cut costs in various sectors of the business. For Amazon, the move represents a doubling-down on their interest and entry into the grocery space. "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for nearly four decades—they’re doing an amazing job, and we want that to continue." Amazon has recently been experimenting with getting offline, creating a few test brick-and-mortar outlets across the country. They've tested concepts for cashier-less registers and models that combine in-store ordering with delivery, among other things.
"This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience, and innovation to our customers," said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. The company also assured consumers that their commitment to health won't change with the recent merger. "Amazon shares Whole Foods Market’s deep commitment to quality and customer service," they wrote in a recent email to subscribers. "We will continue to operate our stores and deliver the highest quality, delicious natural and organic products that you’ve come to love and trust from Whole Foods Market."
No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats will ever be in any of the food we sell. Meat will still come from animals raised with no-added growth hormones, ever. And all eggs in our dairy cases will continue to come from cage-free hens that aren’t given antibiotics. Those standards are core to Whole Foods Market and we will remain committed to them.
Recently, mbg founder Jason Wachob sat down with John for an episode of mbg's new podcast. John spoke candidly about the inspiration that sparked Whole Foods Market, the obstacles he's faced as a business owner, and the values driving him forward as an entrepreneur. The interview took place just weeks before the announcement and provides exclusive insights into the mindset of this entrepreneur in the flurry of the game-changing sale. You can check it out here—and remember to subscribe, for behind-the-scenes, never-before-heard stories from some of the biggest names in wellness.
Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and sign up for our podcast newsletter! Here's more on our exclusive interview with John Mackey on the mbg Podcast. And if you want more Whole Foods, check out their best budget buys (we scoured the aisles to find some amazing stuff) — plus the innovative urban farm on the roof of their Brooklyn store.