retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Investor News Wire reports that Amazon is preparing to launch what is called "a new chef-inspired meal kits service," and will partner with Tyson Foods "to sell fresh protein and partner with the company for innovation."

Tyson CEO Donald Smith said yesterday that "the new service will be called Tyson Taste Makers and will be launched this fall ... Though Smith did not share more details regarding Taste Makers, his description coupled with other comments made on his partnership with Amazon, the new services seem like a read-to-cook ingredients delivery similar to what HelloFresh and Blue Apron do."

The Investor News Wire story says that "Taste Makers is going to be the Amazon’s latest effort to secure a larger share in the massive food and grocery markets. Stretching borders into the recipe-delivery market will be a nice way for Amazon to reach upper-income markets that are continuously receiving similar services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron useful. This will result in Amazon growing its market share in the United States Food and beverage industry."
KC's View:
I would work on the assumption that Amazon probably is working with a lot of different companies to create a variety of meal-oriented models, a bunch of which may well fail, but one or two of which will gain traction and move the needle. Which will be just fine with Amazon, as it builds the ecosystem that we talk about here so often, maneuvering itself so it is the first, easiest, and sometimes even the best consumer choice for just about everything.

The question I would ask of everybody competing with Amazon - and let's be clear, everybody is competing with Amazon - is how much time, effort and money are you spending looking for alliances and models that could help transform your business, carving out categories and opportunities that will distinguish and differentiate you?

This applies to retailers both big and small, and I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, Seeking Alpha has a piece suggesting that Amazon is ideally positioned to take down Walmart, which has seen its revenue derived from grocery climb to roughly half its total revenue. Everything that Amazon is doing these days in the grocery segment seems at least partly aimed at eroding Walmart's market share, and the story says that "if AmazonFresh and Amazon grocery delivery can draw even 10% of Wal-Mart's national grocery business ... you can see the market share starting to take shape for Amazon."