FOOD VISION USA 2017: What does the Amazon/Whole Foods deal mean for everyone else?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

FOOD VISION USA: What does the Amazon/Whole Foods deal mean

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Much of the punditry immediately following the Amazon/Whole Foods announcement focused on how the tie up might impact Whole Foods stores. Will they become test beds for Amazon Go-style technology and fulfilment centers for Amazon's broader grocery portfolio? Will prices come down? What's less clear, however, is what the deal will mean for everyone else.

One thing it has done, of course, is focus minds. While the combined US grocery market share of Amazon and Whole Foods is less than 2%, and only a tiny fraction of food shopping is currently conducted online, few doubt Amazon's ability to disrupt markets, coupled with its willingness to focus on longer-term goals ahead of short term profits.

As Michael Joseph at meal kit brand Green Chef recently observed​, the deal has “absolutely rattled food retailing and CPG markets in a way I have never seen in my life,”​ further boosting investor interest in direct-to-consumer food operations, and intensifying scrutiny of the ecommerce strategies of leading retailers and CPG brands.

But how will ecommerce fit into the broader food and beverage landscape in 2020 and beyond?

It's a question that will be top of mind at FOOD VISION USA​ in Chicago in November, where PeaPod chief marketing officer Carrie Bienkowski​ will talk about the challenges and opportunities for online grocery shopping, and how CPG manufacturers can engage.

We'll also get input on this topic from our expert innovation and investment panel on the opening night, featuring VMG Partners md Wayne Wu, Sir Kensington’s​ co-founder Scott Norton, Mattson president Barb Stuckey and Food Future Co CEO Gigi Lee Chang.

What's for dinner tonight?

With Amazon entering the meal kit space, its looming presence in this market will also be a discussion point for our 'What's for dinner?' panel discussion  at FOOD VISION USA featuring Terra’s Kitchen​ CEO Mike McDevitt, Sun Basket​ head of marketing Amy Endemann, and Chef'd​ CEO Kyle Ransford, who will explore the rapidly evolving meal kit market and examine what might distinguish the winners from the losers.

We’ll also talk to Luke Saunders from healthy vending business Farmer’s Fridge​ to get his take on new ways to answer the perennial question: What’s for dinner tonight?  

Check out the full list of speakers​ and Register HERE.

Food Vision USA signature strip

FOOD VISION USA: The food event of the year

Held at the W Hotel in Chicago on November 13-15, FOOD VISION USA 2017 ​will also bring together a clutch of industry luminaries from Chobani’s president and COO Tim Brown; to Campbell Soup VP, R&D, Americas, Jeff George; and PepsiCo president North America nutrition, Seth Kaufman.

On the opening night, VMG Partners md Wayne Wu and Sir Kensington’s​ co-founder Scott Norton will also join Mattson president Barb Stuckey and Food Future Co CEO Gigi Lee Chang to provide expert feedback on stage to our lucky industry trailblazers​ – three start-ups that are doing the most to drive innovation and champion change.

Other themes we'll address on the conference floor include:

  • Can water give soil a run for its money? (the future of hydroponics)
  • Big food? Small food? Or smarter food?
  • Where is the plant-based movement going?
  • Who's really driving innovation in the food industry?
  • Can we make gelatin without animals?
  • How clean is your label?
  • Will consumers embrace 'clean' (a.k.a. cultured) meat?

Trailblazers 2017 graphic

Calling all food and beverage entrepreneurs:​ ​Do you want a FREE place at FOOD VISION USA​? 

Enter our Trailblazers challenge...​ (deadline August 7)

Confirmed speakers at Food Vision USA 2017 - which is sponsored by PureCircle​ and Beneo​ - include:

  • Tim Brown, p​resident and COO, Chobani 
  • Eitan Fischer,​ director of cellular agriculture, Hampton Creek
  • Scott Norton, ​co-founder, Sir Kensington’s (Unilever)
  • Carrie Bienkowski​, chief marketing officer, PeaPod
  • Seth Kaufman, ​president North America nutrition, PepsiCo
  • Becca Kerr, ​VP and general manager, Tropicana North America
  • Jeff Zachwieja, ​PhD, senior director global R&D nutrition sciences, PepsiCo
  • Jeff George, ​VP, R&D, Americas, Campbell Soup Company 
  • Kyle Ransford,​ CEO, Chef'd
  • Mike McDeVitt​, CEO, Terra’s Kitchen
  • Dr Liz Specht, ​senior scientist, The Good Food Institute
  • Doug Radi, ​CEO, Good Karma Foods
  • Luke Saunders, ​CEO, Farmers Fridge
  • Alexander Lorestani​, CEO and co-founder, Geltor
  • Amy Endemann​, head of marketing, Sun Basket
  • Tim Joseph, ​founder, Maple Hill Creamery
  • James Day, ​CEO, Suncrest USA
  • Steven Vigilante, b​usiness development associate, CircleUp
  • Wayne Wu​, managing director, VMG Partners
  • Miyoko Schinner​, founder and CEO, Miyoko’s Kitchen
  • Barb Stuckey​, president and chief innovation officer, Mattson
  • Gigi Lee Chang​, CEO, Food Future Co, ​co-founder Plum Organics
  • Dr Shelley Balanko​, SVP, business development, Hartman Group
  • Linda Eatherton,​ managing director and partner, Ketchum Global Food & Beverage Practice

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