Amazon’s 1-week sales of Whole Foods private-label items near $500,000 – FOODNAVIGATOR Inc.’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods is paying off in more ways than one: the e-commerce giant is seeing a surge in online grocery shopping for basic staples like canned beans and tomato paste.

 Amazon immediately put about 2,000 items on its site from the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand and sold out of almost all of the most-popular items, said Spencer Millerberg, chief executive officer of One Click Retail, which monitored sales. Web sales of Whole Foods branded products totaled about $500,000 in the first week, according to One Click Retail’s estimate. More impressive was the speed at which Amazon began selling Whole Foods products online. Such an integration would have taken several months in a brick-and-mortar chain, he said.
 “It’s easy to implement and bring everything online with Amazon’s endless shelf,” Millerberg said. He said the question is whether Amazon can sustain the inventory, and use the stores to decrease delivery costs.
 The findings show the buzz around Amazon’s purchase of the upscale food retailer stretched beyond its stores to its website. Customer traffic in Whole Foods brick-and-mortar locations gained 25 percent during the first two days after Amazon’s takeover, according to Foursquare Labs Inc., which compared shoppers’ mobile location information before and after the acquisition.
 The two reports suggest there is no cannibalization between the two retailers, with one taking sales from the other. The combined company is likely to sell even more with the two brands working together than they would have collectively as separate companies.

Amazon appeared unprepared for the rapid pace of sales. Of the top 100 selling Whole Foods items online, only 7 percent remain in stock on Amazon’s website, according to One Click Retail.

Online grocery purchases have been slow to take hold because of consumers’ desire to handle fresh produce before buying it. Only 4.5 percent of shoppers frequently bought groceries online in 2016, said Kurt Jetta, CEO of TABS Analytics, a consumer products research firm.

Jetta said the consumer preference for brick-and-mortar grocery shopping is showing some signs of erosion. Online grocery purchases increased 13 percent this year and Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. saw gains of 10 percent to 15 percent in online grocery sales.

“Behaviors are shifting,” he said, “but retailers have a long, long, long way to go before they can get to the necessary critical mass to be profitable selling groceries online.”

Impact’s “Hot Prospect” Wines Led By California, French Rosé – SHANKEN

Impact’s new list of “Hot Prospect” wine brands reveals a rising crop of contenders that are rapidly gaining traction with U.S. consumers. The domestic wine Hot Prospects feature 35 labels, most of them premium wines from California, along with some fast-growing Oregon and Washington brands. On the import side, 20 brands earned Hot Prospect status, led by eight French labels largely driven by the booming rosé category, as well as four Italian and three Spanish entries.

To qualify as Hot Prospects, wine brands must have posted 15% depletions growth in the previous year while also showing consistent growth in the preceding two years. Volumes must reach at least 50,000 cases but not more than 250,000 cases. New products can qualify as Hot Prospects if they pass the 50,000-case mark in their first year.

Domestic wine Hot Prospect brands above 100,000 cases in annual volume include: DFV’s Bota Brick, O’Neill Vintners’ Line 39, 3 Badge’s Leese-Fitch, Ste. Michelle’s Erath, The Wine Group’s Flipflop Fizzy, Terlato’s The Federalist, Gallo’s Prophecy and Souverain, Trinchero’s Three Thieves and Charles & Charles, Constellation’s Ravage, Tom Gore, and The Prisoner, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Bronco’s Cherry Blossom Cellars, Precept’s House Wine Box and Michael David’s Freakshow and Petite Petit.

McCormick looks to online sales for growth

Executives at McCormick are anticipating e-commerce sales to comprise a full third of the firm’s growth within three years. “To support this, we continue to add more resources to enhance digital and social content, establish sponsorships and programs with key e-commerce retailers and develop dedicated innovation, packaging and products,” said CEO Lawrence Kurzius.

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