Organic Consumers Association

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Amazon Prime Is Rolling out Whole Foods Two-Hour Grocery Delivery

Amazon is bringing its speedy delivery to Whole Foods — and Margot Good might never visit the organic grocery chain again.

"I can stay in my pajamas at home and have them deliver me my groceries," she said Thursday after learning about the new service outside a Cincinnati location.

The online retail giant plans to roll out two-hour delivery at Whole Foods this year to those who pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership. It is the company's biggest move since it bought the organic grocer last year.

It's also precisely the action rivals have been preparing for since the day Amazon — with the Prime program that's been so successful in cementing customer loyalty — announced plans to buy Whole Foods.

Amazon shoppers can order meat, seafood and other Whole Foods grocery items through the Prime Now app and website. Deliveries started Thursday in Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Va.; and will expand nationwide this year.

While the service is convenient, not everyone wants other people picking out their eggs or fruit. A major hurdle for companies that offer grocery delivery is getting those people to sign up, said Darren Seifer, a food and beverage industry analyst at NPD Group.

"There are always going to be people who want their bananas a little green," he said.

Ade Ogbomo, a teacher in Dallas, said she orders everything from Amazon — except food.

"I like to get it myself," she said outside a Whole Foods store. She worries about the possible mishaps: "Maybe the bananas are bruised or the cookies are all broken up, and you can't really complain because you asked for it."

Good, though, said she thinks Whole Foods has high-enough quality produce that she's not worried about choosing items herself.

About 7% of U.S. households bought groceries online last year, according to NPD Group. Most of those — about three-quarters — get their orders delivered to their door; the rest pick it up at the store. NPD Group said it expects online grocery shopping to grow quickly, especially among young adults, who are more comfortable shopping online.

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