Phil Lempert, Editor, Facts, Figures & the Future
Not only should brick and mortar retailers be concerned about Amazon, Google Express and Uber, but food brands should be as well.
It is very likely that one of these three, if not all three, will soon be selling their own brand of foods. And why not? Consumers have a very different view of store brands than they did a decade ago; and retailers like Trader Joe's, Aldi and Target have upped the game in quality and selection.
All three have quickly become players in the food space, and as we have seen across other categories, they tend to want to push their own brands over the others that they merely serve as a seller or deliverer for. And all three are brilliant marketers and brand builders.
Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, often talks about his mission to make Uber a lifestyle brand - not to simply be the best in logistics. As we witness his foodservice operation (UberFRESH) selling lunches and dinners delivered in minutes and Uber Essentials delivering grocery items in 10 minutes or less, why not a line of unique lifestyle Uber groceries?
Google already has a brilliant nutrition calculator that gives you an abstract of the food along with the nutritionals and then compares similar items and can even make recommendations for healthier offerings; is it that much of a stretch to use the Google Analytics to find out what healthier foods people are searching for and create food and beverage products that meet those needs and desires?
In the case of Amazon, which already sells millions and millions of cases of food and is now opening up brick-and-mortar locations at colleges and universities as well as in downtown metro areas, is a value-priced line of multi-packs of grocery staples that big of a stretch?
All three of these brands have strong advocates who without a doubt would try just about anything that they put their name on, even food.