What interesting times we live in. The retail industry is crashing and burning due to e-commerce (Macy’s, Payless, Sears/KMart, Radio Shack, J.C. Penney, The Limited, American Apparel etc.) Greedy landlords who have been jacking rents through the roof for years and leveraged their portfolios to buy more over-priced real estate are now facing the grim reaper as their major anchor tenants have walked away from long term leases. The vulture capitalists are circling the carrion. The unlikely knight in shining armor turns out to be low profit margin supermarkets who have figured out they don’t need 100,000 square feet when 40,000 will do.
Whole Foods who has been losing millions of customers to of all people, Kroegers, has been on a downward slide for the last 2 years. Out of left field Amazon swooped in and acquired them in an all cash deal of $13.7B. Amazon needs a retail food delivery option to compete with Walmart if they want to keep their 80 million Amazon Prime members. I guess they’ll be launching drones off their rooftops in the near future. One thing is for certain, Amazon will institute a robot program (stocking shelves?) and start laying off employees as Whole Foods is not unionized. Maybe the hipster generation will realize their grandparents and great grandparents got their heads cracked open on picket lines for a reason.
As food industry suppliers shuddered at the idea of having to deal with Amazon pressuring them to lower their wholesale prices, an even more interesting development has come to the market. Aldi, the German discount megachain with their US operations headquartered in Chicago, announced they are adding another 900 new stores in the U.S. over the next five years. They currently have 1,600 stores across 35 states. What is scaring Whole Foods is the fact that Aldi is reorganizing their product line to emphasize organics. Aldi’s major competitor from Germany, Lidl, has just hit the U.S. market and is gearing up to open 100 stores by mid-2018 with a target of 2,000 stores by 2020. They are headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
This year I thought I wouldn’t be able to find ten new products that impressed me. On the last day of the Summer Fancy Food Show I did. So for those who want to taste some of the delicacies I’ve discovered, here they are:
Fawen Organic & Vegan Drinkable Soup – Broccoli & Cauliflower with Tumeric
Bull’s Head Root Beer
Black Mamba Chilli Sauces (Swaziland)
Tandoor Chef Chicken Tikka Masala Pocket Sandwiches
Olympia Provisions Pork Pistachio Pate
Forchy Cake Aux Fruits
Galvanina Sparking Organic Fruit Sodas – Tangerine & Prickly Pear
Sorbissimo Ready-To-Drink Italian Ice Cream – Coffee
Skedaddle Maple – Dark