Amazon and Whole Foods today announced that they are rolling out two-hour delivery, in a move that ratchets up the ongoing retailer battle royale over who can get you your groceries fastest.
At launch, the new service is available to Amazon Prime members in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, with plans to roll it out across the U.S. throughout the year. Users can shop from the Whole Foods Market selection via the Amazon Prime Now app and website to purchase produce, meats, seafood, pantry items, and even alcohol. Two-hour delivery is free or shoppers can opt for the super fast one-hour delivery for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.
The move shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching this space. Amazon Prime Now has been making same day deliveries for a while, and ever since acquiring Whole Foods last year, we’ve expected to see Amazon’s ruthless logistics and delivery efficiency applied to the grocer.
It does, however, up the ante for others vying to be your online grocer of choice. Walmart acquired Parcel and partnered with August and Deliv, Target acquired Shipt, and Instacart continues to hook up with grocery chains such as Albertsons — all to offer same day food delivery.
But as we’ve written before, faster Whole Foods delivery also helps set up Amazon to dominate the shoppable recipe and customized meal kit delivery space, as recipes evolve into discovery and commerce platforms. Between Whole Foods and Alexa, Amazon can help you figure out a meal, order your groceries, have them delivered in time and even guide you through the cooking.