Our industry is changing a lot these days. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods , Blue Apron becoming the first meal kit company to go public and industry giant Nestlè gobbled up the high-end, millennial favorite Blue Bottle Coffee.
With meal kits and mega conglomerates dominating the food landscape, is there room for a smaller, online retailer of high-quality products? And more specifically, where does Greensbury fit in all this?
As bigger companies look for littler ones to acquire, Greensbury will be an attractive option delivering the trust, quality and transparency that consumers crave in food and beverage.
High Customer Turnover at over 90%! Over 90 percent a year. Ninety percent! Blue Apron’s lackluster IPO—it was the year’s worst large IPO—demonstrates the wariness with which many investors view meal kit companies and their shaky business models. People quit meal kits for a variety of reasons: limited choice, inability to reorder favorite items, or simply outgrowing the need as their kitchen confidence grows.
It’s not surprising, then, that Plated sought a bricks-and-mortar partner like Albertsons, which gains them access to 35 million regular customers per week. Industry analysts had predicted just such a merger between an established grocer and a meal kit company and I’m predicting we can expect to see more. And the bricks-and-mortar chains benefit too, for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
In contrast to meal-kit companies, Greensbury has a loyal customer base and our customers can order their favorite things any time they want. Another huge strength is our specialization. Our passion is selling proteins that become centerpieces for memorable meals shared with loved ones. We sell high-quality meat, poultry and seafood raised organically and sustainably on small farms and fisheries in the United States. That’s it. We don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Consumers don’t want one-stop shopping anymore. Studies are showing that particularly millennials, increasingly shop multiple outlets, both online and in person, to get the brands they trust. They like small and equate small with higher quality and an authentic experience.
Food conglomerates want to enjoy the authentic cred associated with small. They know that they’re viewed as the opposite of an authentic experience—plastic-wrapped, impersonal, indifferent. That’s why they buy companies like Plated and Blue Bottle, or Sir Kensington, a maker of high quality ketchup and mayonnaise that Unilever acquired earlier this year.
Amazon is already dropping prices at Whole Foods, in hopes of shedding its “Whole Paycheck” reputation. But to achieve those lower prices, something’s gotta give, and I think it’s going to be quality.
I predict that the kinds of high-end proteins like we sell at Greensbury will become harder to find in Whole Foods, as the chain will rely more on mass-produced, factory-farmed meat and seafood. That goes against everything we believe in and it’s not good for the environment or quality control.
Something else that will be harder to find at Whole Foods: customer service. Have you ever talked to an actual person at Amazon? That’s no accident. There is no “contact us” section on Amazon.com. To speak to a representative, you have to type “contact us” into the search box; and even then, you send Amazon your number, and someone (presumably) will call you back. If you search “customer service phone number,” your results include, and I’m not making this up, a list of books you can buy to find out how to contact a living person at Amazon:
Amazon’s pilot bookstores are known for having almost no customer-facing personnel, and there’s every reason to expect Whole Foods will move in the same direction—with, for example, more self-checkout stations. Amazon lockers, which customers access with codes, already have been in installed in some Whole Foods stores, another sign that human interaction is not a high priority.
You can call us right from our home page. And I promise you will always get a living, breathing person. Not to mention our satisfaction money back guarantee.
So, let’s review the checklist and see how Greensbury stacks up. Trusted brand? Check. Quality product? Check. Top-notch customer service? Check. As bigger companies look for littler ones to acquire, Greensbury will be an attractive option. But right now we’re a little too little. That’s why we’re welcoming investors, to help us grow enough to appeal to a corporation that wants to show that it’s in touch with today’s consumer. We think we we’re an investment that will surely pay off.