back to article You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

Today, Amazon announced it will be acquiring the devilishly expensive Whole Foods Market to the tune of $13.7bn. “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said health-conscious Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. The transaction …

  1. Alistair

    Whamazon Foods

    Brought to you by Whammiee ... <to your wallet>.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Whamazon Foods

      Don't you mean Whammy (I grew up when Press Your Luck was on)?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whamazon Foods

        I used to work with a bloke who shopped almost exclusively at Wholefoods and tried unsuccessfully to convert me. He then revealed one day that he was actually normally short of cash even after we'd been paid. This was because he commuted in every day a fair distance, had a large mortgage and was making maintenance payments to his ex-wife and family. We all thought he was an idiot and might have had more money to save for his retirement like to put into a pension etc. If he'd not shopped there every day.

        The one on High Street Kensington smelled appalling when I visited and almost made me vomit. Put me off going anywhere near their stores again

  2. Haku

    I read that as "burglar wheat salad" and wondered why Amazon were selling stolen food...

    Perhaps it's time I wore glasses again.

  3. Chris Jasper

    Ummmm, it's Bulgur

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

    I've eaten bulgur wheat before - it's a major ingredient in a soup recipe that I use.

    First time I ate it, I found it a relatively "meh" taste experience. What nobody had warned me about were the after effects. Never have I encountered anything like it for whipping up a southerly gale force 10. Truly thunderous gaseous emissions from the trouser department for quite some time after. Makes baked beans look positively tame.

    So, with that in mind, yes - I positively endorse the stuff. Hours of fun.

    1. Haku

      Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

      Your review of bulgur wheat reminds me of the Amazon er, 'reviews' for sugar free gummi bears.

      Well worth a read if you've got 5 minutes to spare whilst your bulgur wheat is making its way through your system... ;)

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

        @Haku the reviews were very worth reading :)

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?


        Thanks for the link. Our Simon has a rival.

        1. Haku

          Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

          @Snowy & Doctor Syntax

          There's another 'food' that should be avoided for similar reasons, fat free Pringles that contain a fat substitute called Olestra

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      In other news...

      Amazon are experimenting with bulgur wheat to power their delivery drones.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

      I have never had that issue after eating bulgar, and I eat it three or six times per month. I must be doing something wrong.

    4. Tom 7

      Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

      Yup - it takes the little bugs that really make up your digestive system by surprise. Treat like Guinness and consume till the nasty minority effects go away.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

      Warning: Do not eat Bulgur wheat salad near an open flame.

      (Was originally going to go with the internet flame icon, but perhaps the nuclear fireball/eat this is more appropriate.)

    6. Nick Kew

      Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

      Are you sure it was the bulgur in your soup? I've found it neutral on the stomach (I eat it occasionally, not often). Perhaps your soup contained some other active ingredient? Like my artichoke soup, which is delicious and particularly suitable for serving to a love rival ahead of his big date (or, more practically, eating when next day is at home and involves no social events).

  5. Lost In Clouds of Data


    Jesus...and I thought my last grocery bill was high! Mind you, had I shopped at Ripoff Foods instead of me local Kroger then perhaps it might have been.

  6. DrXym

    Horrible store

    Wholefoods Market for anyone who hasn't been one is like a giant health food shop. One where everything is horribly marked up and expensive. It appeals to the hipster demographic. It's a shame because some of the produce is reasonable, but not for that price.

    1. Hollerithevo

      Re: Horrible store

      I once hoped to get no palm oil, no sugar peanut butter (for real medical reasons) and tried there. The 'no added sugar' had 'evaporated cane juice', which I believe is...cane sugar, others had fruit sugars, all were eye-wateringly expensive, so I went to Tescos and they had what I wanted. Wholefoods is like one vast 'supplements and copper bracelets' outfit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Horrible store

        "so I went to Tescos and they had what I wanted"

        Off topic and not even a shareholder, but since Tesco lost that dysfunctional chief executive and stopped trying to open up everywhere in the whole world, it's actually got quite good.

        This might be a lesson Amazon is going to have to learn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tesco : it's actually got quite good.

          Until amazon buys them out in their quest to become the only retailer left standing.

          The latest 're-org' in my local Tesco's has hidden stuff that was once easy to find. Even the staff can't find it.

          Got quite good? Lost its way certainly in the 'ease of use' stakes which is probably deliberate in an attempt to get you to spend more. However, I am not alone and only last week I saw one shopper with a trolley full of 'stuff' give up and leave it and the store in frustration.

          1. JEDIDIAH

            Re: Tesco : it's actually got quite good.

            That could really go either way. Amazon could be the one to get bought out.

          2. Haku

            Re: Tesco : it's actually got quite good.

            "The latest 're-org' in my local Tesco's has hidden stuff that was once easy to find. Even the staff can't find it."

            Same has happened with my local Tesco just recently.

            I swear they use the shuffle of stock to new shelves as a way to eliminate discontinued products, often leaving patrons wandering the aisles looking for an item that just doesn't exist anymore.

        2. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Horrible store

          I had very good luck with Tesco's evil twin (Walmart) when I was still in bubble boy mode and I needed a way to get my shopping done. I was even pleasantly shocked at the quality and selection of their produce. Their pickup service saved me from the clutches of a well meaning carer that really can't fend for herself inside a grocery store.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Horrible store

        To be fair, most WFs have self-serve "grind to order" peanut butter, in salted and unsalted. Some of the larger stores also have grind to order almond butter. In both cases, it's nothing but nuts, plus or minus salt. They also have peanuts (almonds, cashews, whatever) in the bulk bins, for you hard-core, green & granola, grind-your-own-at-home types. If you're going for the bulk bins, also check the price of the pre-bagged "365" house brand nuts; they can be the cheapest alternative you'll find anywhere. Because they have a high turn-around, the nuts are never stale. The only place I purchase nuts out of season these days is WF.

        Note: I'm in the lower 48 ... If you live elsewhere, YMMV.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Horrible store

          In line with my other comment, the "house brand" 365 stuff is well worth checking out. Especially milk products, canned beans (tinned to you Brits), and things like olive oil. It's not exactly top of the line, but it's quite palatable and often cheaper than anybody else.

          Most of their bulk bin stuff is good, and inexpensive, with a discount if you purchase the entire refill bag (ranges from 20 to 50 pounds, depending).

          THAT said, forget their produce. It's expensive & moth eaten ("organic", don'tcha know). Their meat, poultry and seafood is excellent quality, but the prices are astronomical. Likewise for bread. And so-called "convenience" food. As for prepared food, well, it's not exactly difficult to make potato salad, now is it? Do you REALLY need to spend that much money on it?

          Just to wrap it up, you can make good choices at WF, if you're careful. And know how to cook. I fully expect Amazon to completely bollix this up.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Horrible store

            Cheese! How could I forget cheese? WF is the ONLY place in the entire USofA to purchase real cheese, outside of expensive boutique big-city specialty shops.

            1. Mark 85

              @jake -- Re: Horrible store

              Cheese! How could I forget cheese?

              If you have one nearby, try Harry and Davids.

              As for your post before this one... it sounds to me like it a similar to Trader Joe's but a lot bigger...

              1. Swarthy

                Re: @jake -- Horrible store

                Like TJ's, but without some of the more awesome selections and a lot more expensive (unless, I guess, you follow jake's example and just get the bulk-bin stuff).

                Even more annoying than the prices @ Whole Paycheck is the clientele (and staff). I had never heard "Namaste" sound so much like "you fucking peasant!".


      Re: Horrible store

      Not entirely. You can certainly view it that way. You can also view it as a slightly upscale general grocery. How much you get fleeced by them is really up to you.

    3. Mike Moyle

      Re: Horrible store

      Around here, Whole Foods is referred to as "Whole Paycheck".

    4. Mark 85

      @DrXym -- Re: Horrible store

      Wholefoods Market for anyone who hasn't been one is like a giant health food shop. One where everything is horribly marked up and expensive. It appeals to the hipster demographic. It's a shame because some of the produce is reasonable, but not for that price.

      Ah.. that explains why there's not a Whole Foods around where I live in southern Oregon. The hipsters have all been sent north to Portland.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    This must be it.

    After the CIA narrative outlet "The Washington Post" got bought, I figured the next move would be to get moneyed yuppies eat LSD unawares.

    This must be it.

    Bezos' Vision:

    Whole-Food fed upper-class crusties consensualized by WaPo augmented reality, while Amazon tat & toilet paper ordered via Alexa is being delivered by drone to their well-defended burbclaves as Deep State operatives monitor their contentment level from Blue Horizon spysats.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    "...and they make it fun to eat healthy"

    My God, he's right.

    I've always wondered why I break out in to a bit of Riverdance and laugh uncontrollably when eating Kale.

    1. frank ly

      Ah ..... you haven't heard the news about kale then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've heard that if you cook it up with a bit of butter it helps it slide into the bin more easily.

    2. 404

      Yeah well I threw up when I read that. I don't need to throw up, I need to put some weight *back* on***.

      Smoke free since June 4th.... been smoking Camel filters since 1982, figured it was time. Now I want a cig, real bad... fucking Bezos... asshole.

      Wife doesn't feed me and gets mad if I feed myself. Weird, eh? I corrected the problem, scripting errors.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad"

    Oh no I won't.

    1. Nick Kew

      Don't dismiss it. Makes a nice lunch.

      The time to buy is when it's reduced for quick sale at your local supermarket.

  10. Charles 9

    I'm more curious than anything to see where this goes. As others have pointed out, Whole Foods is more a boutique grocer that caters to picky eaters. Now, granted, this is a growing segment of the market, but there's a reason Walmart and Kroger remain the two chief grocery chains in the country.

    Amazon's delivery model to me doesn't mesh well with the average grocery shopper. Particularly in regards to fresh stuff like produce, the average shopper tends to be choosy. They pick through the stocks to be sure they don't get rotten produce, stale bread, moldy cheese, and so on. Something like this REQUIRES a hands-on presence, and that makes things like delivery and even on-site pickup (the approach Walmart is increasingly taking) not as viable an option. For example, I still haven't tried Walmart's grocery pickup system, not just because my bill tends to fall under the minimum but also because almost always one of the things I need to get is fresh and requires the hands-on approach.

  11. OliP

    its nice if you like that sort of thing - personally i find all supermarkets hell on earth and only visit if there is no other option (there usually is another option)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to put that distribution chain to use

    Everything Amazon does should be looked at through the lens of an incredibly efficent supply chain company.

    Amazon have a distribution and supply chain system that rivals Walmart now. They have national brand awareness, if not global. In taking Whole Foods, they get access to a small slice of well-heeled shoppers who are in the demographic sweet spot - people with money, smartphones and good internet. This is the group that you want to "delight" with the future Amazon shopping experience. Let's face it, grocery shopping is miserable. Maybe Amazon can make it less so using their distribution network.

    Once you've got this group in the bag, you can expand to take on the more regular grocery chains.

    Next stop: it might be time to look into FedEx/UPS stock and maybe even shipping or a railroad.

  13. Herby

    I (sometimes) use Miss Piggy's guide to life...

    You see one must have a cookbook, and kitchen appliances. In Miss Piggy's world she has them as well:

    Cookbook: That's the yellow pages.

    Appliances: The phone.

    Can you say take out? I'm sure you can.

    Sorry that this is a bit dated, Miss Piggy's guide to life was back in the 80's, but in many ways still applies.

  14. JLV

    odd match

    One of the leaders of competitive pricing buys the dark high priest of customer gougery.

    Two possible outcomes:

    a) we'll start seeing Earth-Aware (TM) VMs on AWS. An extra $3.50/hr because of the rain forest, even as they probably start buying all-coal leccy. Amazon Books only carries Deepak Chopra. MP3s only Yanni.

    b) Whole Foods becomes more reasonable, less of a "lifestyle statement" and actually sells useful stuff for fair prices. They stop over-weighing their items in order to rip you off. They don't peel oranges and then pack them in plastic. They don't sell "discounted" organic avocados at twice the price of other places' organic avocados. Big changes for them.

    On balance, I'd expect Amazon to - (b). If Whole Foods is branded 'Amazon', their usual shenanigans would damage the Amazon brand for normal people. So a cautious hope that a fairly useless retailer might possibly change their stripes. And Amazon does have brilliant supply chain management to make it work.

    Plus, maybe all the hipsters will leave my area! (hence the choice of icon).

  15. Chris G

    Eat Healthy

    "...and they make it fun to eat healthy"

    How does one eat 'healthy'? Do you put it in a bowl with milk?

    Toast it, cut it into squares and drop it into soup or do you eat healthily?

    If I want to eat healthily, some friends of a friend have just opened a Vegan restaurant, the food is very good although all of them seem to have pale translucent skin and very pale blue eyes they do look healthy. Maybe the colouring is because they are all Slovakian?

    Anyway I gave them some help and frre advice while they were statrting up so I eat healthily for free or very cheap, plus, I don't think Amazon will be delivering Bulgur wheat or kale tothis island on a daily basis so I will be spared the temptation.

    Reading the comments I am so glad I live in a relatively hipster free zone, they only come here in the summer and then go for the whole experience; ecstasy/designer drug of the moment, jumping/falling off balconies and sometimes hitting the pool and generally all looking the same and talking crap like all of the other crazed clubbers trying to have a good time at €15 plus per drink.

    Only 12 more weeks and they'll be gone for another year.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Eat Healthy

      Unfortunately, even though it's tourist season it's still illegal to shoot them here in Sonoma, California.

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: How does one eat 'healthy'?

      Peel slowly and see. That's why they have Pale Blue Eyes.

    3. Duffy Moon

      Re: Eat Healthy

      Maybe they're not from Slovakia, but Arrakis.

  16. Snowy Silver badge

    Just say no

    Iceberg lettuce is awful lettuce what you need is some nice tasty Romaine lettuce, which is on offer this week at Aldi!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is great news, no longer will I have to fear pronouncing quinoa in public as I can just get it from Amazon.

    Oh wait, I use Alexa, damn I didn't think of that.

    Oh well I'll have to stick to wheat grass and hope it's not been run through naked by Theresa May.

    Mind Bleach now available on Amazon for a low low price.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Kin - ooh - ah.

      I asked the Peruvian ambassador.

      Anyone pronouncing it kin-wa or keen-wa is a hipster and can be legally put down and used as fertiliser.

  18. Simon Rockman

    Amazon selling food

    I thought Amazon's preferred offering was spam.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    18 for ramen and sprite

    There are more weebs here than I anticipated.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: 18 for ramen and sprite

      Oops. I had read that as Ramen and Spite. Which is what I lived on for the majority of my early 20s.

  20. Reg T.

    I don't buy anything else from the CIA cuck,

    why would I start buying food from the little bald chap? Just another oligarch, folks - move along.

    For those who had to shop at the G.U.M. store, this is a familiar turn of events. Soon comes The Wall and all you East German fockers will be safe in your enclosure.

  21. ad47uk

    never heard of them

    Whole foods that is not Amazon,

    but nope, I do not think I will bother.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure I'd call Whole Foods a luxury retailer

    In my experience they sit somewhere between Sainsbury and Waitrose. The branch I used stocked some surprisingly decent Texan wine (I was in Dallas at the time). They did good soup, but then again the US is the land of soup and honey.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Not sure I'd call Whole Foods a luxury retailer

      Not so much a luxury retailer as a boutique retailer: as in catering to a specific segment of the public.

      1. JLV

        Re: Not sure I'd call Whole Foods a luxury retailer

        Or just an expensive-for-what-it-is retailer.

        Seriously, I don't mind the occasional pricey foodie splurge. High end cheese, pate, meat, pastry, fresh prawns.... You know those stores. You know the stuff that tastes so good but is likely not super healthy and nukes your budget.

        Whole Foods has never ever tempted me the least. The food might be healthy, and certainly $$$$$, but it's a gouge for hipster dupes and tree huggers and hardly very sinfully tasty. Easy to resist :)

        Canada has only 13 WHs and Vancouver's stuck with nearly half of them :( Then again we're also carrying an unfair proportion of this country's hipsters and vegans. Anybody want some?

        1. Alistair

          Re: Not sure I'd call Whole Foods a luxury retailer

          @ JLV - Nope nope nope. Us central canucks believe that you have a whole damned ocean over there to hide the bodies in. Please keep the Whole Foods crowd at that end. Just spend more time nudging them off the bridges.

          I find Galen W's "SuperStore" pricey but quite good. At least I'm *sorta* keeping the money in country.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

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