This morning, Twitter is weighing in on news that online retail giant Amazon is buying out organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. The deal — expected to close later this year — would be the largest grocery acquisition of all time and Amazon’s biggest purchase to date.
The merger comes after months of turmoil for the Whole Foods brand, which had experienced a major sales slump. Earlier this year, the company closed several locations for the first time ever. In a report from Texas Monthly out this month, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey criticized activist investors for pushing a sale, calling them “greedy bastards.” The sale sent Whole Foods stock prices surging on Friday, according to Bloomberg, while other major grocery chains and retails saw their share prices plummet.
The merger of two ubiquitous brands was clearly ripe for comedic commentary and the Twitterverse turned out to take swings at Amazon’s massive purchase. Was the buyout actually a notorious Amazon Alexa ordering mistake?
Jeff Bezos: "Alexa, buy me something from Whole Foods."— JESAL (@JesalTV) June 16, 2017
Alexa: "Sure, Jeff. Buying Whole Foods now."
Jeff Bezos: "WHA- ahh go ahead." pic.twitter.com/GuJ2jlAiuU
Bezos to Alexa: "I need some groceries."— Samppa Lahtinen (@SamppaSOS) June 16, 2017
Alexa: "I bought you Whole Foods."
Others pointed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Wednesday tweet in which the billionaire crowdsourced suggestions for a “philanthropy strategy.” Could buying out Whole Foods be his way of giving back “at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact”?
.@JeffBezos this wasn't exactly the wealth redistribution we had in mind when you'd asked yesterday https://t.co/SrmMyqEsbf— Seattle DSA (@SeattleDSA) June 16, 2017
Must. Release. Philanthropy. Thoughts. Before. Whole. Foods. Deal. Is. Announced. https://t.co/33wLSYYvMM— Will Samples (@willsampls) June 16, 2017
Perhaps Amazon is in the market for other grocery chains, too.
Amazon: We bought Whole Foods!— Gavin Purcell (@gavinpurcell) June 16, 2017
Amazon's Amazon account: You may also like Trader Joe's, Bristol Farms & Wegmans!
The Austin-based chain’s “Whole Paycheck” (more like whole asparagus water) reputation made easy joke fodder for followers of the deal.
Amazon buys Whole Foods for 13.7 billion, roughly equivalent to 11 shopping bags of their organic berries.— Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) June 16, 2017
Amazon spends $13.7 billion on Whole Foods...— Kendall Breitman (@KendallBreitman) June 16, 2017
...leaves with 3 kale juices and a bag of salted almonds
I, too, spend $13.7 billion at Whole Foods.— Slade Sohmer (@Slade) June 16, 2017
Go to Whole Foods, spend $13.7 billion, or as their regular customers call it, "Tuesday." https://t.co/3q8NsBzLy5— quinn cummings (@quinncy) June 16, 2017
Others suggested that Amazon would still have to pick up the rest of its food at a less “specialty” grocery store.
Amazon reportedly spent $13.7 billion at Whole Foods today, and they still had to stop by Safeway to get everything on their list...— Tommy Tighe (@theghissilent) June 16, 2017
Some pondered how Whole Foods Market, which packs its paper bags to the brim, and Amazon, notorious for nesting small objects in giant boxes, would integrate their polar opposite packing strategies.
Whole Foods, who packs a month’s supply of food in a single grocery bag was bought by Amazon, who ships a paper clip in a refrigerator box.— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) June 16, 2017
Many simply demanded their Prime orders for groceries be delivered post-haste by drone. The future of on-demand kombucha is now.
Drone me that 365 olive oil now @jeffbezos.— Subtle Cheddar (@shitfoodblogger) June 16, 2017
I just signed up for kombucha Prime drone delivery— Adam Sachs (@sachsmo) June 16, 2017
How will Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods look on the ground? It’s still too early to tell. The company unveiled its original online grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh in 2008 and last year expended into physical, cashier-free Amazon Go stores where Amazon shoppers could pick up food and make purchases using an online app. Two Amazon Fresh Pickup locations also recently opened in the Seattle area.
• Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion [E]
• What Is Going on at Whole Foods? [E]