From Online Cart to Plate

What Amazon's Retail Domination Means for the Future of Food




Amazon, Big Data, Market Concentration, Whole Foods Market, Datafication, Food Retail


Amazon’s 2017 purchase of Whole Foods Market seemed to suddenly make this commercial giant a notable player in food retail. However, as we demonstrate below, this development was neither sudden nor surprising. Amazon’s business strategy has paved the way both for this acquisition, and for the other surreptitious ways in which it is chipping its way into food retail. We argue that these developments are motivated by Amazon’s goal of becoming a one-stop-shop for all consumer goods for as many customers as possible, which would in turn allow Amazon to expand as the key global broker for consumer data. Although Amazon’s tactics have little to do with food itself, the implications to food retail and more generally to food systems around the globe could be momentous.


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Author Biographies

Carly Livingstone, Carleton University

School of Journalism and Communication

Irena Knezevic, Carleton University

Associate Professor, School of Journal­ism and Communication



How to Cite

Livingstone, C., & Knezevic, I. (2020). From Online Cart to Plate: What Amazon’s Retail Domination Means for the Future of Food. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(4), 311–329.