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How Amazon Selects Food Vendors for Seattle Spotlight

Cracks the Code of the Last Mile of Food Delivery in Online Grocery Shopping

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Amazon Fresh launches new Seattle Spotlight program - Samurai Noodle Ramen dish.

Amazon Fresh launches new Seattle Spotlight program offering access to restaurant meals and ingredients limited to the Seattle area with items like this Samurai Noodle Ramen dish.

Amazon
Updated January 13, 2013

Continued from Page 1

This is a continuation of the new Amazon Fresh Seattle Spotlight, which is a home delivery program of restaurant meals and upscale meal solutions. Limited to Seattle now, they are striving to solve the last mile of home food delivery of Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food from top local restaurants.

"We thought it was a neat way to offer better service without... the extra expense of opening a restaurant," said La Spiga co-owner Sabrina Tinsley.

Working with Hunt, "we selected items we thought would travel well. We did a series of experiments, obviously, to make sure they would get there the same way," she said. Soup, for instance, "was a bit of a challenge" on a jostling ride. Baked pastas held up better than boiled noodles.

I asked how the salad, one of my old La Spiga favorites, arrived so crisp and fresh despite what I assumed was a day's delay. "I try to have my staff be really careful about the way they cut it. If you're just slamming the knife down on it it's going to bruise it and brown and deterioriate faster," Tinsley said. "

How Amazon Selects Food Vendors for Seattle Spotlight

Rick Batye, vice president of AmazonFresh was asked how the company figures out which foods to offer, and how hard it is to make their dishes ready-to-eat or workable at home by Denn and he replied via Email.

He said that "the company gravitates "towards iconic well-known brands that are associated with quality and are unique in their offering," as well as being innovative and creative. Hunt worked with Samurai Noodle, for instance, to make their meals "the same experience" as you'd get at the restaurant, providing all the components and making it easy to prepare….

How do they decide who's in the mix? First, Batye said, they brought in merchants and products that customers had specifically requested. Amazon approached Pasta and Co., for instance, "after a customer of ours raved about their oven-roasted chicken." Pike Place Fish Market is so well-known that it made sense to ask the owners to be part of the program. "Right now we think more merchants are better for our customers and there's no need for us to limit the number of merchants or their products; each brings their own style and flair…

How Does Amazon Fresh Deliver Food

Here is Batye explaining how the logistics work? "We pick up orders from each of our merchants once or twice a day and merge them with each customer's regular grocery or general merchandise orders. The products they sell on AmazonFresh are the same that they sell in their store or restaurant, so they are ready to go or easy to prepare as the orders come in."

This program is clearly in the early stage of testing for Amazon. With a track record of success and a goal to find the "last mile solution" Amazon is clearly on the right track. Consumers are dynamic not static food retailers must look outside the box for success, growth and long-term profits. Seattle and the Northwest have a long history of innovation and cultivation of food trends. Is your company focusing on developing success within the booming grocerant niche? Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food sales are booming.

Photo: Samurai Noodle ramen courtesy of Amazon Fresh via Denn article

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