Amazon Fresh

The ambition of Amazon

Sir, Your article ‘Amazon unlikely to ever be a serious threat to the big four’ (4 June) was extremely interesting, but I rather suspect Bernstein’s Richard Clarke has underestimated the impact of Amazon on grocery. Amazon prides itself on being a disruptor and doubtless bookshops 20 years ago were telling themselves Amazon wouldn’t grab much more than 3% of their market.

Amazon’s aim is to drive up membership and retention for its Prime service, as its Prime members are now shopping 50% more frequently with Amazon than non-members. If Amazon can use the lure of one-hour grocery deliveries to push Prime further, it will.

In UK cities, at least, we don’t believe Amazon will settle for 2%-3% of the market. These numbers wouldn’t warrant the investment in Amazon Fresh trucks. Its Morrisons deal is a taster but is by no means the limits of Amazon’s grocery ambitions. Amazon’s ultimate aim is to be the pipe through which people make most of their purchases.

David Jinks, head of consumer research,

Inexpensive testing

Sir, As a large distributor of oregano and other herbs to food manufacturers in the UK, I was delighted to read ‘On the Oregano Trail’ by Professor Chris Elliott. We have on many occasions challenged UK manufacturers to get their quality and technical departments to specify a 2.5% volatile oil level when buying oregano. Together with microscopy, these are inexpensive testing methods that ensure a quality product is delivered. Though getting manufacturers to pay for it is another matter!

Nicholas Barnes, MD, Barnes Williams

Tech halts store waste

Sir, It was encouraging to see the launch of your food waste campaign. We’re seeing some retailers beginning to introduce new technology that enables them to reduce the number of errors that result in food perishing along the supply chain, be it in DCs or on shelves. Real time data is allowing staff to manage stock more efficiently, reducing instances where products are on shelves beyond sell-by dates. I hope your campaign will improve supply chain operations.

Neville Payne, vice president, Merchandise Availability Solutions UK