SEATTLE — Amazon.com here seeks to broaden its new online grocery initiative with ethnic dry groceries, SN has learned.
The company is exploring various types of ethnic foods, including Hispanic, Asian, kosher and halal, said Melodie Sorelle, Amazon.com's consumables buyer.
“We're trying to have an offering that appeals to various ethnic groups,” Sorelle told SN at the Kosherfest food show, held in New York last week. Kosherfest was co-located with the Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food shows.
Amazon.com recently launched a Web-based grocery-shopping service that offers more than 10,000 nonperishables.
In targeting ethnic foods, Amazon.com joins a growing number of food retailers who are catering to minority populations.
Whole Foods, Albertsons, Winn-Dixie, Publix, Wakefern and King Kullen are among the companies who sent representatives to the shows. Several buyers interviewed on the show floor concurred that demand for ethnic foods is rising.
One way Albertsons, Boise, Idaho, is responding is by launching new sections containing food imported from Israel, Yakov Yarmove, the chain's corporate ethnic category manager, told SN. Rolling out now to about 200 stores, the 12-foot sections will be positioned adjacent to either Albertsons' kosher or international departments.