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Tired Old Brands Can’t Stomach Amazon-Whole Foods

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Here’s to the losers.

Packaged-food and consumer-products companies—including heavyweights like Kraft Heinz Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.—are the worst-performing basket of stocks in the S&P 500 Index over the past year. It’s no coincidence that it’s also been a year since Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy Whole Foods.

The S&P 500's biggest winners and losers since last June, when Whole Foods sold to Amazon

Source: Bloomberg

In Amazon’s defense, it’s hard to find a direct link between anything it’s done so far and the pain suffered lately by the suppliers that have traditionally dominated grocery store shelves. As Shira Ovide notes, Amazon has actually done little with Whole Foods since the deal closed. But even if the fear of Amazon is disproportionate to its actions, Sarah Halzack explains how the secondary effects of its $13.7 billion grocery gamble are already being felt throughout the industry.

Watch: Bloomberg Opinion columnists discuss the Amazon-Whole Foods anniversary

Knowing that Amazon is lurking, supermarkets are trying to be more competitive with their prices, product offerings and services such as delivery, and that pressure has made its way most meaningfully to the manufacturers. Underpinning all this is the desire among more shoppers for fresher, organic and trendier items—from chia-seed-almond-milk yogurt pods to bio-based detergents and kombucha. It makes companies named for canned soup and single-serve processed cheese slices sound passe.

Their stocks are........

© Bloomberg