What Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Really Means

Last week, two days before announcing that it would be acquiring Whole
Foods, Amazon released a short promotional video for a new product
called the Dash Wand. The Wand is a candy-bar-size gizmo that costs
twenty dollars. It sticks to your refrigerator with magnets and lets you
order products by talking—it features Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa—or
by scanning barcodes. In the video, an affluent, middle-aged couple
drift through their spotless kitchen, preparing for a dinner party. The
woman peers into the fridge, where she discovers a bag of pre-peeled
shrimp. She asks the Wand for a simple shrimp-pasta recipe, then orders
ingredients for it, scanning the barcode of an empty jar of pasta sauce
and proclaiming, “Mushrooms!” The next day, these items are delivered in
a cooler bag. While cooking, she uses up the

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