Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Whole Foods: Becoming Healthier
I read with great interest the article in today's Wall Street Journal about Whole Foods Market. The company has announced that it is launching a healthy eating initiative. Apparently, CEO John Mackey has adopted healthier eating in his personal life and recognized the amount of unhealthy food at Whole Foods. His goal is to return the company to its natural foods origins and to focus on foods that are good for you. As a customer of Whole Foods, as well as an observer of company strategies, I applaud the strategic shift. I've noticed over the past few years that Whole Foods was not at all a store filled with healthy foods. While it did have wonderful fruits and vegetables, and plenty of organic foods, it also had many, many foods that were very high in saturated fat. This always seemed to me to conflict with the "healthy" image that Whole Foods hoped to portray. Thus, it seems to me that Whole Foods is trying to clarify its brand image and insure that its product selection reinforces that brand image. That seems like the right move for a company that faces intensifying competition, particularly from lower-priced rivals.