Whole Foods Investing For The Long Run


Whole Foods is a company that makes social responsibility as big a part of its mission as returns for shareholders. Whole Foods’ mission is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”. The full mission is “Whole Foods – We obtain our products locally and from all over the world, often from small, uniquely dedicated food artisans. Whole people – we recruit the best people we can to become part of our team. We empower them to make their own decisions, creating a respectful workplace where people are treated fairly and are highly motivated to succeed. Whole Planet – we recognize the connection between our lives, our communities and the environment.”

Whole Foods’ mission makes it a great experience for customers. Whole Foods offers natural foods, which has no formal FDA definition, but generally is minimally processed and contains no additives. They also offer a range of organic foods, which is strictly defined by the government and verified by an accredited certification agency. Whole Foods has the perfect combination of consistent products from store to store as well as unique local products. Whole Foods allows its managers to have rein to select a balanced inventory of local products for its customers. These natural and organic local products are what make Whole Foods unique.

Whole Foods takes a number of actions to benefit all of its stakeholders, including suppliers, employees and customers. An example of Whole Foods making a long-term commitment to a number of stakeholders is its decision to enter the Detroit market. The store is located in Midtown, Detroit, which is a poor part of a very poor city. In order to better serve the community, Whole Foods has decided to reassess its pricing strategy in a manner that makes sense for the location of the store. Whole Foods has also encouraged community members to attend education sessions that it has arranged on budgeting as well as healthy living. The company said that it plans on being in the community for at least twenty-five years and also plans on opening additional stores in the area. This is just one example of Whole Foods making an investment in a community.

Photo Source: http://wchbnewsdetroit.newsone.com/2728180/whole-foods-detroit/

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4 thoughts on “Whole Foods Investing For The Long Run”

  1. I think opening a store in a poorer area shows the bravery of Whole Foods and how it doesn’t care solely about big profits but also is interested in developing and educating the community. My only question about this would be: Given that the store is located in Midtown, Detroit, which is a poorer part of the city, how is Whole Foods appealing to the community with its higher than normal prices?

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  2. Whole Foods has opened stores in food deserts (impoverished areas that have few or no grocery stores and lack fresh fruits, vegetables, and health foods). If areas such as Midtown, Detroit do not offer other options aside from Whole Foods, then locals will shop there regardless of the prices.

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  3. Do you think the fact that Whole Foods sells both ‘natural’ (a term for which there is no strict FDA definition for) and ‘organic’ (a term used for verified and accredited items) is a bit contradictory? Doesn’t it kind of undermine the validity of the organic label?

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  4. Because Whole Foods has taken on the challenge of being an organic/natural store on a large-scale, it would be hard for it to have only organic foods. By giving the title of natural, it still ensures consumers that although that food item might not be totally organic, it did not come from a large-industrial farm. I think Whole Foods does very well in entering larger markets without losing its mission to offering more sustainable, local, and organic/natural foods. The only problem I have ever seen in their business strategy is its elitist pricing strategy. In interviews, Mackey has acknowledged the problem with obesity, and so I feel the next step Whole Foods should take is finding a way to offer their products at more reasonable prices in poorer communities, like Detroit.

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