John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, is well aware that the upscale grocery chain is often mockingly referred to as "Whole Paycheck." (Although, I doubt he knows that my friends and I like to call the cramped, crowded one near my apartment that has the worst selection ever, "Half Foods.") And, he wants to change that -- allegedly ...
In a recent interview with USA Today, he outlines some of the brand's future plans, which are aimed at improving customer experience, including:
1. Signs informing customers about seafood sustainability (beginning today) and how meat animals were raised (beginning January 1, 2011).
2. Testing Wellness Club prototypes -- which will educate people on healthy lifestyles -- in five stores across the country.
3. Rolling out a new vegan line next year based on the healthy eating book, The Engine 2 Diet. The products contain no canola or safflower oils, and are low in sugar and salt.
4. Opening smaller, "deglitzed" stores that look more natural -- with more wood and earth tones. (Mackey thinks this point is "key" to moving away from the "Whole Paycheck" stereotype.
5. A new Boise, Idaho, location and eventually locations in all 50 states.
Hmmm ... all excellent improvements to be sure, but none that really stand to make Whole Foods more affordable for the average food-conscious consumer. Mackey's point is a good one -- that sometimes, especially when it comes to food, you can't always be the cheapest if you're looking for high quality. Still, I'd like to see a few more discounts or special offers, a few less earth tones. Just sayin'.
Do you shop at Whole Foods?
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