Whole Foods Case Study Analysis

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 04/24/2010 07:44 AM

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Whole Foods Market has had success in the past because of their reputation for striving to improve the quality of life for it’s customers by offering the best possible tasting and most nutritious food possible available to them, its employees by treating them well and encouraging them to make their own decisions, and to improve the planet by supporting organic farming, performing community service and contributing to not-for- profit organizations. It has made its name as the top natural and organic foods retailer and was designated in 2003 as the first national “Certified Organic” by Quality Assurance International. However, many recent articles suggest that in an attempt to maintain this “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” motto, Whole Foods Market has appeared untruthful.

While I will not accuse Whole Foods Market of not selling Certified Organic, natural or healthy foods, the source of this food is where I find question in Whole Foods Market strategy. Whole Foods Market prides itself in supporting small and local farmers, however many articles suggest that this support is miniscule. At one time, “Whole Foods’ buyers purchased most of the items retailed in the company’s stores from local, regional and national wholesale suppliers and vendors. In recent years, the company has shifted much of the buying responsibility from the store level to the regional and national levels in order to put the company in a better position to negotiate volume discounts with major vendors and distributers.” This statement supports the argument that many protestors are making that Whole Foods no longer shows much support for local and small farmers, but rather chooses to emphasize their support in their marketing, and yet buy from major vendors and distributers in order to save money. One article claims that there is a banner hanging in the Time Warner Center Whole Foods that proclaims “Our Commitment to Local Farmer,” and that there are pinups with pictures of...