[CEO John] Mackey said the company needed to do a better job of explaining to customers why Whole Foods’ organic food was superior to the organic offerings at more conventional grocers, such as Walmart and Kroger, where prices may be lower.
Whole Foods will also be introducing a range of lower-priced products at its new chain of 365 by Whole Foods Market stores.
Mackey says the new chain will be to Whole Foods what Nordstrom Rack is to Nordstrom.
My two cents, and that’s overvaluing it, is that these guys made a basic, but probably unavoidable mistake by scaring people into eating their products. As they ran out of Yuppies with puppies to sell to, they – purveyors of organic food – expanded their customer base by appealing to a market segment that would never pay more for the opportunity to be a modern environmentalist or to taste a decent watermelon, but if they thought they were poising their children by shopping at the A&P, the Whole Foods types could snag their dollar.
And that strategy worked, until it didn’t. Once Walmarts and Krogers started competing on price, selling the same GMO-free horse radish and pesticide free wormy apples for less than the BMW set’s provisioner, it was too late for Whole Foods to resume touting the moral and gustatory benefits of “really really organic food.
My point is, working class people can’t afford the luxury of Whole Foods’ prices, but they went there when the media and the scare scientists told them they were killing their kids. Once they had an opportunity to spare their children from the horrors of “chemicals” at a price mid-way between that A&P and Whole Paycheck, they defected.