Things We Love: Whole Foods

Ok, we’re going to be up front with you here: we are BIG fans of Whole Foods. As advocates of an organic, sustainable lifestyle that’s good for our health and the planet, we just love that there’s a supermarket chain out there that shares our commitment to responsible commerce, enriching peoples’ lives in healthy ways, and reducing our overall carbon footprint (don’t get us started on the amazing curry chicken salad from their deli department). Their recent move to stop carrying Chobani Greek Yogurt is just the latest example of putting their customers first.

We love the people who work there. They are more than just knowledgeable and friendly, they are so helpful! One perfect example is the time we were starting to look into coconut waters and were a little overwhelmed by the choices. The associate who helped us not only took the time to explain to us some of the differences between the various brands, they really broke it down for us in terms of which was the best value for the price. The fact that they didn’t just recommend the most expensive one, but the one that was right for us, really stuck out as a positive shopping experience. That’s what people are looking for these days, a memorable shopping experience that they will remember and come back to have again and again, and companies are realizing that happy employees make happy customers. That’s why Whole Foods is listed year after year on FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

We don’t want to be all rainbows and unicorns here, shopping at Whole Foods can be expensive (in fact, sometimes that point can be absurdly hilarious). But shopping organic typically is, and we’ve already talked a little about why the benefits of going organic more than make up for that sometimes jaw-dropping initial price point. Here’s three timely reasons why we think Whole Foods rocks!

Growing Nationally, Sourcing Locally

Even though they are a national chain, Whole Foods values the concept of locally-sourced, sustainable food producers. Since 2007, they have initiated a Local Producer Loan Program which has provided $10 million o local and independent food producers, and have committed to another $15 million, or $25 million overall. The financial support not only directly benefits Whole Foods and its shoppers but also benefits the larger industry through the development of projects in biodynamic farming, non-GMO animal feed, pollinator health and sustainable packaging.

Fashionable Sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just about the food we eat, it’s about everything we come in contact with, including what we wear. Whole Foods is at the forefront of a larger movement to provide eco-conscious fashion choices to its customers with sections featuring wearable items that are manufactured responsibly. Their store in West Hollywood, California has an entire Lifestyle Store next door devoted to exactly these types of items. Thinking beyond food is part of taking the bigger picture into consideration.

Changing the Competition, Changing the Game

Imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery, it’s how the competition survives when a player innovates an industry. As Whole Foods has begun expanding into smaller city markets, they have driven conventional chains like Safeway and Kroger to develop organic brands. These chains have a lot more stores than Whole Foods, and that in turn has made access to organic goods easier for a wider socio-economic group. As a result, this sort of competition has also apparently put somewhat of a check on Whole Foods’ pricing. When it comes to the large chains, Whole Foods has been able to change the landscape, and now with their latest push to require producers to label GMO-enhanced goods, they demonstrate what one agent can accomplish within an industry.

We’ve gushed enough for now on Whole Foods. Are you a fan as well? Leave a comment in the section below to let us know!