Whole Foods Market: A Brand Analysis


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In December I was asked to pull together a brand and design presentation on a brand of my choice. I went with one of my favorites: Whole Foods Market.

The presentation includes brand and market background information, an analysis of the brand, its market audience and reach, as well as potential solutions for its growth and expansion. Enjoy!

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  • I’ll be taking you on a little journey today, which started with me receiving your task when sitting on the train to Brussels at the end of last week. …But I though, why not do the first brand that pops into my head, a brand that’s been part of my life for many years now. One that is reliable, supportive of my lifestyle always, a brand I’ve been loyal to and that I can always trust. Kind of like this very practical, supportive paper back. No, it’s not the most glitzy and beautiful thing in the world, but it does exactly what it says on the tin, and it’s always there for me when I need it.As they say, seeing is believing and so I brought us something straight from the source to enjoy during the presentation as well.
  • Note: Unilever makes around $60 billion, Carlsberg $11.8 billion and, similarly to Whole Foods, Cadbury makes around $9.97 billion. (Taken from IMAP Global Food and Beverage Industry Report 2008: http://www.imap.com/imap/media/resources/IMAP_Food__Beverage_Report_WEB_AD6498A02CAF4.pdf1) United States Security and Exchange Commission:http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/865436/000110465910059917/a10-19737_110k.htm
  • Stores in US 38 states.London: Soho, Stoke Newington, Camden, Clapham, Kensington
  • Something interesting to keep in mind is the fact that they traditionally expanded through acquisitions, which they did here in London with the 7 Fresh and Wild stores. Here you see the different companies they decided to take over and expand through, something that’ll be part of its future growth. Graph: Wikinvest, ‘Historical Performance on Whole Foods Market’: http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Whole_Foods_Market_(WFM)Additional info: The Company conducts its business through various wholly owned subsidiaries.
  • Any company worth its salthonours its CSR goals. Whole Foods has quite a lot of them, they’ve been honored for quite a lot of these and their success says a lot about the company.It also received the EPA Green Power Award in 2004 and 2005, and Partner of the Year award in 2006 and 2007:http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/partners/wholefoodsmarket.htmAnimal Compassion Foundation: http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2006/11/animal-compassion-foundation-pickled-vegetables-and-persimmons/Whole Planet Foundation: http://wholeplanetfoundation.org/ Additional info:Grist, Independent Green News: http://www.grist.org/article/so-fresh-so-clean“The company plans on purchasing 458 gigawatt hours of wind energy credits. This will keep about 700 million pounds (300,000 metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere. This is equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road or planting 90,000 acres (360 km2) of trees.
  • So now let’s have a look at the complete Whole Foods Experience.For myself, it’s a brand I interact with on a regular basis, and it suits my lifestyle choices, even when I adapt and change them as I did this year (cutting meat and dairy from my diet.)Furthermore, I relate to the brand, its characteristics and enjoy what it stands for or seems to stand for. I have established a relationship with the brand over the years and am happy to identify with it.But let’s have a look at how it does it ….
  • As any customer would, I need to justify spending my hard-earned money with good reason and logic. Therefore, the first things that help me evaluate my shopping experience are based on logic and practicality, more than anything else. (Or so I like to think.)Product choice:- 17 choices of coffee beans Grind your own coffee beans and make your own fresh peanut butter 100 different olive oils 40 types of sausage 50 types of fresh juices The Kensington store has its own “cheese-aging”, if one ever needed oneAll this seems logical. But how does WFM bring this across? Let’s have a look …
  • The say the sizzle sells the steak, and while the content is extremely important, we ought to look at the whole shopping experience.WFM celebrates food like it is a theatrical production. Emotionalising a shopping experience by appealing to the five senses. Stores are spotless, merchandising displays are beautiful to the eyes. Shoppers are encouraged to taste and to touch everything in the store. Fresh smells of coffee, bread, cheeses, fruits.They do this in 7 ways …
  • WFM celebrates food like it is a theatrical production. Emotionalising a shopping experience by appealing to the five senses. Stores are spotless, merchandising displays are beautiful to the eyes. Shoppers are encouraged to taste and to touch everything in the store. Fresh smells of coffee, bread, cheeses, fruits.
  • How does that make me feel about the Whole Food Brand?And what is the result?In the end, what I end up with is that gut feeling that tells me to go to Whole Foods and spend my money.
  • As a next step I looked at the Brand Proposition and what the Whole Foods Market brand aims to bring across. I did so by firstly looking at its core mission and values, and then went into their brand promises (what they tell people they will deliver) and their tactics (what they actually do).
  • The Whole Foods mission is simple. Within this they developed the Declaration of Interdependence … which means that they focus on a variety of values, many of them CSR values, that are interlinked and intertwined. I tried to pull out the main ones to give us a bit of an overview.Whole Foods Market Declaration of Interdependence: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/declaration.phpCommitted to buying from local producers whose fruits and vegetables meet high quality standards, particularly those who farm organically and are themselves dedicated to environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Ensuring crop/bio-diversity. Quality standards focused on ingredients, freshness, taste, nutritive value, safety and/or appearance. Reinvesting profits and donating funds, promoting small local farms that are a valuable components of a communities’ character, helping maintain agricultural heritage, preserve land use diversity, and moderate developmentCommunity care and engagement, education programmes,staff development, healthcare“Our ability to instill a clear sense of interdependence among our various stakeholders (the people who are interested and benefit from the success of our company) is contingent upon our efforts to communicate more often, more openly, and more compassionately. Better communication equals better understanding and more trust.”
  • Committed to buying from local producers whose fruits and vegetables meet high quality standards, particularly those who farm organically and are themselves dedicated to environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Also health angle because local food is healthier and more sustainable/less travel involved. And “Crop diversity and quality: Many farmers producing for a local market choose to diversify, growing a variety of crops instead of just one. This is a boon for biodiversity and your palate, since local crops are harvested at their peak of freshness and flavor.”Local Producer Loan Program:  to make it easier for producers to grow their businesses and bring more local products to market:http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/local-producer-loan-program.php and http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2010/05/uniquely-local/
  • Whole Foods Market food standards: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/quality-standards.php
  • 1) One percent of of proceeds from Whole Trade certified products will go to Whole Planet Foundation to support micro-loan programs. More info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/whole-trade.php
  • 1) Investing in environmental and sustainability programs, e.g. supporting sustainable agriculture, reducing waste and consumption of non-renewable resources. 2) Also:The company plans on purchasing 458 gigawatt hours of wind energy credits. This will keep about 700 million pounds (300,000 metric tons) of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere. This is equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road or planting 90,000 acres (360 km2) of trees. (http://www.grist.org/article/so-fresh-so-clean)3) Also: In May 1999 Whole Foods Market signed on as one of the first American companies to support and participate in the Marine Stewardship Council. (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/stewardship-council.php)4) No. 5 of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for 2007: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2007/full_list/
  • So who are their customers you might wonder?Let me paint you a picture…
  • The first thing I did was look at the customers who shop at Whole Foods and engage with it on the shop floor, and secondly I did a quick online map of those who interact with/mention the brand and its products, because these are clearly people who have purchased products, Of course, these are individuals who already know about Whole Foods and use the shops. They are local customers.
  • For pure geographical reasons customers are different in the UK than they are in the US, however generally the type of customer who shops at Whole Foods is the following:I also looked at some statistics describing whole foods customers. Consumption awareness: 2/3 of consumers with children aged 10 to 14 put production values and ethical properties down as key motivators for buying new product. In addition, values being taught in schools leads to children putting pressures on parents and shopping habits2) 1/3 of consumers find it important to know all the ingredients in an item before purchasing3) A recent European survey on motives for purchasing organic foods found that ‘it is healthier for them’ (48%) and ‘better for the environment’ (16%) were the two most important reasons for select- ing such foods (Walley et al. 2009). Food consumption trends and drivers, John Kearney: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/drivers/dr3-food-consumption-trends.pdf4) National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009,” showed that organic foods appeal most to those ages 35 to 44. http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/consumer.html4) According to the 2009 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Belief Study, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. families buy organic products at least occasionally, chiefly for health reasons. National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009,” showed that organic foods appeal most to those ages 35 to 44. http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/consumer.html
  • 1) Hartman-Group: http://www.hartman-group.com/publications/reports/beyond-organic-and-natural2) Choices Magazine: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2007-2/grabbag/2007-2-05.htm3) Food consumption trends and drivers, John Kearney: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/drivers/dr3-food-consumption-trends.pdfLocal customersFurther research to be done into segment growth, behaviour, price and service requirements.
  • I also wanted to have a very quick look at the markets, because market developments can be incredibly pertinent when positioning our brand or adapting it.
  • 1) Nick Moon, Managing Director of GfK NOP Social Research, comments: "Given the current crisis over the Eurozone, and the pessimism in the media about the likelihood of the British economy sliding back into recession next year, the one point increase in the index this month is a minor variation and doesn’t indicate a significant change. While it does reverse the decline of last month, what matters is the long term trend, and at the moment that still looks very gloomy. GfK – Growth for Knowledge: http://www.gfknop.com/pressinfo/releases/singlearticles/009072/index.en.html2) The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/04/organic-food-sales-fall
  • Organic industry will have a hard couple of years, but consumers do not want to compromise their health and will continue to buy organic. Gavin Rothwell, Senior Business Analyst at IGD – Whole Foods Market Puts UK into Organic Overdrive – Natural Choices: http://www.soilassociation.org/marketreportNational Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. ,’Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009’: http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/consumer.html
  • Having looked at the market, it was also essential to look at who we share the market with … I took a close look at the UK specifically, where Whole Foods hopes to expand in the future.
  • Large retailers and other businesses already dominate organic and fair-trade sales.1The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/jun/07/retail.supermarkets
  • Large retailers already dominate organic and fair-trade sales“Premium supermarkets, such as Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, have been stocking pots of pre-chopped tropical fruit and organic wines for some time. But while British customers already spend more than £1bn a year on organic products, the British idea of organic food tends to be small fruit and muddy veg bought in small stores, not gleaming piles of pomegranates (99 pence each) from supersized malls.” The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/jun/07/retail.supermarketsNational Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009,” showed that organic foods appeal most to those ages 35 to 44. http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/consumer.html
  • So back to my practical reasoning …. I also had a look at some of Whole Foods pricing compared to other retailers, as price can often dominate consumer choice.US nickname “Whole Paycheque“
  • So what is this brand’s future potential?
  • To find out I pulled together a quick SWOT analysis to help identify some key issues and opportunities. Note:Economic downturn: food is expensive and shoppers don’t see the cost-effectiveness of paying premium for basic foodsConsumer association backlash about specific products, e.g. personal care products for which “organic’ guidelines do not applyCriticism from animal right supporters for selling live lobbsters and meat countersOngoing debate about benefits of organic foods
  • Introducing some practical developments and possible brand actionEnergize brand image:Limit inconsistencies, e.g. imagery, look and feel of different company areasStrengthen corporate imageDevelop brand awareness with key audience and potential customers
  • Develop consumer education and marketing to clear up misconceptions while driving product salesEducation campaign, e.g. coalition with famous chefs or other celebrity endorsers and third party’s/ competitors such as farmers markets etc.External events, e.g. further develop in-store events such as cooking classes, family days, lady’s evenings, and moreTHE COUNTRYSIDE FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION IS SOON TO BECOME COUNTRYSIDE LEARNINGThe mission of the Countryside Foundation for Education is a simple one. It is to educate, inform and inspire children, parents and teachers, so that they can enjoy and appreciate the countryside while having a greater understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding it. Read more.....
  • Seasonal sales and frequent customer rewards scheme, Sales promotion to reach wider audience and increase direct salesPush well-being and beauty angle, e.g. push well-being and beauty lines, collaborate with spas and health/fitness centresEvents:Increase direct shopper marketing/audience engagement, e.g. sales effortsLoyalty card, where WFM donates to environmental charity every time you purchase a green product, etc. to give back to consumers who shop regularly and develop new customersResult:Able to clear misconceptions and educate on: food pricing, importance of healthy, organic and free-trade foodsGive back to consumers who shop regularly and develop new customers
  • - Good brand extensions grow the value of a brand by reinforcing its focus
  • Where do you think it can go in the future? What could it do better and what interesting moves could it make going forward?What does this mean for the Whole Foods Brand?Keeping to same brand vision but increasing tangible customer value; develop brand promise, delivery model by using experience mapping Need for further segmentation beyond organic vs. non-organic = health organic market and social organic market
  • Whole Foods Market: A Brand Analysis

    1. 1. 21st December, 2011WHOLE FOODS MARKET®: A BRAND ANALYSIS Sebastian May
    2. 2. WHAT’S ON OUR MENU TODAY? Some background: quick facts, geography and more Experiencing Whole Foods Market:  What does it provide?  How does it do it?  How does it make us feel? The Whole Foods Market brand proposition  Core mission and values  7 promises and tactics Brand audience and customers  Who are they?  Who could they be? Whole foods market analysis Competitor analysis Whole Foods Market brand potential  A quick evaluation  Food for thought  Future brand development
    4. 4. QUICK FACTS Founded in 1980 by John Mackey in Austin, Texas Store reach: US, Canada and UK, 310 stores and employs around 62,000 staff Current value US$9.006B and NASDAQ and NASDAQ- 100 traded1 Entered UK market in 2004 by buying 7 Fresh and Wild stores 1st European outlet opened in Kensington in 2007 Emphasis on highest quality perishable foods (fresh produce)
    5. 5. WHOLE FOODS MARKET GEOGRAPHY 6 stores in Canada Around300 stores across 1 store in the US ... Glasgow…including 4 stores 5 stores inin Hawaii London
    6. 6. THE WHOLE FOODS “PYRAMID”Strong history of acquisitions and expansion. (Somewhatlimited growth in Europe due to recession and limited revenue.)17 Whole Foods Companies: Whole Foods Market Whole Food Company Wellspring Grocery Bread & Circus Mrs. Goochs Fresh Fields Bread of Life  Product portfolio includes produce, seafood, grocery, Amrion meat and poultry, dietary and nutritional supplements, Merchant of Vino vitamins, specialty (beer, wine and cheese), body care Allegro Coffee products, floral and household products and pet products, and catering of prepared foods. WholePeople.com (e-commerce subsidiary)  11 geographical divisions with 1 president each, handling Natures Heartland own store network and local distribution channels - Food for Thought decentralized, self-directed stores and teams Harrys Farmers Market  Sub-brands/products: Select Fish  365 Everyday Value® products Fresh & Wild  Whole Foods Market brand Wild Oats© Markets  Whole Trade
    7. 7. THE MORE YOU KNOW Ranked among the most socially responsible businesses and placed third on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‟s list of Top 25 Green Power Partners1 Whole Foods Market commits to a policy of donating at least five percent of its annual net profits to charitable causes. Individual stores also hold 5% Days approximately four times a year, during which they donate 5% of that days net sales to a local or regional non-profit or educational organisation. In 2005, the company created two foundations designed to effect solutions to global problems. The Animal Compassion Foundation2 strives to improve the quality of life for farm animals and the Whole Planet Foundation3 works to combat poverty in rural communities around the world through microlending.
    9. 9. WHAT’S THE WHOLE FOODS DEAL? High quality standards, foods, sourcing Ethical behaviour, e.g. fair-trade, organic, locally sourced food Product choice Premium services, e.g. cooking classes Premium information, e.g. labels, recipes
    10. 10. FOOD AS THEATRE: SETTING THE SCENE IWhole Foods Market emotionalises theshopping experience through: Shop architecture: an open-air, rural market and bright scenery. Result: Shopping atmosphere is friendly, accessible, welcoming Product range: „American style‟ the bigger the better. Result: Customers feel valued and spoiled Product display: flawless, colourful, spacious arrangements Result: Premium/elite shopping experience1 Premium pricing. Result: feeling of premium quality, services and benefits
    11. 11. FOOD AS THEATRE: SETTING THE SCENE II Customer services: a direct, „no fuss‟ approach, yet knowledgeable. Result: Customer trust in services, company and brand In-store information, e.g. labels, signage, product information. Result: Ease of use makes customer feel respected, like he is in complete control and is valued External information, e.g. website, social media, with consistent delivery of valuable information, e.g. company ethos, product information, always up to date and current. Result: Customers feel current, and up to date and informed about their food/shopping/consumption choices.
    12. 12. BUT WHY DOES IT FEEL SO GOOD?The consumer feels that: Whole Foods Market is an honest, transparent and approachable brand A trusted retail environment Premium and first-class shopping experience It is the supermarket he wants to shop in, it becomes a logical choice/necessityThe final result: Establishes brand loyalty between customer and brand Continuous brand interaction and wanted brand proximity Whole Foods Market is the food industry and market leader in organic, ethical and natural foods with a clear service offering: premium quality groceries and fresh produce Knowledge-leader and forward thinking brand with a future
    14. 14. BRAND PROPOSITION AND VALUES: CORE MISSION AND VALUES “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” A WHOLE-istic approach and the “Declaration of Interdependence”1Environment Ethicaland Health and business Socialsustainability nutrition3 development development52 and growth4
    15. 15. BRAND PROMISE(S) AND TACTICS1) Preserving local communities andpartnerships: by promoting local traders andproducers• For example: Local Producer Loan • For example: Interactive digital map Program: providing local producers with up of local producers throughout the to $10 million in low-interest loans ($3 US. million so far).
    16. 16. BRAND PROMISE(S) AND TACTICS2) Healthy and high quality foods: by creating aquality standard focused on ingredients, freshness,taste, nutritive value, safety and/or appearance;foods unadulterated by artificial additives,sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives13) Premium customer experience and services:through friendly customer service and premiumservices such as catering, cooking classes, freeallergen tours, etc., product information (labels,seasonal information, recipes, on and offline)
    17. 17. BRAND PROMISE(S) AND TACTICS4) Ethical foods retail and promotion: through strict sales policies,e.g. no meat or milk from cloned animals, many USDA-certifiedorganic foods, no foie gras or battery caged hen eggs, many fare-trade productsFor example the Whole Trade®Guarantee Launched in 2007 to work with TransFair USA and the Rainforest Alliance to ensure transparency and integrity of program1 A Commitment to Ethical Trade, the Environment and Quality Products, which must: • meet high quality standards • provide more money to producers • ensure better wages and working conditions for workers • use sound environmental practices
    18. 18. BRAND PROMISE(S) AND TACTICS5) High environment and sustainability standards: byinvesting in environmental and sustainabilityprograms, e.g. supporting sustainable agriculture,reducing waste and consumption of non-renewableresources1236) Staff excellence and happiness: through highemployee benefits package and salary caps47) Promoting stakeholder health and development:through educational information and customer advice
    19. 19. CONCLUSIONS Does what it says on the tin Holistic and integrated/interdepend ent approach and structure A national yet local appeal that makes it competitive
    20. 20. BRAND AUDIENCE
    21. 21. BRAND AUDIENCE AND CUSTOMERS "Id definitely come here for a pint after work," -Paul Whiteside, sipping a £3 pint of Black Dog
    22. 22. BRAND AUDIENCE AND CUSTOMERSWho are they? Multicultural and diverse audience Key customers = Working parents1 between 30 and 50 (more women)4 Educated to degree level Professionals with mid- to high-level incomes Health- and fitness-conscious City, and suburbanWhat are they concerned with? Healthy foods for themselves and their children2 Environment and sustainability issuesWhat are they looking for? Premium service and well-rounded shopping experience A one-stop-shop to suit their busy lifestyles
    23. 23. DEVELOPING (NEW) AUDIENCESIt’s not easy being green … “The picture is no longer black or white; it is a colorfulmosaic where organic and/or natural intersects and overlapswith attributes such as local, fresh, sustainable, safe, green,quality, lack of additives and many more.”1 As organic market develops it becomes more difficult topigeonhole consumers2 Consumer attitudes to organic foods are complex, oftenlinking food to health, the environment, ethics and identity.Location of production plays a key role in promoting trust.Room to grow… “Consumers also believe that organic foods are morenutritious than conventional foods and are prepared to payhigher prices for them.”3 We could therefore look at potential customers who are:  Professionals with large expendable incomes and purchasing power  Single, more independent customers with interest in healthy lifestyle, beauty products and personal care  Audiences with interest in latest trends, product developments  For example: LGBT market segment or “single girl” customer (slightly younger audience)
    25. 25. A LOOK AT THE MARKETS I Slump in markets and less consumer spending1 Sales of organic food and drink slumped by 10% to £1.53bn last year as shoppers opted for cheaper alternatives, according to a new report.2
    26. 26. A LOOK AT THE MARKETS II Long-running consumer trends of health, well-being, and ethical consumer spending 10% sales growth of premium food products per year1 50% increase in organic market between „07 and ‟111 100% increase in fairtrade market between „07 and ‟111 U.S. families said their largest increases in spending in the past year were for organic products with preference to cut other areas of spending.2 The recession has prompted consumers of specialty foods to cook more often at home and to plan more meals ahead of time.
    28. 28. HEALTHY COMPETITION? Over the top and over here: Disney World of food opens first UK store: US chain takes on supermarkets in battle for £1bn organic market (Guardian, 7th June 2007)1
    29. 29. HEALTHY COMPETITION? Local businesses: pharmacies, coffee shops, butchers, small restaurants, cafes, bars and (farmers) markets Premium supermarkets: Waitrose, Marks and Spencer. Sainsbury‟s and Tesco‟s (own brand and organic brands) Health stores, e.g. Holland and Barrett Value retailers, e.g. The Co- operative A recent survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute (2004) showed that only 11% of organic shoppers polled bought organics at a natural-food supermarket, while 57% bought at mainstream grocery stores and discount stores.
    30. 30. HIGH STREET PRICE COMPARISONSmall box of organic Small packet of dried apple Organic peanut butterraspberries slices Whole Foods: £4.99 perWhole Foods: £3 Whole Foods: £1.99 kilogrammeWaitrose: £2.99 M&S: pound;1.99 Waitrose: 89p for a 454g jarTesco: £2.49 Tesco: £1.65 Tesco: £1.29 for 227g jarMarmite Large bottle of carbonated Organic coffee beansWhole Foods: £3.29 water Whole Foods KensingtonWaitrose: £2.18 Whole Foods: Blue Keld blend: £3.99 per 250gTesco: £2.18 carbonated water: £3.49 Waitrose: £2.29 per 227g Waitrose: Perrier carbonated Tesco: £1.89 per 100g water: 79p Tesco: Tynant carbonated water: £1.29Bar of Green & Blacks Whole organic mango Loaf of organic breadchocolate Whole Foods: 99p Whole Foods: £1.39Whole Foods: £2.99 per 150g Waitrose: £1.69 Waitrose: £1.15Waitrose: £1.55 per 200g Tesco: £1.29 Tesco: 69pTesco: £1.98 per 150g
    32. 32. SWOT EVALUATION Helpful HarmfulInternal STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES • Established internationally • Overly high premium prices • National appeal/following with $9B organic/health • Self-contained niche market set-up (organics) food supermarket industry leadership • Structural problems, very decentralised • 25 years of double-digit revenue growth • No government subsidies for organic foods (but • Easy acquisition of other/similar stores available for other sectors) • Strong network of suppliers • Underdeveloped supply chain for organic foods • Good access to target market (locations) • Higher supplier costs for organic and fair-trade • Less pressure to be efficient due to high prices prices • Larger offers than other stores • Food security, e.g. E. coli outbreak • A known brand name • Inconsistent/ dated brand imageExterna OPPORTUNITIES THREATSl • Existing yet limited awareness of benefits of • Recession and weak economies organic foods: Able to clear misconceptions and • Demand for food will not increase educate on: food pricing, importance of healthy, • Direct competition from other supermarkets, etc. organic and free-trade foods with similar offering, e.g. Sainsbury‟s SO organic • Demand for value pricing range and market share advantage of • Give back to consumers who shop regularly and traditional/existing retailers in unexplored markets develop new customers • Changes in government regulation on organic foods • Increase in-store events, and develop external • Consumer association and NGO backlash about events specific products/activities • Continue to promote and build „organic food‟ • Issues such as food supply, miles and advertising brand identity honesty are pushed to the forefront • Increase outreach abroad, e.g. across Europe, via other retailers
    33. 33. MOVING FORWARD: FOOD FOR THOUGHT Energizing the brand image
    34. 34. MOVING FORWARD Coalition building and targeted stakeholder education  Celebrity campaign that combines education angle with national audience outreach. For example, collaborate with famous chef Anthony Worral-Thompson and childrens/countryside charities or organic produce federations to teach target audience about healthy lifestyles and nutrition.
    35. 35. MOVING FORWARD: FOOD FOR THOUGHT Develop marketing and sales focus Seasonal sales and frequent customer reward scheme, e.g. a loyalty card with reward points for purchasing eco- friendly products Special events, such as „ladies‟ evenings‟ or family days
    36. 36. MOVING FORWARD: FOOD FOR THOUGHT Develop store reach and interconnectivity amongst regions  Internal/external best-practice events and trade fairs Widen physical outreach  Develop further branches across Europe and emerging markets  Develop additional sub-brands beyond 365 Everyday Value®, e.g. baby food brands, pet food brands, healthcare, beauty and technology products  Collaborate with international retailers to introduce Whole Foods products in competitors stores
    37. 37. FUTURE BRAND DEVELOPMENT Increase visibility of brand image and make it the one and only brand for organic/natural foods Collaboration and third party endorsement  Increase recognition by collaborating with other influential stakeholders, organisations and celebrities; increasing internal and external visibility Differentiate and diversify role of the brand and implement structural portfolio changes  Products, e.g. Baby Whole Foods  Sectors, e.g. Whole Foods Education Internationalise brand through expansion abroad
    38. 38. QUESTIONS?
    39. 39. THANK YOU
    40. 40. SOURCES USED IMAP Global Food and Beverage Industry Report 2008: http://www.imap.com/imap/media/resources/IMAP_Food__Beverage_Report_WEB_AD6498A02CAF4.pdf United States Security and Exchange Commission: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/865436/000110465910059917/a10-19737_110k.htm Wikinvest, „Historical Performance on Whole Foods Market‟: http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Whole_Foods_Market_(WFM) Whole Foods Market, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market Whome Foods Market website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ United States Environmental Protection Agency, Green Partners: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/partners/wholefoodsmarket.htm Animal Compassion Foundation: http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2006/11/animal-compassion-foundation-pickled-vegetables-and-persimmons/ Whole Planet Foundation: http://wholeplanetfoundation.org/ Grist, Independent Green News: http://www.grist.org/article/so-fresh-so-clean Whole Foods Market Declaration of Interdependence: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/declaration.php Whole Foods Market food standards: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/quality-standards.php Local Producer Loan Program: to make it easier for producers to grow their businesses and bring more local products to market: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/local-producer-loan-program.php and http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2010/05/uniquely-local/ Whole Foods Market Whole Trade Guarantee: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/whole-trade.php Marine Stewardship Council: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/stewardship-council.php Money CNN: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2007/full_list/ Choices Magazine: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2007-2/grabbag/2007-2-05.htm Hartman-Group: http://www.hartman-group.com/publications/reports/beyond-organic-and-natural Food consumption trends and drivers, John Kearney: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/drivers/dr3-food- consumption-trends.pdf GfK – Growth for Knowledge: http://www.gfknop.com/pressinfo/releases/singlearticles/009072/index.en.html National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. ,‟Today‟s Specialty Food Consumer 2009‟: http://www.ota.com/organic/mt/consumer.html Gavin Rothwell, Senior Business Analyst at IGD – Whole Foods Market Puts UK into Organic Overdrive – Natural Choices: http://www.soilassociation.org/marketreport The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/jun/07/retail.supermarkets