Whole (Foods) Lot of Problems

Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) has had a spate of bad press recently, and the company’s stock price hovers around it’s 52 week low of $18.26, well off it’s high of $53.65. Many analysts don’t think it has hit bottom yet. The most recent bad news is unlike the ethics controversy that engulfed the company, and its founder/CEO, a year ago. I wrote about WFMI at the time and thought the company was headed into dark waters. I was wrong, but only for a while. Eventually, the company stumbled again.

I’m a customer of Whole Foods. It is one of the better places to get vegetarian, vegan, and organic food. However, I prefer the local privately owned stores, like Garden of Light, for their service, character, and mission. Historically, Whole Foods’ quality and service have been high, however; their rapid expansion, acquisition of rival Wild Oats, and their focus on wealthy markets has conspired to weaken their base. Just like Starbucks, they have reduced the value of their brand with over-growth. When quality slips, so does customer service. Whole Foods was different from their competition, until their competition caught up. Now, even the standard grocery store chains are competing with them and luring away their previously loyal customers with better prices.

Much has been written about the perception that Whole Foods is an expensive place to shop. With the run up in global food prices, all groceries are expensive, but particularly at Whole Foods. They sell premium products at premium prices to folks who previously didn’t blink when stuffing their sales receipt into their pocket. It isn’t a perception, but a reality. Now that folks are watching their expenses a lot closer, they have shifted much of their buying to discounters. Groceries have always been a low margin/high volume business, but Whole Foods seemed to break out of the category and define their own niche by making grocery shopping a luxury. This is exactly what Starbucks did with coffee. Harvard Business publishing has a good article about how Starbucks destroyed their brand value with their excessive growth.

So, back to Whole Foods and the most recent bad news. This time they company has been caught up in another major beef recall scandal. Their internal quality assurance processes failed and they procured tainted beef from a disreputable source. They weren’t the only chain caught up in this most recent FDA related mess, but they are supposed to be better than the rest. If you want to learn more, there is no better time to read Fast Food Nation. As Whole Foods takes it lumps, others have seized the opportunity to encroach on their turf and make the most of the whole “eat local” movement. Time will tell if they recover from their assorted problems.

Oh, and if you ask me, the best way to avoid buying tainted beef is to not eat beef and other meat products, at all. Of course, if you insist on indulging; caveat emptor.

0 Responses to “Whole (Foods) Lot of Problems”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes


Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business Fantastic but FRUSTRATING race at The Night Weasels Cometh #cyclocross Was charging hard but punctured with two to go and rode 3/4ths of a lap on my rear flat before getting to my pit bike. I just glued this tubular two nights ago. Grrrr! Gave up more than a dozen spots. This string of bad luck will end and my fitness will pay off. Still not a bad ending to a work day. Onward! #teamhorstsports #crossspikes #nightweasels 🚴🏽 🌕 Good, inspiring, and educational fun at #MetalStorm in Sudbury. I couldn’t find a salesman to sell me a lathe, but I called one on his mobile, and ended up with FOUR coming to my rescue! That’s service. ;) #precisionmachining #robotics #machining #instamachinist #cncmachining #cnc #aerospace #manufacturing #horstengineering #sterlingmachine #crossspikes #madeinconnecticut #madeinmassachusetts #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸

Follow me on Twitter



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 284 other followers

%d bloggers like this: