Whole Foods Market in 2010: Vision, Core Values, and Strategy

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WHOLE FOODS MARKET IN 2010: VISION, CORE VALUES & STRATEGY Section I What is the setting of the case i.e. the type of industry, the firms, operations, and nature of the environment/market[s]? What appears to be the issue(s), concern(s), problem(s), challenge (s) and/or opportunities and their significance for the organization? Whole Foods has become an industry leader in food retailers and has become the world largest chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. Since the passage of the Organic Food Production Act in 1990, millions of Americans have supported a movement towards organically grown foods by socially responsible farmers. So much so, that in 2009 organic food sales had over 3.5% market share. Consumers had become more health-conscious and because of government public announcements focusing on the role that nutrition plays in health. Environmental groups supported this trend believing that organic farming was beneficial for the environment because of healthier soil and water practices. They began to shed light on hormone injected foods and the effects of pesticides on human health and consumers began to listen. As these concerns grew, the USDA increased labeling standards for farmers and issued regulations on organic practices. But farmers also saw the benefit of these trends because of they could make substantially more from the higher prices of organically grown foods. Whole Foods also quickly saw the effects of this social trend and began to gain their own market share in the industry. Despite the economic recession in 2008, Whole foods saw revenues of $8 billion in 2009. This was partially because of the rise of consumer’s tastes for organic and natural foods allowed for higher prices. But these higher prices came at a higher “cost” - consumers main barrier for purchasing organic foods was that they were typically

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