Tag Archives: organic foods

Whole Foods: Values Matter


The words “healthy” and “organic” can mean different things depending on the retailer using the words. But to grocery retailer, Whole Foods, the words are part of the values that the company promotes to its consumers. Since its founding in 1980 in Austin, TX, Whole Foods established itself as a source for organic, healthy, ethically-sourced food products. And, for many years, the only place to find these products was at Whole Foods.

A lot has changed in the intervening years and now many grocery stores carry organic, natural, and local food products. Given the rise in competition, and the greater availability of organic foods, Whole Foods has shifted its message to tell a story about the company’s values and operations. The new campaign – “Values Matter” – seeks to link the company to a more ethical stance about food, sourcing, healthy eating, and transparency of actions. How important is it for companies to state their vision and values to stakeholders? And more importantly, will the statements increase consumer confidence and sales?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Review Whole Foods in brief. Company Web site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
  2. Show the video, “Values Matter”:

http://youtu.be/5DCow4J-pDE What is the key message from the video?

  1. Discuss competition: What are the direct competitors? Indirect competitors?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team compare Whole Foods with a competitive storey. What are the points of difference? What makes Whole Foods different from competition? What can other companies do to compete with Whole Foods?
  3. Discuss the target market for Whole Foods.
  4. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Brandchannel.com

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Frankenstein Returns (as a pumpkin)!


It’s the time of year when the ghouls and ghosts come out to play – and this year they are joined by a new pal, “Pumpkinstein!” It’s October and Frankenstein is back, but this time he is in the shape of a pumpkin. Scared?

Taking a page from the square-shaped watermelons produced in Japan, an organic farm in California is growing pumpkins in patented plastic molds that give the pumpkins the recognizable face of Frankenstein. The unusual shape has become a Halloween success for the grower; he sold out the 5,500 head crop months ago to wholesalers at $75 per pumpkin head.

It was not an easy or quick path to a successful product; it took 27 varieties of pumpkin and roughly $400,000 before finding the right approach to making the monster shape. Also produced by the farm is cube-shaped and heart-shaped watermelons, sold for $40 each, and branded melons with letters perfectly pressed into the rind. The pumpkinsteins will retail for $100 and more as the Halloween holiday has become a $7 billion annual business with candy, decorations, and costumes.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss spending and products sold for Halloween. What do students spend money on?
  2. Next, discuss innovative products and show the pumpkinstein photos and videos:

Link to photos: http://nyti.ms/1xI7g3h

Web site: http://www.cinagro-farms.com/

CNBC video: http://youtu.be/hvhPfTPBXnA

  1. Discuss the challenges of creating a new product: pricing, promotion, distribution, etc.
  2. Why has this product become a success, despite the high price tag?
  3. As a bonus, also show the video of the Japanese square watermelons: http://youtu.be/2JNSpMhJLvg

Source: New York Times

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