Whole Foods and the Organic Movement: Bigger Than You Think (WFM)
This past month, Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb went on CNBC's Mad Money and made a surprising announcement: Instead of stopping at 1,000 stores, Whole Foods now sees itself growing to 1,200 locations nationwide.
With just 362 sites currently open, and growth occurring at a moderate pace, how could the company's leaders make such an audacious goal? By taking a quick look at Whole Foods' past, and the changing relationship we have with the food we eat, you might be surprised at the strength of both the organic movement in general and the Whole Foods brand in particular.
Don't underestimate this trendWhen I first heard about "organic" foods as a teenager, I thought it was a sham that allowed grocers to charge outrageous prices. Fifteen years later, my wife and I moved onto a tinyorganic coffee farm in Costa Rica and saw what a difference organic practices can make. Not only is the final product usually superior, but such forms of farming are also better for the health of those working in the fields as well as local ecosystems.
Apparently, we aren't alone. Over the last 15 years, the trend toward organic foods has been one of the strongest, most sustained shifts in eating habits since World War II.