Whole Foods Market was founded 1980 in Austin, Texas by three businessmen who felt that the natural food industry was ready for a supermarket setup. Two separate individual companies, Safer Way Natural Foods and Clarksville Natural Grocery, formed Whole Foods Market. After 27 years of operation, the company has come a long way. Today Whole Foods Market is the leading retailer of natural and organic foods, with 194 stores/locations in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada (wholefoodsmarket.com). The company has been in the Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for" every year since the list was made up in 1998 (2007 ranked 5th). The cofounder and CEO, John Mackey, believes that the success of the company is due to the unique mission of the company and its application. The mission of the company is "highly selective about what we sell, dedicated to our core values and stringent quality standards and committed to sustainable agriculture." Or another way to say it "the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and naturally preserved foods." (pg C-1)
The market for natural and organic foods has been growing rapidly since the company's conception in 1980. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) showed that in 1990 sales of organic and natural foods were $1 billion. In 13 years, the total sales went from $1 billion to $10 billion (sales have increased 10 times). By the end of 2007, the OTA predicts that sales will increase to $30 billion. The growth rate of the market is reaching new heights. The year 2000 was the first time that major supermarkets in the U.S. sold more organic and natural foods than the 14,500 natural food stores. Larger Supermarkets such as Kroger and Wal-Mart have created special "health food" sections for natural and organic foods. (p. C-3) Legislation passed the Organic Food Production Act which has helped with increased growth in the market. October... [continues]
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