Whole Foods Marketing Analysis

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Marketing 350|
Final Report|
Whole Foods Marketing Analysis|
Julia Ilina|
Dr. Yu Chen

Objective: Green Food Store Marketing Research|

Whole Foods Market is the world’s leader in organic and natural produce, with more than 300 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. My marketing research paper is based on the Whole Foods chain in general and Whole Foods store located at 30 West Huron Street in Chicago IL. In order to understand this store’s business environment and marketing strategies, SWOT analysis should be conducted first. Strengths:

Wide product and service portfolio: this store and the chain in general offers broad product selection including seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery, prepared foods, specialty (beer, wine and cheese), whole Body (nutritional supplements, vitamins, body care and educational products such as books), floral, pet products and household products. This store also offers catering, personal shopping and delivery services. In comparison with small size green stores like Natural Beginnings and True Nature Foods, Whole Foods has more competitive advantage by offering scrambled merchandising (unrelated product lines) in a single store. It’s convenient for consumers because it eliminates number of stops required in a shopping trip. Brand recognition: Whole Foods has a strong brand image of healthy produce which distinguishes its products from other retailers. Extensive private label production line (365) is a company’s trademark. No other retailers are entitled to use this brand name. Lately it became a well-known, affordable trade mark of natural produce and goods which helps this store to develop customers’ loyalty. High customer satisfaction in comparison with regular retailers: Gold Coast Whole Foods store has a higher customer satisfaction rating (3.5 out of 5) versus its competitors Jewel-Osco on 550 N State (2.5 out of 5). Strong publicity/public relations strategy: this store is the most community giving retailer in Gold Coast area. (See description in IMC strategies). Weakness:

Lower customer satisfaction in comparison with other green produce retailers: according to yelp.com, customers are more satisfied with products and services offered at Trader’s Joe (4.5 out of 5 rating) on 44 E Ontario St (3.5 out of 5) than at Whole Foods on 30 E Huron. Less effective sales promotion mix: Whole Foods’ big competitors like Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco are famous for offering “two packages for the price of one” deals which often increases trial of products among potential customers. Whole Foods struggles more when it comes to introduction of a new product. Lack of loyalty programs: Whole Foods does not offer any rewards cards. Competitors like Dominick’s and Jewel –Osco use Fresh Value card and Preferred Savings card as a reward program to their consumers. Accumulated points built on those cards can be redeemed for special limited time rewards or other free goods. Loyalty programs attract more customers and build better retention. Opportunities:

Higher demand for organic products: Today, there is an increasing preference for organic produce among consumers. Growing awareness of items containing trans-fat, artificial flavors and hormones favorably impact the company’s sales and gives Whole Foods an opportunity to become a leader in organic food market. Expansion in the UK: Whole Foods is currently expanding its international operations. There are 6 stores in the UK. Successful operations in Great Britain can provide an opportunity for Whole Foods expand European market segment and increasing its market share. Growth in private label products: 365 Everyday Value brand is witnessing a strong growth in sales. As an established organic brand, 365 Everyday Value can be offered for sales at other retailers which will increase company’s margins. Threats:

Increasing competition: competitors like Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco make an accent on...
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