Whole Foods Market has received recognition as recent as January 27th 2011 when CNBC aired Supermarkets Inc: Inside a 500 Billion Money Machine. “Whole Foods is arguably the most influential, and by some measures, the most successful supermarket chain in the world. The specialty gourmet store has grown into a Fortune-300 company offering specialty foods and locally grown organic produce.1” CNBC goes on to state that even “Established brands like Safeway, Giant Eagle and Kroger are cultural icons as familiar as our own street names, but they are under constant attack from brilliant upstarts like Whole Foods…1” From the general supermarket industry Whole Foods Market breaks down into even a smaller specific industry which is the natural and organic foods industry. This industry focused on proving customers with natural foods which is defined as “foods that are minimally processed, largely or complexly free of artificial ingredients, preservatives and other non natural occurring ingredients; and near to their whole, natural state as possible.7.” Also “organic foods were a special subset of the natural foods category; to be labeled as organic, foods had to be grown and processed without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, synthetic chemicals, artificial fertilizers, preservatives, dyes or additives or generic engenerring.7” Also from the text book CEO John Mackey believes Whole Foods Market has been highly selective for finding the highest quality, least processed, most favorable and naturally preserved foods available.
Whole Foods Market is an industry leader in natural and organic food retailing. The five forces model of competition, in written form, is provided as a key analytical tool to better understand the overall attractiveness of the industry. Rivalry among competing sellers is certainly strong and is expected to become stronger as more grocery retailers compete for loyal customers who desire the healthiest foods.