Whole Foods CEO Takes Issue with Press Coverage
John Mackey, the co-chief executive of Whole Foods Market,
is upset with the press for referring to the chain as "Whole Paycheck."
to a MarketWatch report, Mr. Mackey believes the suggestion
that Whole Foods is high-priced is wrong and that the notion keeps consumers
out of its stores. As a result, the American populace is not as healthy
as it could be, he insists.
Mackey pointed out that Americans pay a much lower percentage of their overall
income on food today compared to the past.
"People have the money in America to spend on food; it’s about
their priorities," he told attendees at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference. "There’s a significant portion of the population
that doesn’t want to keep eating crummy food, and they’re willing
to pay up for it."
Americans, he also contended, could save a lot more
money if they cut out all the unhealthy items sold in stores, his included,
it is assumed. A diet free from meat and loaded with whole grains, beans, fruits
and vegetables costs around $200 a month, according to Mr. Mackey, who is a
Mr. Mackey, in response to a question from the audience, rejected the
assertion that Trader Joe’s was much cheaper than Whole Foods.
"They’re a limited-assortment store," he said. "Everything
you find at Trader Joe’s is a low price, where Whole Foods is a spectrum
of prices. That creates the image of Whole Foods being more expensive."
Discussion Questions: How would you say Whole Foods’ prices compare to other grocers? Do you think John Mackey has a point regarding Americans complaining too much about the amount they spend on healthy diets?