Whole Foods wants to help consumers eat mindfully

Discussion
Source: instagram.com/wholefoods/channel/
Mar 25, 2021
Tom Ryan

Whole Foods Market announced a partnership with meditation platform Headspace to help customers reprioritize their physical and mental well-being “by tapping into positive moods associated with certain foods.”

The collaboration includes: a IGTV (Instagram TV) recipe series, Food for Mood; three new meditations focused on mindful shopping, cooking and eating; and a one-month free trial of Headspace Plus.

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Whole Foods found 85 percent of respondents would like to take steps to improve their overall well-being a year into the pandemic. Seventy-nine percent indicated they want to learn to eat more mindfully.

“After a year of dramatically shifting routines and priorities, we know customers are eager to reprioritize well-being, and the beginning of spring is a great time to reset your meals and renew your mind,” said Kylie Bentley, registered dietitian and team leader for Nutrition & Compliance at Whole Foods.

The program started last Thursday with the first episode of the IGTV series featuring recipes created by chef Sophia Roe in collaboration with the grocer and Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard nutritional psychiatrist and author of “This Is Your Brain on Food.” The four episodes in the series highlight specific ingredients and tips to inspire one of four positive moods: joyful, energized, focused and relaxed.

Eve Lewis, Headspace director of meditation, said, “Mindful eating is so much more than just paying attention to our food — it encompasses finding joy and inspiration in our shopping, being present and intentional with our meal preparation, savoring what’s on our plate and developing a greater awareness of how it makes us feel or contributes to our well-being.”

Last year, Starbucks partnered with Headspace to offer a free subscription to baristas and this January rolled out a meditation series to its Rewards program members. Nike offers Headspace content to app users.

Last October, Lululemon launched its first “Impact Agenda” that included a commitment to invest $75 million though 2025 into making well-being programs more inclusive globally through direct funding, partnerships and advocacy.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does a Headspace partnership make sense for Whole Foods? Generally speaking, what do you think of retailers and brands offering meditation content and mindfulness tips to consumers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Kudos to Whole Foods for seeing a market opportunity."
"This is nice, but from what I’m seeing, WFMI needs to re-focus on some basic issues first, like having merchandise in stock."
"I don’t think that anyone can argue that this supports the values that Whole Foods was founded on and supports the interests of their customers."

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11 Comments on "Whole Foods wants to help consumers eat mindfully"


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Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

The results of this poll are not surprising, always the same and laughable. 85 percent of respondents would like to take steps to improve their overall well-being. 75 percent indicated they want to learn to eat more mindfully. Of course. Who doesn’t. But even given all the tools, most will not do what is necessary.

The Whole Foods offering is nice and even thoughtful, but no more than that. It helps communicate Whole Foods’ values and separates it from the pack a very little.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Somehow I have it in my mind that “eating healthy” is part of Whole Foods’ brand promise from its very inception. That’s an old imprint for me, from long before the “Whole Paycheck” moniker emerged. So this sounds like an updated way of tapping into a longstanding brand promise in a manner reflective of people’s desire to reprioritize their well-being. Very smart in the market we now live in. It’s both differentiating and value adding.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Well, start with the premise that there are all these people who want this – that’s not so true. Who’s going to say no in a survey? And Oreo sales are still going strong. Does it hurt to offer this? No, and some might actually find it useful. Headspace is a pretty good place (says my wife, the meditation teacher), but I’m not sure you’re going to convert a lot of folk. And you can bet that a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc is not on the menu.

Ryan Grogman
BrainTrust

Mindfulness and overall well-being are hot lifestyle trends right now, so it makes sense for a brand like Whole Foods to continue to push that concept with its marketing and messaging. I’m not sure it will generate a wealth of incremental revenue, but as far as I know they are the first large chain grocer to push mindfulness as a complimentary concept to eating well. So kudos to Whole Foods for seeing a market opportunity.

Venky Ramesh
BrainTrust

Absolutely makes sense. In fact, the entire consumer goods industry – food, beverage, personal care, and hygiene companies can make a unique contribution to today’s global and local health and wellbeing opportunities. In doing so, they can legitimately support growth by addressing unmet consumer needs — building consumer trust and strengthening their brand reputation.

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust

This is another logical step in Whole Foods’ approach to tap their customers’ relationship with food, health, and wellness. Many of their customers are already concerned about the whole experience of eating, and adding mindfulness to the value offering is an excellent move to an unmet need. Not all will utilize or follow through, but that does not diminish the value and potential.

Ryan Rosche
BrainTrust

I applaud Whole Foods for bringing this partnership to their customers. Every brand is looking for ways to engage their customers and there is always more that can be done beyond their doors. I don’t think that anyone can argue that this supports the values that Whole Foods was founded on and supports the interests of their customers.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Talk about conscious consumption! Whole Foods’ partnership with Headspace makes perfect sense by promoting total well-being with practical content for a mindful lifestyle.

Change is stressful. A year of constant disruption created new commercial opportunities for soothing self-care.

Injecting meditation into the retail experience can tie consumers’ positive feelings to the Whole Foods brand to increase engagement and loyalty. This partnership could fill consumers’ needs for security and belonging to a bigger health community. It could even address their desire for the esteem associated with prestigious goods.

Notably, the brands mentioned in this article (Whole Foods, Starbucks, Nike and Lululemon) are all leaders in premium retail experiences. These brands target upscale consumers who invest in their well-being, linking health and wealth.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

This is nice, but from what I’m seeing, WFMI needs to re-focus on some basic issues first, like having merchandise in stock. Since AMZN took over, I have never had to make as many “alternative” choices in product that I wanted as I have since that happened. No strawberries? What about blueberries? Ok, how ’bout carrots? Peanut butter? Pretzels? All out of stock, so what now? Guess the pickers cleaned out the store and the “2 Hour Delivery” signs up front are a hint.

Again, the Whole Warehouse, I mean Foods, business needs to check some in-store fundamentals before they visit “nice to have” territory.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Health, wellness, and eating nutritiously have become increasingly important throughout the pandemic. Whole Foods has historically been associated with their organic produce, meats, fish, and other healthier options. A partnership with the meditation platform Headspace makes sense to extend the Whole Foods brand promise beyond the in-store transactions.

This is a welcome development and will help differentiate Whole Foods against the fast-rising competition in the holistic eating and organic foods space. We should expect well-established brands as Whole Foods to collaborate with innovative startups and influencers to help drive, cultivate and grow new customer relationships.

Kai Clarke
BrainTrust

This seems to be less about eating mindfully, and more like a promotional campaign for Headspace. What about the types of alignments that other competitors to Headspace like Calm, Stop, Wave Meditation, etc. have done and their approach to the types of solutions they offer?

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Kudos to Whole Foods for seeing a market opportunity."
"This is nice, but from what I’m seeing, WFMI needs to re-focus on some basic issues first, like having merchandise in stock."
"I don’t think that anyone can argue that this supports the values that Whole Foods was founded on and supports the interests of their customers."

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