Whole Foods Wellness Club Focuses on Consumer Education
What does $739 get you at Whole Foods?
It gets you a one-year membership ($199 one-time processing fee plus $45 a month) in the natural grocery store chain’s new Wellness Club in Dedham, MA.
The new program, developed for the company by two physicians and a registered dietitian, includes a lifestyle evaluation, nutrition education, coaching. skill-builldng classes, Supper Clubs with healthy four-course meals, and a 10 percent discount on food in the store.
"We are extremely excited to help build this program," said Matthew Lederman, M.D., in a press release, "The overall structure, support system and team that we have in place will help address individual needs, inspire changes in lifestyle and help members reach their optimum health."
John Mackey, founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, said, "This is like nothing the grocery world has ever seen before and we’re thrilled to offer it to our communities and to be a pioneer in the effort of providing support for our shoppers."
The Wellness Club program includes introductory nutrition classes, a four-week "immersion" period that is followed by a four-week "experimental" phase, emphasizing how members can lead healthier lives.
"We’ve found that providing the support of like-minded individuals greatly increases the success rate for people looking to make positive lifestyle changes," said Alona Pulde, M.D. "Supper Clubs, interactive classes and practical skill building in this type of group setting is part of what makes this program so unique."
The Dedham store as well as others planned in Chicago, New York City, Princeton, NJ and Oakland, CA plan to seek out local partners in areas such as yoga and fitness to offer lectures and classes on site.
Whole Foods will make the decision whether to add other locations following a test of the first five Wellness Clubs.
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Discussion Questions: Is the Wellness Club a program that will work at Whole Foods and other grocery stores? What do you think are the keys to success for a program of this type to succeed?