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Whole Foods Market

Conduct a company review of Whole Foods. What are their unique marketing and product positioning
strategies? Explain why they give the company a competitive advantage. Compared to other grocery
store chains, Whole Foods is very profitable, why is that? How does their financial strategy differ from the


Whole Foods Market has been highly competitive and profitable in the United States
grocery market for a long time. Its unique positioning and marketing strategy has been
outstanding in driving its operations, growth, and competitiveness as shown in this study.
Whole Foods is a grocery store in the United States that deals mainly with perishable
organic goods. The company has 433 stores in the US and Canada, which offers grocery, food
items, nutritional supplements, body care and lifestyle products (Bells, 2015). For a period of ten
years before 2015, the company had been the most profitable and fastest growing grocery store
in the US. The company employed an out-of-the-box market mix positioning strategy to ward off
stiff competition and make profits. Through product positioning, Whole Foods successfully
segregated its products according to customers’ buying capacity. The 365 Everyday Value line
offers products at a competitive price to a price-conscious buyer (Smithson, 2015).
Similarly, the Whole Foods Market Brand line is made of premium products, while the
Engine 2 Plant Strong is the company’s line for vegetarian and dietary preferences (Smithson,
2015). Whole Foods Market has also been expanding its marketing place in order to reach more


customers. The company offers its products through the stores or by delivering to customers who
request the products online (Smithson, 2015). This has enabled the store to venture into new
markets like the UK and Canada. The promotional market mix strategy used by the company
entails advertising, sales promotion, and public relations. The company primarily relies on
customer testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations (Bells, 2015). According to
Smithson (2015), the company also does regional and sometimes national advertisement like
‘Value Matters’, where customers are taught importance of value and business relations.
Whole Foods offers its products at a premium price while at the same time ensuring high
quality upscale grocery experience (Harrison & John, 2013). Despite the high prices charged
way above traditional competitors like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Kroger, the high product quality
and unique customer experience keeps them abreast of the competition. Furthermore, the pricing
aligns it to its strategy of ‘broad differentiation’ (Smithson, 2015). As compared to its
competitors who sell a variety of products, the company has narrowed the customer needs to
perishable, premium grocery, giving them a marketing and competitive edge. Johnston and
Szabo (2011), posits of how customers feel good to be at the stores just for the ambience, not the
Additionally, the financial market strategies of Whole Foods differ significantly with that
of Wal-Mart and other industry players. Despite Wal-Mart offering the same grocery prices at
rock-bottom-prices, Whole Foods does the opposite (Bells, 2015). The company goes at length in
addressing the customer needs by providing quality products, exquisite shopping environment,
close customer relations and relying on customers rather than media for advertisement (Harrison,
John, 2013 & Bells, 2015). Hansted and Posner add that, the company’s employees are usually
involved in charitable activities in the company’s time. The company also uses alternative forms


of energy to power its stores; hence saving on costs. This has ensured the company remains
profitable and competitive for a long time.


The unique marketing mix and positioning strategy of close customer relation, wide
pricing option and quality has enabled profitability of Whole Foods Market for a long time. The
strategy worked to drive competitiveness and suitability of its stores.

Bells, S. (2015). Introducing Whole Foods: American Organic market. (Updated 18 Nov. 2015).

Harrison, J. S., & John, C. H. S. (2013). Foundations in strategic management. Cengage
Johnston, J., & Szabo, M. (2011). Reflexivity and the Whole Foods Market consumer: the lived
experience of shopping for change. Agriculture and Human Values, 28(3), 303-319.
Show, W. H. & Barry, V. (2016). Moral Issues in Business. Cengage learning. 13 th Edition. Pp.
Smithson, N. (2015). Whole Foods Market Marketing Mix (4ps). Panmore Institute.

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