Whole Foods...where did my money go?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tzhu07, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. tzhu07 macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2008
    So today, I actually when shopping at Whole Foods for the first time ever. I guess I never went there because there were always closer grocery stores nearby. But I decided to check it out, admist all the hype and debate over the perceived quality and high prices.

    My conclusions: Their produce and meat are definitely better than my local Fred Meyer and Safeway, and their ready to serve food court has some great stuff in it. The price can sometimes be outrageous though (so much so that eating out can actually come out to be cheaper), so I'm likely going to delegate Whole Foods to main cooking ingredients. I think the whole debate of "is it worth it" simply comes down to personal preference. I don't know what else to say there.
  2. huntnboy04 macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2007
    MI, USA
    Your money probably went to the employees who, from what I understand make more on average than say Wal-Mart employees. Say you buy your food stuffs at Wal-Mart, sure it is cheaper than Whole Foods, but I would say that you are also providing the family of your Wal-Mart cashier with state food assistance "food stamps". I am not saying that all Wal-Mart employees are on state assistance, nor saying that no Whole Foods employees are on assistance, but as a college student I work for a large regional chain store and I can honestly say I do not know how people work at these wages and make a living and have a family. Many of these food store workers receive state assistance because they simply do not make enough money to live on, let alone raise a family.

    I would say that extra cost at Whole Foods is going to the employees that cash you out and stock the shelves, on average they are making more than others in the supermarket world of which many depend on state welfare. Just my $.02
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Sorry, I don't buy that WholeFoods is so expensive because it's employee owned. I've never shopped there, but from my understanding, they do stock a lot of "high quality" and organic brands. Also, being in Seattle where people are nuts about this stuff doesn't hurt.

    I do most of my grocery shopping at WinCo Foods, which is also employee owned, and it's way cheaper than Fred Meyer and Safeway.
  4. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    Whole Foods seems to be undergoing some radical changes, at least on a regional (S. California) basis. And they are NOT for the better.

    They remodeled my local store, and the remodel was completely unnecessary, from a customer's point of view. Perhaps they got some nice new equipment that makes the jobs of employees better. Perhaps they "streamlined" supply chains by standardizing products carried throughout the region.

    But, overall, the remodel stinks. They moved everything, and now you can't find stuff. They reduced variety - in some categories to an extreme. As an example, they used to have and entire shelf section, top to bottom, of hot sauces. Now they have ONE SHELF of hot sauces, and it is the bottom shelf. This is S. California, ferchristake! (What? Do they have only a half shelf in their Texas stores?)

    As for cost, I've noticed that (when a match can be made) the exact same products are much more costly at Ralph's, where they are considered a specialty item.

    But I noticed something else: during and after the remodel, the closest Ralph's started carrying a lot more products that I've been buying at Whole Foods. And they've lowered the prices on those products.

    So, while Whole Foods is trying to standardize products across the region, Ralphs is doing the opposite, adopting a strategy that has worked well for Whole Foods - responding to local needs and desires.

    My last trip to Whole Foods was probably my last trip ever. I bought six items, after a 3-week absence. Down from a cartfull a week.

    The employees seem demoralized. I'm sure they are sick of hearing complaints about the remodel. The store was nearly empty on my most recent visit.

    Whole Foods is *not* employee-owned. It is a publically-traded company. They are just more generous with their employees than most food chains, and they have a very high employee-retention rate, unusual for the industry.
  5. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Just my opinion, but I don't mind paying a lot more for food. There are some things I just don't want to go shopping for the lowest bidder on....and food is one of them.
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I shop between them, Sprouts and Vons. I pick up the bargin stuff from Vons and between Sprouts and Whole Foods I pick up the good stuff. Yes they tend to be a bit more expensive however some (not all) of the food is really good. The meat department at my local Sprouts is bar none the best one I have been.

    If you want expensive try a Bristal Farms. Yikes. Shopped there once.
  7. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    If you have an Aldi close, try them. Cheap and they have quality food. They recently started opening them up in more places in the United States.
  8. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    Whole Foods seems to concentrate on exotic, small batch products. Want a liter of standard olive oil for $3? Go to a regular grocery store. Want 100ml of oil from hand picked olives pressed by the chilled feet of virgins for $30? Go to Whole Foods.

    I don't shop there. For regular stuff - granola bars, cereal, paper towels, flour, etc - I go to Tom Thumb (aka Safeway.) For fresh produce, beer, wine, cheese, USDA prime steaks, etc I got to Central Market (a branch of HEB, a local Texas chain.)

    Having just moved out of Texas thoug, I need to find a replacement to Central Market. How's Sprouts? Do the have prime steaks? Is the produce consistently fresh?

    Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck
    Central Market = Central Markup
  9. RenoG macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
    This gave me a good chuckle :D

    I like good fresh quality food like the next dude, but to properly feed a growing family of four I'd be a complete fool to do my grocery shopping in such a place..So between the Target market section, Safeway, Trader Joes, and Costco I can easily get the proper nutrition my family needs but at a lessor price point. WholeFoods just comes across as a place to make middle class snobs feel elite, based on my observations here in NorCal Bay Area. Our local Bristal Farms is even worst. They both seems to attract the pretentious around here.

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