Dominant Industry Characteristics
Since going public in 1991, Whole Foods has focused on acquiring other small owner-managed natural and organic food stores as well as opening new stores of their own. However in 2002-2006, they decided that instead of making acquisitions, Whole Foods growth strategy would be based on opening new stores. Whole Foods chooses upscale, urban metropolitan areas to place their stores. These locations are high traffic shopping locations, some are freestanding, some are in strip centers, and some are in high-density mixed-use projects. By the end of 1991 fiscal year Whole Foods had 10 stores and by the end of 2007 they had 276 stores. By 2008, Whole Foods had stores in 36 states.
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With the issue of obesity becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our country, people are taking more interest of their personal health. Many companies are trying to appeal to that population by making health changes to their products such as eliminating the use of MSG. To reduce the risk of obesity in children many schools are also making changes to their daily lunch menus such as cutting out carbonated beverages and providing the students with healthier menu choices. Food Network stars such as Rachael Ray are also aware societies growing desire to eat healthier food so they trying to express this to their viewers. All of these examples reflect changing societal concerns, attitudes, and lifestyles. The new labeling system was not intended as a health or safety program but that is exactly what it is becoming. The association between natural and organic meant that it is safe to eat since these products are being held at a higher standard. Because of societal concerns there is a change in who buys the product and how they use it. For example more people are trying organic or natural food as a substitution to products that could be considered unhealthy. Instead of purchasing carbonated beverages consumers are trying different type of flavored water and teas
Industry Key Success Fac Due to the growth of natural and organic food industry, the products are becoming more easily accessible. By making the products more easily accessible