Whole Foods Market announces leadership structure changes and appointments

AUSTIN, Texas, 2016-Nov-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Board of Directors of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) today (Nov. 2, 2016) announced changes to the leadership structure, including transitioning from co-Chief Executive Officers to a sole Chief Executive Officer, with co-Founder John Mackey to serve in that capacity.

Walter Robb will remain on the Company’s Board of Directors and continue to serve as Chairman for both Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. He will officially transition his co-CEO responsibilities on December 31, 2016, and will continue to be a senior advisor to the Company. Robb has served the company for 25 years, most recently as co-Chief Executive Officer for the previous six years.

“Under Walter’s leadership, Whole Foods Market has grown from 12 to 464 stores in three countries. He has been instrumental in accelerating investment in our digital strategy and technology transformation to meet the ever-changing retail landscape,” said Dr. John Elstrott, Chairman of Whole Foods Market’s Board of Directors. “In the past year Walter and John have hired five new senior executives, and have adopted and made significant progress on their nine point strategic plan, putting the company in a strong foundational position for winning.”

“It is impossible to convey what Walter has done for Whole Foods Market since he joined us in 1991,” said co-Founder and co-Chief Executive Officer John Mackey. “His incredible passion for retail and sense of the customer makes him the most extraordinary retailer I’ve had the privilege to work with. During his 25 years of leadership, Walter has been an advocate for the Whole Foods Market culture and a champion for our Team Members.  His genuine love for our mission and our Team Members truly reflects what it means to be a conscious leader.”

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Glenda Flanagan, the longest ever serving female Chief Financial Officer in the Fortune 500, will retire from the role after 29 years at the end of the 2017 fiscal year. She will continue to serve the company in a senior advisor capacity.

“Glenda joined Whole Foods Market in 1988 and has helped guide us through significant growth from six stores, to 464 stores and more than $15 billion in sales today,” said co-Chief Executive Officers John Mackey and Walter Robb. “She has been an outstanding CFO. Her intelligence, wisdom, business acumen, kindness, and integrity have been at the heart of everything Whole Foods Market has done and accomplished over the past 28 years. Glenda is deeply loved and respected by us and everyone at Whole Foods Market who has had the opportunity to know her.”

The company also announced today that Mary Ellen Coe, Vice President of Sales and Product Operations for Google, has joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors.

“Mary Ellen’s deep experience in marketing, digital strategy, and brand strategy is incredibly valuable, and we’re excited to have such a talented leader join our Board of Directors,” said Dr. John Elstrott. “We’re confident that her expertise and understanding of the evolving marketplace will benefit the company as we remain focused on strategic investments in marketing and elevating digital experience.”

For more information on Whole Foods Market, please visit our website.


Darrah Gist

Lauren Bernath

Source: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market announces the opening of its new store in Englewood Neighborhood, Chicago’s South Side

Chicago, 2016-Sep-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Leading a food movement to bring better access to fresh and healthy foods, Englewood and surrounding South Side neighborhood residents celebrate the opening of Whole Foods Market Englewood, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The new 18,000 square foot store represents three years of community collaboration between the natural grocer and community stakeholders.

“The work the Englewood community is doing to bring wholesome and healthy foods to the South Side is inspiring. We’re proud to be part of the good that’s happening, and bringing more fresh food options to the neighborhood,” says Whole Foods Market Co-CEO Walter Robb. “We’ve built this store with Englewood residents and hope when they walk into the space they helped create, they feel that this –Whole Foods Market Englewood– is their store, a community gathering place where they can explore, learn and talk about food.”

With a large variety of organic produce; pantry staples; locally made products; and ready-to-eat options Whole Foods Market Englewood hopes to be the go-to grocer for fresh and healthy food choices for the community. Highlights include:

  • Over 400 different conventional and organic produce items including locally grown products from Garfield Produce, Gotham Greens and Urban Canopy.
  • Ninety bulk flours, grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, rice and trail mixes along with 98 bulk spices so shoppers can buy as much or as little as they need.
  • Freshly-brewed and made-to-order Allegro coffee beverages, including lattes, teas, cappuccinos, and espresso; two types of cold brew coffee; and smoothie options made with fresh fruit and no concentrates.
  • Full service meat and seafood counters offers ring the fresh, highest quality options, including made-in-house Andouille, chorizo, and brat sausages.
  • Over 70 beer, 175 wine, and 250 specialty cheese choices.
  • Fresh salad and hot bar offerings, self service pizza and sandwiches featuring pulled buffalo chicken Panini, barbecue pulled pork and a bacon cheddar breakfast sandwich served all day.

To celebrate opening day, Whole Foods Market will host its version of a ribbon cutting called a “Bread-Breaking Ceremony” with Whole Foods Market Team Members and Englewood neighbors beginning at 8:30 a.m. Doors open and shopping officially begins at 9 a.m. Music, food, samples and more will be offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all who attend.


Since the announcement of the store in 2013, Englewood residents and Whole Foods Market teams have engaged in two-way conversations to ensure the new location on Chicago’s South Side would reflect the community it serves and meet the needs of those living and working in the area. Before the first store sketch was developed, the company took a community-first approach, holding and attending many meetings with residents, community groups, nonprofits, schools and local businesses to better understand the needs of the community.

“We spent much of the early days just listening. We met with many people and groups, who were so kind in taking time out of their busy lives to speak with us, to really hear what they wanted to see in their Whole Foods Market store. It was incredible,” says Robb. “It was these early conversations that guided how we built the store, how we worked with the community and how we built trust that allowed us to have real, honest conversations about everything from design to hiring practices. It was raw, genuine and authentic, and made our relationships stronger because of it.”

From the early discussions, three key themes rose to the top for the company to focus on: food access; community engagement; and economic development and employment.

Food Access. Having good, affordable, healthy food choices and supporting educational opportunities for residents and their families was a large part of many conversations. The store itself would be a big part of addressing this need and led to regular community meetings to discuss the different products and services offered in the store. In these two-way conversations, the community led the discussion and shared what they wanted to see in their store. Whole Foods Market teams took the input and applied it, and then went back to the community for feedback. This approach helped Whole Foods Market co-create a community gathering space where Englewood residents would want to come explore, learn and talk about food.

Beyond the store, Whole Foods Market teams support local initiatives by donating healthy food for community events and activities. Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, awarded garden grants to eight Englewood schools to build or enhance food gardens on their campuses and supported healthy eating education for teachers. The Whole Cities Foundation, another Whole Foods Market foundation, held a food education summit and currently teaches free nutrition classes for residents. Additionally, the Whole Cities Foundation has partnered with the Residents Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) to provide grants to start or expand food programs in the Englewood community. Recipients were decided by community voting and will be announced during the Grand Opening celebration.

Community Engagement. Open communication and involvement between those living and working in Englewood and Whole Foods Market Team Members was another area of focus. To help navigate the partnership, Whole Foods Market hired Cecile De Mello as Community Engagement Specialist from the community. As a resident living in Englewood, De Mello worked daily to share news from Whole Foods Market, share news from the community, organize community events, and ensure the company and the residents were in step as relationships grew. In addition to hosting nine public meetings, the De Mello attended community, school, and nonprofit meetings, plus walked the streets speaking to residents waiting for buses and trains, visited churches, salons and small shops to have one-on-one conversations.

Economic Development and Employment. Working alongside and investing in the future leaders and entrepreneurs, Whole Foods Market Team Members share over 30 years of experience with the next class of food innovators in Englewood and the greater South Side. Challenging the perception of where businesses will find success, Team Members met with small businesses, provided feedback and resource information; ultimately helping support economic growth in the community. Working with community partners from Teamwork Englewood and the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Whole Foods Market held a variety of workshops and events to support the development of small businesses in Englewood and the greater South Side including:

  • The Englewood Entrepreneurial Workshop Series provided business training on product development, safety, licensing and many other topics to small-business owners.
  • A Supplier Expo event connected startups with business resources such as insurance, labeling, distribution, and financing. Attendees also met with Whole Foods Market buyers to discuss products in more detail and learn more about the buying experience.
  • The recently launched Englewood Quality of Life Economic Development Competition gives small businesses development resources and business mentors to create and pitch a business plan and win funds up to $40,000. Over 30 applicants are participating in the competition and will present ideas later this year.

Whole Foods Market committed to hiring as many new Team Members from the community as possible. The community voiced very early on the need for jobs and the importance of hiring local residents for the store. The 100 positions provided by the store would help; but the need for more still existed. Connecting job seekers to job opportunities, resources to overcome employment barriers and building individual capacity to help applicants prepare not just a Whole Foods Market position, but also any future employment opportunity was crucial. With community partners, Whole Foods Market organized a series of events, workshops and resources to help residents build skills and gain access to professional development resources including:

  • A Whole Foods Introduction and Employment Resource Series to share with residents over the course of three months information about the store, the company, and offered workshops in resume writing, interviewing, and team building to residents.
  • A Customer Service Training and Employers Panel Discussion offered a two-day intense customer service boot camp that provided workshops, role-playing, and a completion certificate for residents. Whole Foods Market, Metropolitan Family Services, Greater Englewood CDC, Teamwork Englewood and Englewood Square Development partnered.
  • A Job and Resource Fair in the community where over 2 days, 900 residents interviewed for open positions at Whole Foods Market Englewood; had access to workshops and resources for criminal record expungement, resume writing, credit counseling, day care services, and housing services; and computer access for other employer applications for over a half dozen companies.
  • The development of an Englewood Jobseekers Network is an email group where residents that attended the job fair or applied online could opt-in to continue to get information about job opportunities and employment services.

Over 100 Team Members will work at Whole Foods Market Englewood, over 85 are from the South Side of Chicago, including 35 from Englewood.

Whole Foods Market has 26 other Chicagoland stores: Gold Coast, Halsted, Hyde Park, Lakeview, two Lincoln Park locations, Sauganash, South Loop, Streeterville, West Loop and Edgewater neighborhoods in Chicago; and the surrounding suburbs of: Deerfield, Elmhurst, three Evanston locations, Hinsdale, Kildeer, Naperville, Northbrook, Orland Park, Park Ridge, Schaumburg, River Forest, Wheaton and Willowbrook.


Allison Phelps

Source: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market names three new global vice presidents: Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Martin Tracey and Brooke Buchanan

AUSTIN, Texas, 2016-Sep-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) today (Sept. 6, 2016) welcomes three new global vice presidents. Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Global Vice President of Marketing, Martin Tracey, Global Vice President of Team Member Services, and Brooke Buchanan, Global Vice President of Communications, joined their respective teams today.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sonya, Martin and Brooke to our senior leadership team,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “They are accomplished leaders who bring deep retail and consumer experience, valuable perspective on both internal and external communications strategy and will play an integral role in supporting the company’s culture of innovation and team member empowerment as we continue to grow and evolve.”

Sonya Gafsi Oblisk
As Global Vice President of Marketing, Sonya Gafsi Oblisk will lead the company’s marketing, advertising and brand development efforts, including digital, brand marketing and customer relationship strategies. Oblisk brings more than 15 years of experience in retail, consumer products and affinity marketing, including an eight-year tenure at Wal-Mart where she most recently served as Vice President of Marketing for Sam’s Club.

Martin Tracey
As Global Vice President of Team Member Services (HR), Martin Tracey will have strategic responsibilities for the end-to-end team member experience including recruitment, compensation and benefits, talent analytics, learning and development and payroll operations for more than 87,000 team members. In his most recent role at Starbucks, Tracey was responsible for leadership development, talent analytics, and organizational development as Chief Talent Officer and Vice President of People Development.

Brooke Buchanan
As Global Vice President of Communications, Brooke Buchanan will lead Whole Foods Market’s public relations, internal communications and government affairs efforts. Buchanan has previously served as Vice President of Communications for Theranos, Vice President of Public Relations for Williams-Sonoma and held multiple senior positions at Wal-Mart. Prior to her corporate experience, she spent over eight years in political and government communications.

The new vice presidents are based at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.


Darrah Gist

Lauren Bernath

Source: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market Executive VP and CIO Jason Buechel recognized by FORTUNE as one of the 40 most influential young people in business

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-9-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jason Buechel has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the 40 most influential young people in business.

Buechel, 37, is No. 11 on the magazine’s 2015 “40 Under 40” list.  He is responsible for all aspects of technology at Whole Foods Market and was recently promoted from global vice president and chief information officer to executive vice president and chief information officer, making him the youngest member of the company’s executive team.

“Jason is an integral part of Whole Foods Market’s leadership team, and we are proud to see his talents recognized with this well-deserved accomplishment,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “He continues to play a pivotal role in leading the company’s technology advancements and digital engagement, which is critical for improving the customer and team member experience and our ability to compete in a rapidly evolving retail environment.”

FORTUNE highlighted Buechel’s role in forging Whole Foods’s Market’s partnership with Instacart, implementing Apple Pay, testing the company’s first rewards program and developing systems that give full traceability to the supply chain and better inform customers about products’ nutritional and allergen information.

“We may think we live in the age of the tech unicorn, but disruption is coming at us from all corners of industry, as our 2015 ranking of the most influential young people in business shows,” FORTUNE editors wrote of this year’s list. “The one thing these mavericks have in common: They make their own rules. For the first time our list is 100% brand-new.”

Whole Foods Market is the only grocery retailer and food company represented on this year’s “40 Under 40” list.


Whole Foods Market Executive VP and CIO Jason Buechel recognized by FORTUNE as one of the 40 most influential young people in business

Whole Foods Market Executive VP and CIO Jason Buechel recognized by FORTUNE as one of the 40 most influential young people in business

Whole Foods Market, Instacart mark one-year anniversary of their partnership

Partnership – now in 17 U.S. Cities – saved Whole Foods Market customers 970,000 shopping hours

AUSTIN, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) and one-hour grocery delivery service, Instacart, today marked the one-year anniversary of a partnership that has helped Whole Foods Market customers conveniently purchase groceries and have them delivered in as little as one hour.

Most notably, in the first year of the partnership Whole Foods Market customers collectively saved 970,0001 hours to spend however they liked because we did the shopping for them.

Instacart delivered millions upon millions of items from America’s healthiest grocery store over the past year, including:

• 2.2 million bananas, enough to stretch from Boston to Philadelphia if placed end-to-end
• 1.25 million apples, enough to bake an apple pie that would cover the entire infield at a professional baseball game
• 4 million cage free eggs, enough to serve an omelet to all 971,000 residents of Austin, Texas
• 500,000 avocados, enough to make a cup of guacamole for every fan at four sold out pro football games

Whole Foods Market shoppers had a clear favorite when ordering groceries delivered by Instacart: fresh produce. In-fact, more than 40 percent of all Whole Foods Market shopping baskets delivered by Instacart featured fresh produce items. The top five most frequently purchased products over the past year were bananas, avocados, carrots, lemons and limes.

“When Whole Foods Market launched our partnership with Instacart a year ago today, we did so with the belief that our customers would love the speed and convenience of shopping our store shelves from wherever they might be at any given time,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “The results speak for themselves. Our customers clearly love having this convenient shopping option, and Whole Foods Market will continue to provide our shoppers with innovative new choices that deliver great shopping experiences and help make their lives easier.”

“Instacart’s partnership with Whole Foods Market has helped lead the way in bringing innovation to the on-demand grocery delivery industry,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart. “By amplifying our shared vision to create a seamless grocery shopping experience, we have been able to provide customers across the country with access to quality, fresh groceries delivered right to their doorstep. We are happy to be working together to give customers a new way to shop that meets their needs and fits their busy lifestyles, and look forward to many great years ahead.”

Instacart currently delivers Whole Foods Market groceries in 17 metropolitan areas: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Boulder; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; San Jose; Seattle and Washington, DC.

By ordering at Instacart.com or via the Instacart mobile app, Whole Foods Market customers simply select their zip code, add items to a virtual cart, and then choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or at a scheduled time) and check out. Instacart personal shoppers confirm incoming orders on their smartphones, shop for the items at Whole Foods Market stores and then deliver orders to customers in the designated delivery timeframe.

Via Instacart, Whole Foods Market customers can save grocery lists for fast, easy shopping and automated ordering of regularly purchased products. Instacart also offers a robust collection of recipes from Whole Foods Market and other great sources which can auto-generate grocery lists for customers’ selected dishes.

All Instacart customers receive free delivery on their first order; thereafter the cost is just $3.99 for two-hour delivery or $5.99 for one-hour delivery. Customers can also purchase a $99 annual Instacart Express membership and receive free delivery on any order over $35.

1 customer shopping hours saved is calculated by multiplying the average time for each Instacart full Service shop and in-store shop/delivery by the number of deliveries Instacart made to Whole Foods Market shoppers.


Whole Foods Market, Instacart mark one-year anniversary of their partnership

Whole Foods Market, Instacart mark one-year anniversary of their partnership

Whole Foods Market ranked No. 30 in the Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ list

Company lauded for ‘setting a standard for grocery stores’ and for ‘continually pushing for change’

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-8-24— /EPR Retail News/ — In its new ranking of 50 companies that “Change the World,” Fortune magazine recognizes Whole Foods Market for “doing well by doing good.” The company ranks No. 30 on the list, which will appear in the magazine’s Sept. 1 issue.

Fortune highlights Whole Foods Market’s position at the forefront of food consciousness, noting the company’s role in creating the market for natural, healthy food: “The Austin-based grocer prompted giants from Walmart to Kroger to up their organic game. Whole Foods continues to push for change through initiatives like its animal-welfare standards, its refusal to sell overfished seafood, and its requirement that all products it sells containing genetically modified ingredients be labeled as such by 2018.” Fortune also quotes New York University food studies, nutrition, and public health professor Marion Nestle as saying the company “set a standard for grocery stores.”

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be included on Fortune’s list because it represents the culmination of decades of passion and dedication our team members have invested in our mission,” said co-CEO Walter Robb. “Collectively, we believe it is our responsibility to co-create a world where everyone can flourish, and that much of our success to date stems from having a bigger idea that draws in and inspires our team members to further shape and express that idea–or higher purpose- in large and small ways every day.”

The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet,”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, team member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market constantly evolves its higher purpose by tapping into the company’s heightened level of consciousness for the good of the business, society and the world as a whole.

“By focusing on our deeper purpose, we have inspired, engaged and energized all of our stakeholders to come together to awaken food consciousness while helping make the world a better place,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO. “It is gratifying to be recognized for fulfilling our higher purpose—one that reaches far beyond simply being a food retailer.”

Fortune’s Sept. 1 “Change the World” issue also features an article entitled “John Mackey: a conscious capitalist.” Mackey is a co-author of “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” a book that boldly defends the good of business and capitalism by presenting a way of thinking about the higher purpose of a business, its relationships with interconnected stakeholders and the impact it has on the world.

Whole Foods Market is No. 214 on the Fortune 500 list and has been on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 18 years. The company also ranked No. 18 on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list in 2015, and Mackey appears on its “World’s Greatest Leaders” list this year as well.

Other accolades the company has received in 2015:

  • Greenpeace named Whole Foods Market the top retailer for seafood sustainability in the nonprofit’s annual ranking of U.S. supermarkets. Whole Foods Market has topped the seafood sustainability list for three consecutive years.
  • Compassion in World Farming recognized Whole Foods Market with a Good Sow Commendation and Global Good Egg Award for the company’s animal welfare efforts.
  • Reputation Institute ranked Whole Foods Market America’s third most reputable company in the retail industry and the third-strongest retail brand in America.
  • The Better World Shopping Guide awarded Whole Foods Market an “A-” rating in its latest edition.


Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries

ANAHEIM, Calif., 2015-3-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 520 women will have a chance to lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit, thanks to Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event,held Friday, March 6, at Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

Whole Foods Market hosted the benefit event in partnership with thinkThin and 22 other natural and organic brands to raise awareness and funds for Whole Planet Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate global poverty through microcredit. One hundred percent of the $100,000 raised will go to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries, including the U.S. The dollars raised are enough to fund 523 new loans to help an estimated 2,615 people worldwide.

“We are proud to feature Whole Foods Market’s apparel suppliers in this fashion show that directly benefits Whole Planet Foundation,” said Maren Giuliano, executive global Whole Body coordinator at Whole Foods Market. “One of our company’s core values is to create win-win partnerships with our suppliers, and this event is the perfect example of how our suppliers go above and beyond to support our foundation’s mission.”

Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb opened the event, followed by Whole Planet Foundation advisory board member Magatte Wade and Whole Planet Foundation’s executive director, Philip Sansone.

The show featured several brands, including Blessing Basket Project, Gaiam, Maggie’s Organics, PACT Apparel, prAna, Satva, Synergy Organic Clothing and Threads for Thought, with makeup and beauty support provided by Acure, Trilogy, Pacifica and Mineral Fusion. The show also featured a handful of items made with textiles from microcredit clients supported by Whole Planet Foundation and partners in Ghana, Guatemala, Thailand and Uganda. Some of the textiles were sourced by Whole Planet Foundation field team members, who dedicate their time to visiting microfinance partners and connecting with microcredit clients in their homes and businesses.

“By having skilled team members living and working in the communities where we support microcredit, we’re not only able to meet with microcredit clients face-to-face, but also bring their success stories home to share with all who support our cause,” Sansone said. “Showcasing the beautiful fabrics and tapestries created by women entrepreneurs we support through our microfinance partners was the highlight of Friday’s event. Whole Foods Market partners transformed these textiles into one-of-a-kind garments that really stole the show.”

The event was produced with support from thinkThin. Gold sponsors that donated $20,000 each included Hain Celestial (featured brands Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics and JÄSON), New Chapter and So Delicious. Silver sponsors that donated $10,000 each included Nordic Naturals and Nubian Heritage. Bronze sponsors that donated $5,000 each included ACURE, Burt’s Bees Baby, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, Gaiam, Golden Door, Gustus Vitae Salts & Spices, Lifefactory, Neocell, Paddywax, Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, SeaSnax, Seventh Generation, Threads for Thought, Wholesome Sweeteners and Zorbitz.


Philip Sansone

President and Executive Director, Whole Planet Foundation

Philip is the President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation, overseeing operations, programmatic direction and financial management.


Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries

Whole Foods Market’s “Beauty in All Beings” event to support the foundation’s micro-lending programs in 62 countries


Whole Foods Market stores now accepting Apple Pay

Offering an easy, secure and private way to pay at America’s healthiest grocery store

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-10-20— /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market is now offering its customers the ability to make purchases with Apple Pay, a new service expected to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay for items at Whole Foods Market checkout lanes across America.

With Apple Pay, completing transactions at Whole Foods Market is now easier and faster than ever. Shoppers can tackle all of their purchases – from picking up their morning coffee to restocking their pantries and bringing home their holiday meals – with a simple touch of a finger.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When shoppers add a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the shopper’s device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code, instead of using the security code from the back of your card.

“We are excited to make it easier and more convenient for our customers to shop at Whole Foods Market,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “We are thrilled to be one of the first retailers to accept Apple Pay across all of our locations nationwide as it offers our shoppers a fast, private and secure check out option at our stores.”

Checkout lanes in Whole Foods Market’s 381 U.S. stores are now accepting Apple Pay, adding to the types of Near Field Communication (NFC) payments the retailer now accepts via pads and store registers. Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, upon availability.

For more information on Apple Pay, visit: www.apple.com/apple-pay/.


Whole Foods Market launches its first national brand campaign; highlights the values of “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store”

Advertising highlights quality standards and core values of ‘America’s Healthiest Grocery Store®’

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-10-20— /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) launches its first national brand campaign today to highlight its groundbreaking quality standards, healthy offerings and key milestones as a pioneer in the natural and organic food industry. By communicating the company’s deeper purpose and its history of celebrating food and the people who produce it, the multichannel advertising initiative will demonstrate the values of “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.”

At the helm of the new campaign is seasoned marketing leader Jeannine D’Addario, Whole Foods Market’s new global vice president of communications. She joined Whole Foods Market in August from Stanford Children’s Health, where she served as vice president and chief marketing officer. D’Addario also previously served as vice president of marketing for infant, toddler and preschool brands at the Walt Disney Company.

“Whole Foods Market has been subtly telling our story for decades, and now is the time to overtly communicate what we’ve spent more than 35 years creating as change agents in the food world,” D’Addario said. “We are excited to share our stories, and to have deeper conversations with our customers so they can make meaningful choices about what they decide to buy and support.”

Using the theme “Values Matter” primarily in television, print and digital advertisements, Whole Foods Market will explain the origin and impact of its products and the standards behind them. This manifesto appears throughout the campaign:
Values Matter
We are hungrier for better than we ever realized.
We want to know where our food comes from.
We care what happens to it along the way.
We want to trust our sources.
We want people, and animals, and the places our food comes from to be treated fairly.
The time is ripe to champion the way food is grown,
and raised,
and caught…
So it’s good for us…
and for the greater good too.
This is where it all comes to fruition…
Where values matter.

The company partnered with New York-based Partners & Spade to develop the creative approach. Headlines such as “The Highest Standards Weren’t Available, So We Created Them,” tout Whole Foods Market’s milestones in developing its signature standards and ratings programs. Sustainable seafood standards, animal welfare ratings, and its new “Responsibly Grown” produce ratings program are the topics of authentic, documentary-style TV spots that were directed by notable commercial filmmaker Gerard de Thame and feature supplier partners –including farmers, ranchers and fishermen– along with Whole Foods Market customers and team members.

“We believe Whole Foods Market has raised the level of food consciousness more than any other retailer, and it is certainly one of the most genuine, transparent companies out there,” said Anthony Sperduti, co-founder and creative director at Partners & Spade. “Helping craft Whole Foods Market’s first national conversation about its philosophy and vision has been some of our team’s most meaningful work because it’s bigger than just commerce: it’s a wake-up call for how to treat ourselves, each other and the planet.”

Austin-based GSD&M was selected as the partner to handle media strategy and placement, which includes spots during prime time television shows including “Modern Family,” “Scandal” and “The Voice,” on late night favorites such as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as during the World Series and NFL football. Ads will also appear in business, food, health, and lifestyle outlets, both print and digital.

Whole Foods Market has been recognized by many organizations over the years for its work in creating industry-leading standards. For example, Greenpeace ranked it as the No. 1 retailer for seafood sustainability, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics named it the leading national retailer for personal care product safety, and Ethisphere chose it as one of the world’s most ethical companies. Additionally, the company was the first certified organic national grocer in the United States and was the only retailer named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine.

“Not everyone knows what makes Whole Foods Market different from other grocers, or the fact that no other retailer has standards as demanding or as transparent as ours,” D’Addario said. “This campaign will distinguish what makes our brand special, our food different and our quality superior. It’s our opportunity to reaffirm our unwavering commitments to our core values, which are at the heart of our brand.”

To complement the campaign launch, Whole Foods Market created wfm.com/valuesmatter to present visitors with more transparency and information through videos, supplier partner stories, product profiles and team member testimonials. The company invites consumers to visit the new site and take a brief survey called “What Do You Value?” to share what matters most to them. By ranking a list of categories including healthy food, animal welfare, supporting local farms and producers, responsibly grown produce and sustainable seafood, participants will help shape the company’s future community-giving days, store experiences and product offerings.

Reporter and editor’s note:
Creative assets and additional information can be found at http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/press/values-matter-brand-campaign.

Additional Leadership Quotes About Whole Foods Market’s First-Ever Brand Campaign

Walter Robb, Co-CEO
“We chose ‘Values Matter’ as the foundation for our new national brand campaign because it reflects our core values, which guide us to always strive to take thoughtful leadership positions on how to improve our food supply and to continually raise industry standards. We believe it affirms and supports that value and values show up together in our offerings at Whole Foods Market.”

John Mackey, Co-CEO and Co-Founder
“We founded Whole Foods Market as a group of young people who had a deep sense of purpose and a mission to make a difference. It came from a very visceral desire to offer natural, organic and healthy, fresh food with a clear set of standards. We had no idea then the difference it could make. Now, 35 years later we are ‘Americas Healthiest Grocery Store’ and we’re excited to demonstrate that with this first-ever national ad campaign and with the work we do in our local and global communities.”



Jeannine D’Addario

Global Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Jeannine is responsible for all of Whole Foods Market’s marketing, advertising and reputation management activities, and is at the helm of the company’s first national brand campaign.


Whole Foods Market to provide customers with easy, secure & private way to make grocery purchases with Apple Pay

Whole Foods Market to provide customers with an easy, secure & private way to make grocery purchases at checkout registers

AUSTIN, Texas, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) today announces its participation with Apple Pay, a new category of service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to make purchases from your iPhone.

“Our customers are going to love the convenience of Apple Pay, which will bring a faster, easier, more secure and private way to make purchases at Whole Foods Market,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “We’re committed to providing innovative new choices and conveniences for our customers, and the ability to buy groceries with just a simple touch of a finger elevates convenience to a whole new level.”

With Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market customers will find it easier and faster than ever to grab their morning coffee from our coffee bar, a beer in our tap room after work, or a juice from our juice bars, as well as all of their grocery needs, from holiday turkeys to fresh produce and more. By seamlessly integrating Apple-designed hardware, software and services, Apple Pay creates a unique and incredibly intuitive and elegant experience for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch users.

Checkout lanes at all Whole Foods Market stores already accept industry standard Near Field Communication (NFC) payments via pads at store checkout registers. With Apple Pay, Whole Foods Market will accept even more payments using NFC technology.

This fall, Whole Foods Market is excited for its customers across America to enjoy easy, more secure and private transactions with the launch of Apple Pay.