Sunday, October 01, 2006

What jobs are Whole Foods customers trying to get done?

For those of you that live close to a Whole Foods, or who have visited a Whole Foods in your travels, you have probably heard Whole Foods called whole paycheck. If you haven't shopped there, you now know what the common perception of their prices is.

So I was intrigued by an article that Clayton Christen wrote saying Whole Foods was a classic "high-end disruptor" who is "offering (slightly) lower prices" compared to the available options for the for the job the customer is trying to get done.

You'll just have to read the explanation from the master himself.


Anonymous said...

The concept of the 'high-end disruptor' is intriguing. But lets not forget that one of the 'jobs' that Whole Foods does for its customers is it allows them to brag to their friends and co-workers about the fact that they shop at Whole Foods, which must make them a better person than the average schmuck that lowers themselves to purchasing lettuce at Ingles or Bi-Lo. After all, if you're not willing to pay 3.49 per pound for organic carrots, you must not love your family or care about the environment.

When a company develops a brand with the power of Whole Foods, it doesnt matter what they sell or what they sell it for.

Evan said...

"The Undercover Economist" devoted a whole chapter to Whole Foods. The author claims that Whole Foods does not inflate prices, but makes it harder for you to compare the prices of regular food items to the high-end food items. For instance, the premium bananas will NEVER be right next to the run-of-the-mill bananas. He also compared the overal price total between usual shopping staples and name-brands sold at Whole Foods and Safeway (a cheaper alternative). He found that the overall price for a shopping trip was nearly exactly the same. The final assessment was that Whole Foods doesn't rip anyone off, but gives you a greater opportunity to spend on premium/luxury foods. You can shop at Whole Foods and not drain your wallet simply by avoiding the urge to upgrade from the regular homogenized milk to the outlandishly priced organic Himalayan Yak's milk.