When Whole Foods Market opened its first Chicago shop in 1993, direct competition was minimal. Jewel-Osco, Dominick's and some natural-food stores sold organic fare, but none of them could offer the wide range of organic and natural products that Whole Foods had on its shelves. In 2015, however, the landscape has changed, with Mariano's, Heinen's, The Fresh Market and even traditional food chains meeting market demands by offering a wider variety of local, organic and better-for-you goods.
While other retailers may offer some specialty, organic items, Whole Foods won't stock produts that contain artifical colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. Eggs, whether sold or used in baked goods, are always from cage-free backgrounds. To be sold on the shelves, a product must be free of high-fructose corn syrup. "No one has our level of passion in what we do," says Whole Food Midewest Regional President Michael Bashaw.
To better differentiate its chains in Chicago from the regional competition, Whole Foods will be focusing on six rotating varieties of bacon, which is sourced from a farm that uses no cages, crates, overcrowding, antibiotics or hormones. In addition, it will continue to use its Responsibly Grown rating program to give consumers a better idea of how produce was grown, reports Chicago Tribune.
While Whole Foods is gaining ground in the grocery market, it’s taking longer than expected, as the grocer has to overcome its pricey reputation, among other barriers, before seeing real impact.read more
Chris focuses on fresh, canned and frozen fruit and fresh and dried vegetables for the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He is a proud Rutgers University alumnus with a degree in English, and has a background in web writing for a variety of industries, including legal, foodservice and small-to-medium sized businesses. In his downtime you can find him watching New York Yankees baseball, hiking, enjoying live music and spending time with his dog Kaiden. He invites you to contact him via email at email@example.com to talk about anything food-related.
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