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Whole Foods Market, Inc. Message Board

  • albertdrone albertdrone Jun 11, 2014 1:44 PM Flag

    Foolish to compare

    Ben Blatt of Slate magazine conducted an interesting and in depth study recently to determine how many of the grocery products on a Wal-Mart shelf are outright banned from the more upscale retailer Whole Foods Market. The results might surprise you. According to Blatt's research, Whole Foods bans roughly 54% of Wal-Mart's fare due to the presence, in its words, of "unacceptable ingedients of food. These 78 banned ingredients include everything from recognizable sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup to the tongue-tying dimethylpolysiloxane. In the process, Blatt left some cartons unturned, since Wal-Mart's website only discloses ingredients for approximately 50% of its grocery inventory. As a result, his survey is not scientific or comprehensive. Nevertheless, the findings are revealing for customers and investors alike. For example, it's no surprise that shoppers would be hard-pressed to find a liter of Coke or bag of Doritos at Whole Foods, but Blatt discovers that even household brands ranging from Minute Maid lemonade to Cracker Barrel cheese are deemed unworthy for Whole Foods' choosy clientele. Whole Foods claims these foods fall short of "safety, necessity, manufacturing methods and compatibility with our overall core values." While the art of stocking retail shelves might seem quite mundane, the contrast presents two starkly different approaches to running a grocery store. Consider the following statistics: 97% of the soft drinks sold at Wal-Mart contain ingredients that Whole Foods considers "unacceptable." Wal-Mart's "Great Value 100% Whole Wheat Bread" contains seven ingredients that Whole Foods scoffs at, including everything from high-fructose corn syrup to calcium propionate. Not one or two "unacceptable" items, but seven. All in a staple product that you have to imagine just flies off the shelves. We're not talking about an obscure frozen dinner here; we're talking about sandwich bread.

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    • Slate magazine :) But the lack of any chemstry for most people does make them fear long names. Not surprised about fructose products, after all wm is a big seller of soda. However I doubt if wm is unique in having those banned substance...after reviewing the list I would say 90 % of grocers sell products with those "banned" ingrediants...bleached flour...when I think health risk I think bleacer flour :)

      Do you believe....wall mart sells processed foods that most grocers don't sell ?

    • Of course it's foolish to compare. Wal-Mart is based on price, period. Shopping there is akin to going to the dentist, it's painful. Something like 65% of all food stamp assistance program dollars are spent @ Wal-Mart. Over 80% of their customers make less than 35K a year. It is what it is. They really have no choice but to shop at the cheapest place.

      WFM is the other end of the spectrum. People that value time, service, and what they consume go to WFM, but they have to be able to pay for it. It comes @ a price, a price that most of their customers are willing to pay.

      I find this info interesting. Things change over time. "Eggs are the single best food for you", "Oh, no they aren't they will kill you." "Too much red meat is bad for you". "It's not the red meat, it's the bun that will kill you." etc.

      It's not all about money either. Americans as a group are known for a poor diet, even though they are one of the richest countries on Earth. Travel and it's easy to find many countries whose citizens are healthier than we are, even though they have less money. Balance and moderation is the key. Too much "juicing" , or eating tofu and hummus every day, is just as bad as drinking a couple of Cokes.

    • Great post.

    • The misconception is astonishing. Nobody in my family would shop Wal-Mart (except for socks or maybe fishing lures). Cherry Hill opens next week. We needed a Whole Foods. People in my neighborhood are excited. That's the type of company you want to invest in.

      • 2 Replies to louisrayk
      • What is astonsighing to me, is that people here seem to believe wal mart sells foods that other grocery chains don't. The power of suggestion and repeating what is heard I guess.

        I don't like wm for reasons people here don't even post, I sure don't consider food risk to be one of them...that is just silly. If you worry about them you should have the same worry about every store but the few with organic focus.

        Why would you buy socks and fishing lures there...I never would. I tend to buy high quality, they last a long is about life cycle cost, not first cost.

        Wish I had a wf closer to me....seems weird they don't come out into the Chicago burbs very far

      • The Marlton store is is 4 miles away from the CH store lol...what do you mean you needed a whole foods?? Be excited and all, but c'mon, it's not like the closest store was 4 hours away...

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