Paper 2 and haiku (blog 8)

Is Wholefoods Beneficial as A Whole?


Have some wholefood

When need something healthy and safe

No matter for whom

(It is so hard for me to write a poem!)

After searching the information of Wholefoods, I find the comments on this business are in two opposite ends. One says Wholefoods does really good job on providing fresh and organic food to the consumers, while the other says after merging its main competitors, Wholefoods will face the problem of monopoly. To relate Wholefoods case to utilitarian ethics, I think it will be effective to analyze from the consumers’ aspects and the market’s aspects.

After reading the article from Yahoo Voices, I think most of the consumers believe that the products in Wholefood are sustainable and organic, which are the factors becoming more and more popular recently, and the staff there also give positive comments on their company, they are well compensated. They also do charity work to help the third-world countries to start sustainable businesses. From this aspect, consumers will definitely support this business, as they are paying for something that can help them keep healthy, and their money will also go to help other people. According to the utilitarian ethics “the greatest good for the greatest number of people”, Wholefoods indeed shows its effort to provide the “good”.

From the market’s aspect, monopoly will be a serious problem. In 2007, Wholefoods acquired its main competitor Wild Oats. After that, Wild Oats branded products are sold at Wholefood. Before that, the market of organic food had been really competitive, and due to this merging, it may be possible for Wholefood to provide poor service and still earn profit, since they are the only business in the market.

I haven’t been to a Wholefoods store yet, but the idea of the business and the pictures on the website really attract me!

7 thoughts on “Is Wholefoods Beneficial as A Whole?

  1. I find it funny I learned Whole Foods has created a monopoly from someone who has never been there, and I have been there more times than I can count. It’ll be interesting to see if Whole Foods runs into problems in the future with government regulation due to a growing a monopoly. And especially whether their quality of service and innovation drops due to lack of competition.

  2. I like the tie to the greatest good concept. I would argue that a monopoly may not be the worst case if the company excels in doing great goods where competitors may not. Whole Foods has very high standards across the boards so I think getting lazy in any way would hurt them so badly that they will keep it, monopoly or not.

  3. One test of monopoly power is if WHole Foods RAISED prices in areas where it bought wild oats or where it is the only grocer.

    Economists may have actually studied this.

    • Even if Wholefoods did raise prices would that make it a monopoly? Wouldn’t local farmers markets, and as you suggested earlier local grocery stores, act as competition for the company?

  4. Pingback: Wholefood Simply cookbook | memories & dust

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