Whole Foods really has it all?
I will soon find out.
In Paper 2, I will investigate Whole Foods Market and its mission, business model, and relationship between what the company portrays as truly important to its mission and what its actions are really telling customers.
After reading Josée Johnston’s article called “The citizen-consumer hybrid: ideological tensions and the case of Whole Foods Market” from the Theory and Society journal, I have become very interested in the hybrid “citizen-consumer” concept Johnston focuses on in his writing. In the article, Johnston analyzes the role that this concept plays in Whole Foods Market, as the company prides themselves on selling products that are good for the consumer, the environment, and society as a whole. The article begins by posing important questions about the devoted customers of Whole Foods Market:
“Am I acting as a consumer looking out for my own interest in artisanal cheese and slow-rise bread, or am I a citizen supporting local agriculture and the “whole planet” through my shopping? Does Whole Foods offer a new opportunity for shoppers to become “citizen-consumers” who can have it all – pursue their interest in delicious food, while feeling good about their responsibilities to other people, other species, and the environment?” (Johnston, 2008).
Johnston’s article discusses the many contradictions involved with Whole Foods Market’s mission and marketing models that advertise themselves as a company that, according to the Company Information section of their website, “seeks out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture”. This all seems too good to be true, and I look forward to investigating what Whole Foods Market is really about and reporting back my findings in Paper 2.
Whole Foods Market Company Site