Why Half of Wal-Mart's Groceries Are Banned by Whole Foods

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 (NYSE: WMT  )  shelf are outright banned from the more upscale retailer Whole Foods Market  (NASDAQ: WFM  ) . 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 ingredients for foods." 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.

Whole Foods store in Oklahoma City. Source: Whole Foods Market.

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." If you ever wondered why a Whole Foods drink aisle makes you feel like you're in a foreign country, well, there's your explanation.
  • 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.
  • More than 80% of the candy sold at Wal-Mart would never be found at Whole Foods due to artificial flavors, while 31% of the bacon and sausage products have been blacklisted due to monosodium glutamate, or MSG.

The list goes on and on. Beyond the statistics, however, Blatt attempts to answer the intriguing question for customers and investors alike: Why does Whole Foods limit consumer choice?

As he points out, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed every food product sold in a Wal-Mart store safe for consumption. Whole Foods, however, holds itself to a higher standard. Is Whole Foods, then, playing the role of Big Brother for health-conscious customers or simply catering to the finicky demands of foodies?

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at NYU, was interviewed for Slate's article. She points the finger at health-conscious customers: "Whole Foods is giving their demographic what their demographic wants." The "top comment" in Blatt's piece -- which has so far collected more than 580 comments in total -- claims Nestle's conclusion is "the only relevant statement in the whole article." But is it really that cut-and-dry?

Not according to Whole Foods founder John Mackey. When he first started selling natural and organic foods at a small co-op in Austin, Texas, die-hard foodies were a blip on the radar in a massive national grocery industry. Now, the organic food industry, for example, is a $28 billion market that's more than doubled in size since 2004. This health-conscious trend didn't just spring out of thin air. For several decades, grocers like Whole Foods, recognized as America's first Certified Organic store, have ushered in a new wave of health-focused customers.

In the book he co-authored with Raj Sisodia, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, Mackey claims that Whole Foods plays an important role in leading the consumer toward better choices. Instead of catering to the wants of consumers, Whole Foods educates -- without lecturing -- their clientele: "If the business is able to see unarticulated or latent needs that customers don't yet recognize, it has a responsibility to educate them about the potential value they are not yet seeing. ... We have to satisfy those customers in terms of what they want in the moment, while steering them toward better choices over time."

For Whole Foods, it's as much of a push from the grocer as it is a pull from the consumer to accommodate healthier food options. Mackey believes this makes sense because his grocers study everything from food to organisms to the environment and therefore have a deep understanding that customers might lack.

At the end of the day, it's always a dialogue between the two, but Mackey says a relationship built on trust has led customers to "increasingly look to Whole Foods Market to be their 'editors,' as we carefully examine and evaluate the products we sell." Or, to use another analogy, Whole Foods aims to maximize healthy outcomes for customers like a good mechanic would optimize the performance of an automobile.

As Whole Foods nudges the consumer to make better eating choices, it's in turn expanding that demographic. Their motto might as well be "Educate and they will come."

Produce aisle in Wal-Mart. Source: Wal-Mart.

But Wal-Mart's heading down a divergent path. From Blatt's point of view, the Bentonville retail giant offers a "laissez-faire" approach to curating the products it sells. Instead of banning ingredients, Wal-Mart's adopted a model for purchasing that provides lower prices and greater choice.

On the surface, this formula looks like a win-win for the consumer, but it comes with a small caveat: Shoppers are increasingly concerned about the ingredients and origins of food and are looking for guidance from a source they can trust. While no one wants their parent -- or grocer, for that matter -- telling them to eat their vegetables, many customers want to know that their grocer supports transparent and sustainable food practices. After all, their health and well-being depends, to a large extent, on the quality of foods in their diet.

Consequently, grocers who carefully monitor everything from ingredients to sourcing are riding on a wave of growth while others are lagging behind. The organic market, for example, makes up only 3.5% of total food sales, but it grew at double the annual growth rate of all food sales in 2012.

Grocers like Whole Foods and its natural-foods competitor Sprouts Farmers Market see increasing opportunity: Both stores recently upped their potential nationwide store count to 1,200 locations, which would triple Whole Foods' size and increase Sprouts' footprint by 7.5 times. While Wal-Mart towers above them with an estimated 3,000 grocery locations, its momentum is slowing. The world's largest retailer struggled to achieve 1.5% year-over-year global-revenue growth in the most recent quarter.

To reach its full potential, Whole Foods will likely continue to educate customers and may even ban a few ingredients along the way. For its part, that seems to be a time-tested recipe for success, translating to a seven-bagger stock over the last five years.

Wal-Mart, on the other hand, has to hope a cornucopia of products offers more for consumers than a carefully curated experience. From my perspective, focusing on rock-bottom prices looks less and less like a viable long-term strategy for the retail juggernaut.

Produce section in Whole Foods. Source: Whole Foods Market.

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  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 3:19 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    Now all we need is a survey along the lines of:

    1. Do you shop at Whole Foods? If yes;

    2. Do you do ALL of you grocery shopping at Whole Foods?

    I think we will find that most Whold Food shoppers get their Doritos, et.al. at another establishment.

    Simply catering to the finicky demands of foodies, those looking for those "speciality" items and the 1% who don't mind the "whole paycheck" experience of Whole Foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:07 PM, Windcheckers wrote:

    The "whole paycheck" thing may have been true once but not so much now, especially with their "365" house label.

    They do a great job with competitive pricing for bulk foods -- grains, beans, etc -- as well as nuts, yogurt, breakfast cereal, and other items. Not only is their selection larger but their prices are lower than those at other grocery stores.

    You can certainly spend a lot of money at Whole Foods on premium items but their staples really are a good deal. And the freshness and quality of their products is much better and the shopping experience is too.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:08 PM, spintreebob wrote:

    God bless a true Democracy where consumers can vote with our feet and vote with our pocketbooks and where businesses have the same freedom to vote with their prices and quality.

    The alternative of Great Nanny making the best decisions for us and protecting us from ourselves went out with 1984.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:12 PM, Scottilla wrote:

    How does Walmart get away without listing ingredients on 54% of its grocery items?

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:18 PM, comosichiam wrote:

    I am sure whole foods is playing to the so called healthy eating crowd and I commend them for their efforts but for myself being and accomplished cook I stay with the fresh ingredients buy meat in large portions and cut and trim it myself. Prepared food is extremely scarce in my home plus I wouldn't pay whole foods prices under any circumstances because I don't need what they sell.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:19 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    Windcheckers:

    Do you do ALL of your grocery shopping at Whole Foods?

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:25 PM, dwainpmiller wrote:

    Coop was a great store in Berkeley.Good food and great prices.I really enjoyed shopping there. All profit went back to the customers.I believe that whole foods copied coop with the prifit going to the owners!

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:29 PM, rickshelton53 wrote:

    What ,,

    Are you kidding me ,,

    I'v thought all along walmart is going to run all the small business's out ,,

    And they did do just that WalMart needs to Change its name...

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:41 PM, 2774js wrote:

    I'm sorry but with today's economy, the price is what matters most to me. I have a family of six very hungry eaters and I need to worry about feeding them all. I have found that Whole Foods is more expensive and I cannot afford that. Walmart will have to do until Whole foods can compete with affordability.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:46 PM, devoish wrote:

    Pondee619,

    Yes I shop at Whole Foods.

    No, I do not do ALL my shopping at Whole Foods.

    I do not understand why it matters if someone buys all their food at Wholefoods.

    Please explain.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:50 PM, SuperMarina wrote:

    Not sure why you claim that "Whole Foods limit consumer choice" while "...Wal-Mart's adopted a model for purchasing that provides lower prices and greater choice." I've been to both Whole Foods and Wal-Mart, and my impression is that Whole Foods has a larger selection of groceries, which I thought would mean they give shoppers a greater choice. At least in groceries, as they don't seem to be carrying all the other stuff Wal-Mart clutters their stores with.

    Since every store carries a limited selection of merchandise it would be correct to say they all "limit consumer choice". This is why different stores have different selections, so a greater number of consumers can find what they want. Nobody are forced to shop only at Whole Foods or Wal-Mart; they can shop for their overpriced 'natural' softdrinks at Whole Foods, and then go to Wal-Mart for their chemical-laden sandwich bread. Or not.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:53 PM, waltercook wrote:

    To the reader that says money is the most important thing, put down your cigarette and coke and figure what eating healthier will do for you and your 6 children. You did plan on supporting your children in a responsible way to insure they have a great successful future when you chose that path? By the way WF pays their employees a greater rate of pay and benefits than WallyWorld and the results show to the shopper with smiling knowledgeable help and a stock that has a much greater return than Walmart.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 4:59 PM, TMFBoomer wrote:

    @Scottilla

    <<How does Walmart get away without listing ingredients on 54% of its grocery items?>>

    In the article, I said Wal-Mart discloses roughly 50% of the ingredients in its inventory. I should have said "Wal-Mart's website" though.

    Wal-Mart discloses ingredients on packaging for probably everything I would imagine. However, the study utilized a database that relied on the information on the website instead of evaluating every product in the store. Wal-Mart has an estimated 40,000 SKUs in stores, and the website provides ingredients on 19,900.

    I'll get that clarified in the article. Thanks for the comment.

    Isaac

    @TMFBoomer

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:12 PM, greengrocer59 wrote:

    Bologna...Wholefoods is no "FOOD ANGLE"-I worked for them as a mgr.This company has carried,And I mean they have had at least a-25% inventory of...Unconventional items for sale!Which had all the ugly ingredients in the items like;Hydrogenated Oils..Etc.The company is really foolish trying to act like they are better than....Any way-Just always read your labels in wholefoods...

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:15 PM, rrats0966 wrote:

    I saw this teast line at the beggining of the news story that brought me here

    "A look at what separates two giants of the grocery industry"

    Whole foods is a giant if the Crogery industry. Are you serious? Walmarts Grocery business in 2012, was 160 BILLION

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:18 PM, JustMeNTN wrote:

    Well, atleast WalMart hasn't announced to the world that their produce growers are using human feces/waste to fertilize and grow their produce. Its all a bogus, unhealthy, poisoning, road to profits for these companies. The don't care if you develop cancer orgrow a 3rd eye in your naval.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:23 PM, damiencaz666 wrote:

    This is a fantastic article. It goes to show you that foolish people would rather cut costs to get cheap food, but sacrifice their health.

    I choose to eat healthy. I choose Whole Foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:30 PM, joeynoodles wrote:

    I think Whole Foods should give all their profits to its customers. That would complete their mission of taking care of all of us.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:38 PM, TMFBoomer wrote:

    @rrats0966

    Whole Foods generates $12 billion in revenue and is valued at about $20 billion currently. It's the second fastest-growing bricks and mortar retailer among the largest 40 in the United States according to Stores.org. It trails behind only Apple stores in rate of growth.That's not just groceries, but all of retail.

    http://www.stores.org/2013/Top-100-Retailers

    It's not as large as Wal-Mart's grocery operation, but it's profit margins tower over many competitors. For all these reasons, I think it's okay to describe WFM as a "giant of the grocery industry" alongside WMT.

    Isaac

    TMFBoomer

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 5:43 PM, r1961 wrote:

    I occasionally buy junk food at Walmart. I rarely set foot into Whole Foods...that place is for people who want to feel good about throwing their money away. For fresh food, both Walmart and Whole Foods are too expensive. My local International grocery stores have far better prices on fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish, and a better selection as well.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:00 PM, hungaryrealist wrote:

    Well if whole foods would have reasonable prices i would shop their ! But at the time they don't but wall mart food still fills u up. And i have not grown any extra body parts or gained any mutante power's from eating wally world food !

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:11 PM, jenacrossamerica wrote:

    Steven,

    I think the question implies that if one were to also shop other stores that they are probably buying junk food.

    I do shop other stores but I don't buy junk food:

    Publix has a good selection of organic produce and is a closer drive for me.

    Earth Fare has similar policies to Whole Foods and is my favorite.

    When I'm at Walmart to get Legos for the grandsons, I've been known to grab a few items out of the grocery section but just the organics like organic yogurt, organic milk ... sometimes organic canned tomatoes and organic applesauce (yes, Walmart has organics).

    But I like shopping at Whole Foods and Earth Fare the best because

    1. I don't need to stop and read the labels.

    2. They have a larger selection of healthy foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:20 PM, CarpeDiem wrote:

    @waltercook Wow, you attacked a poster for one of the most benign comments I have every seen. I don't shop at Wal-mart, but I sure as heck wouldn't judge anyone else for doing so. I hope you don't become offended if others judge the choices you make in life, considering how judgmental you are. That would be awfully hypocritical of you. What an angry little man you must be.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:42 PM, ixoyejmt wrote:

    The issue for my family is we do not have the money to shop at Whole Foods since most of the food is more expensive than WalMart. THAT is the REAL issue! If I had the means, I would love to eat healthy all the time, but the fact is inferior items are cheaper, and it is better buying that stuff than starving with a family! If you have money, you live healthier, and if you are poorer like myself, one shops at Walmart and TRIES to eat somewhat healthier by shopping at Walmart! Sad, but true!

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:46 PM, myskaun wrote:

    "Wal-Mart's "Great Value 100% Whole Wheat Bread" contains seven ingredients that Whole Foods scoffs at...."

    Isn't it odd that bread generally contains 4 ingredients(flour, salt, yeast, water) yet wal-mart has 7 unacceptable ingredients to boost?

    That's why I make my own bread. Try the no-knead approach and all you have to do is spend less than 5 minutes the night before to prepare your dough.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:49 PM, BlackSuave wrote:

    All of Corporate America puts average income people in a bind, either by giving them a cheap product or grossly overcharging them...or both. Not only that, but they're not always giving them all the useful information. Some places cost you the arm and leg you're trying to keep as healthy as possible by eating right and exercising. Oh, the irony. I'm not championing for Wal-mart, either, especially when I hear how they treat their employees.

    What are consumers to do.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 6:52 PM, myskaun wrote:

    I shop at WF, but that's not the only place I shop. Costco has great products and their prices are fantastic. Trader Joe's is also another good option. I seldom shop there and can count how many times I've gone there in the past few years - once when Land o' Lakes butter was on sale for $1.50/lb and another time when I was out of town and had to get salad ingredients. Even the salad ingredients were bad - luckily I found Trader Joe's.

    Wal-mart is crap and they treat their employees like dirt.

    To those who complain about the prices of WF, try ethnic markets. You can get a lot of things dirt cheap and the quality is amazing.

    Also, restaurant supply stores are great. Stop wasting your money on Wal-mart's frankenfoods.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:07 PM, DeadParrotAZ wrote:

    I seriously wonder how many people here have actually been in a Whole Foods recently. Their own line of products (365) gets consistently ranked high from Consumer Reports and magazines like Saveur and websites like epicurious. Whole Foods has coupons in their flyer and accepts coupons - plus they have sales every weekend. You can stock up on things that are good for you, your family and that won't kill your pocketbook. 'Pink slime' was approved by the FDA and it wasn't until people found out about it and were outraged that it got taken out of hamburger, etc. It was never in the meat at Whole Foods. If you haven't been in a Whole Foods in the last few years, go by and see what you've been missing. You might surprise yourself. I don't think anyone is ever surprised at WalMart.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:13 PM, deraysa wrote:

    The 10 lb. "fresh" turkey I bought at WF for $2.50 lb. last November was frozen inside. Also, the cavity on the small bird was so large the stuffing fell out. I sent the company an e-mail but they didn't bother to reply. It's no coincidence that the nearest WF is in one of the wealthiest communities around. Apparently, the potential (and actual) loss of my business didn't faze them at all. I do most of my grocery shopping at either Market Basket and Hanneford with an occasional stop at Trader Joe's. I can save a few cents on packaged or jarred items at Walmart, but

    they charge a dollar more for the same brand of cage-free eggs!

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:21 PM, jerrynoh1941 wrote:

    Why do we pick on Wal-Mart? Other stores like Safeway, Albertsons. Kroegers, all sell the same things as Wa-lmart. I live in a little tow in central Idaho, 140 miles to the closest Wal-Mart or other large chain groceries. I don't even know if there is a whole foods store in Idaho. I do have to eat to live so I have to buy from the local grocery store that buy the same kind of food as Wal-Mart.

    I am going to Idaho Falls and look at some of Wal-marts products to see if they have products that don't list the nutritional information. It really doesn't intrest me, but we need to not believe ev everything thing we read.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:28 PM, Cynthialynn01 wrote:

    Walmart assumes that everyone's sole concern is price but I have celiac and must get the most real nutrition for my money and not just a bunch fillers and food addatives that are toxic. People are finally starting to realize that the commercial food industry does not care about anything but their bottom line-profits at the expense of healthy, nutritious foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:33 PM, wayned65 wrote:

    This a free commercial for whole foods, I agree as others have said if you can afford their price -go for it. If they would just give good clear fact and not try to slam another company I would have more respect for them. HELLO Wal-Mart.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:40 PM, LaryB wrote:

    I have a feeling that the people who shop at Walmart do so for the lower prices and those people who shop at Whole Foods can afford the higher prices. There is a "big" difference between the two. While I have been in a Whole Foods Market, that was a long time ago, I would never shop in one today. I hate being ripped off.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:45 PM, eatingclean wrote:

    I wouldn't shop for anything at Walmart. They don't get a penny of my money. And I certainly wouldn't trust them to think of my health when they made their choices for foods to stock and sell. I'm quite sure the most important thing to them is their bottom line.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:47 PM, snood wrote:

    Whole foods is still whole paycheck for the middle class. the prices are 50 to 100% more than the already high grocery prices in my area. If one is able to really analyze what you are allowed to use to grow or make an "organic" product you wouldn't want to eat that. It may be natural and organic but it could be bulls#### because that would be an organic fertilizer.

    Whole foods is selling the experience and that someone already made healthy choices (their idea) before you shop so you don't have to.

    I wonder who at Whole Foods wrote this item

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 7:58 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    You don't have to pay the prices at Whole Foods in order to get high quality things. You can get the same things elsewhere (even at Wal-Mart)...you just have to read the labels. This whole article just seems like an advertisement for Whole Foods to me, or yet another Wal-Mart hate article.

    And don't get me wrong; I am not a fan of many of Wal-Mart's practices. Just tired of everyone picking on them while ignoring all the other retail stores that are just as bad.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 8:35 PM, alparadise wrote:

    I think the real question isn't WF playing big brother, because with all the bad things out there to buy what they do is helpful to rushed shoppers who lack the time to research. But, if WF shoppers would actually shop for food on a regular basis at WalMart. I've done both, each reflecting my personal financial position at the time. When I had cash I'd shop at WF. If not, the other place. For some reason, after shopping at WalMart I felt fat and greasy. After WF, with a lot less cash and a lot less in the neat paper grocery bag. That said, if WF prices were near WalMarts most people would shop at WF because their stuff is actually better tasting, etc. It also has some snob appeal in various larger cities.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 8:44 PM, kat57 wrote:

    what I don't understand is all the additives in a loaf of bread. I make bread from unbleached canadian flour, yeast and water. No sugar no fat no nothing. I get that the shelf life might be extended for some aspects but really fat and sugar just cause bread to go bad sooner. what is the deal?

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 8:47 PM, kat57 wrote:

    walmart is also a business model that runs small local business out of the space. if somebody comes up with something good, they corrall them, pay them some money and undersell their product. Their meat comes in huge slabs and their vegetables in mass quantity and I feel that it is just gross. I avoid buying walmart and sam's club unless it is inorganic products.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 8:49 PM, mbolokoski wrote:

    If I had a choice of shopping at Whole foods I would, but the closest one is 5 hours away. Walmart is close and convenient though I don't buy produce or meat from them partly because our Walmart doesn't carry those items but also because I find the prices are comparable to other grocery stores and the quality has been better at other grocery stores.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:05 PM, johnmr12 wrote:

    Whole foods can't sell the items sold at Walmart because they can't compete with the price. So, they sell items labeled as "healthy' to a more upscale customer who doesn't care about the price.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:21 PM, willnott wrote:

    Just asking if someone does all their shopping at Whole Foods is as meaningless as asking if someone does all their (food) shopping at WalMart. Savvy buyers make trade-offs all the time of price, quality, ingredients, etc. And, as pointed out, not everyone has the unlimited budget needed to do all their shopping at EITHER store. (WalMart items are not always competitive, and often THEIR selection is limited!). Another major consideration is location of either / both, and alternatives, to ones' home. Frankly I can do much better at Costco, or Trader Joes, though both are a "fair jaunt" away - because there is not a Whole Foods within 20 miles.... There now IS a Sprouts, but friends who have shopped there did not rate it very positively, so we haven't tried it.

    Frankly I tend to agree with many that stores like WF, TJ, Sprouts only cater to egalitarians and foodies - most same folks know better than to shop while wearing blinders.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:23 PM, healthnut wrote:

    I've been a health nut for years and it's now cool to be one. Thank goodness!

    I do all my produce shopping at Sprouts and Trader Joe's where the prices are lower and the quality much better.

    If we had a Whole Foods here I would shop there also!

    Since my health and my family's is my #1 priority

    I'm willing to spend a bit more for that. No junk food in this house and as a result healthy people and NO overweight people either.

    I only shop at Wallyworld for non-food items.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:28 PM, foocat wrote:

    It's getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot!

    I got my skill and you know it gets sparked a lot

    I'm on my grind homie, it's on my mind homie

    These fools with clipboards are looking at me

    Like they know me

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:29 PM, jackieg wrote:

    We all have a choice of where we shop and how we spend our money so the idea that Whole Foods is playing big brother is absurd. I shop at several different stores including Whole Foods. When I shop at Whole Foods it is for specific items or brands that I can't find elsewhere. The fact that other chains such as Kroger are stocking more and more items once found only at Whole Foods shows that there is a market for these foods. We don't all eat Doritos and drink Coke, some of us don't even eat meat! Whole Foods has recognized this and built the chain on it.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:36 PM, rmotion wrote:

    For anyone that can not understand the blatant crap that is our food supply, or have any food allergies, or have dietary restrictions of have to avoid gluten or what not, http://www.glutensolutions.com/ingredients-to-avoid-on-a-glu...

    might not get this concept.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 9:43 PM, Dawn wrote:

    With our ever increasing wealth gap, as America's wealthy grow wealthier and America's middle class disappears into the lower classes, I would expect both Whole Foods and WalMart to be enjoying great business these days. They cater to families on the opposite ends of household income, and the number of families on both ends are growing while the few families left in the middle are shrinking in number. I am fortunate enough to remain in the middle, so I love to buy healthy foods at Whole Foods, but get most of my groceries at another grocer (though not Walmart). Like most people who can afford better, I would much prefer to see Walmart disappear, paying the price for feeding us cheap junk and outsourcing labor to other countries in order to obtain cheap prices, than to see Whole Foods disappear. However, comparing the stores is like comparing apples and oranges. The shoppers who buy the bulk of their items from either store probably have nothing in common with eachother.

    Anyway, seeing how Whole Foods holds itself to much higher standards than the FDA (which has pathetically low standards), I will probably shop at Whole Foods more often.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 10:11 PM, Smile2uall wrote:

    Whole Foods does not hire itself to a higher standard; they hold themselves to a different standard. locally here if you want the freshest fruits and vegetables; go to .99 cent store. Yep I was pleasantly surprised at the quality (and price);. It was something I never would have expected.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 10:27 PM, 69ice wrote:

    Whole Foods ...this or Wal-mart ... that, it doesn't matter here in Phoenix and the metro area, Wal-mart is at the most a 10 min. drive from anywhere, here in the Phx. area. Whole Foods Does not have a store West of Scottsdale Funny how it seems Whole Foods seems to "cater" to what areas are typically Upper Income areas.With over 3 Milliom people in the greater Phoenix area , one tends to shop at stores near to them. No, I will not drive 45 mins. one way, to buy food!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 10:31 PM, esilliman wrote:

    I am unimpressed with both Walmart and Whole Foods. If you have a local store that cares about what they are offering and are willing to talk with you about it - answer questions and so on - support them. At the peak of the midwestern tomato season, I visited an Omaha Whole Foods with a farmer friend. The "heirloom" tomatoes were $5 a pound, were from California, and my farmer friend could tell by feeling them that they had been picked unripe. A smaller chain or individual store that cares would have found a local tomato grower. Our New Pioneer coop in Iowa City had local tomatoes for $3 a pound the next day when I checked.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 10:49 PM, malclave wrote:

    So a WFM stockholder, working for a company which has the WFM co-CEO on its board of directors, wants to tell people how great WFM is compared to WMT.

    Is that about it?

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 10:51 PM, badge3832 wrote:

    I don't touch that "organic" stuff and my health is fine. People should learn a bit more about nutrition. No Whole Foods within forty miles so I don't have to worry about it. Walmart's a bit far also. Good prices on toilet paper though.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:13 PM, Spot11 wrote:

    I like WAL-MART , MUCH MORE THAN WHOLE FOODS .

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:14 PM, zellabear wrote:

    All I have to say is watch Food INC. I'm not for Walmart, nor the high prices of Whole Foods, but for health.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:39 PM, litchkar wrote:

    This article is a joke. It is nothing but a blatant plug for Whole Foods. The vast majority of the items that it ridicules Walmart for are also carried at most other supermarkets. I guess using Walmart's name is more sensational. No way do I feel that Walmart is a saint, but lets be honest and forthcoming in your articles.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:45 PM, longovrdue wrote:

    I shop at Sprouts for produce, Stater Bros. for meats, Trader Joe's for most everything else except for paper goods and cleaners which I get at Smart "n Final. I've been to Whole Foods and find their prices to be outrageous. Whole Foods seems to be a store that is more about "image" than anything. Organic? I can get organic at Sprouts, Trader Joe's or any supermarket without paying the Whole Foods prices. Whole Foods has a nice cheese selection, but I found I can sample the expensive cheeses at Whole Foods and turn around and get them cheaper at Trader Joe's. If you want to shop "image", go to Whole Foods. If you want the same things for cheaper, shop anywhere else.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:53 PM, dalearthurl wrote:

    There is nothing wrong with high fructose corn syrup. It is very close to sucrose, ordinary sugar. Sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. It starts out as 100% glucose or corn sugar and then part of the glucose is converted to fructose using an enzyme. High fructose corn syrup has about the same sweetening power as sucrose and costs less. The bad name associated with high fructose corn syrup was caused by the sucrose industry campaigning against it. Fructose is found in all fruits. Michelle Obama said she does not let her kids eat anything containing high fructose corn syrup. She is a lawyer and may know a lot about law but she knows nothing about chemistry. Fructose is also known as levulose and glucose is also known as dextrose. Levulose bends a polarized light beam to the left and dextrose bends a polarized light beam to the right,

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2014, at 11:56 PM, GacktR wrote:

    Refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Can't afford Whole Foods. So I go to H-E-B (a TX grocery chain) for my groceries, spend a lot of time checking labels, make a lot of things from scratch with the produce and such at the H-E-B, and purchase my vitamin and herbal supplements at Natural Grocers.

    So I eat healthy and don't break my bank. This article compares A to B. I'm pretty sure there a few more letters in the alphabet as a grocery shopping option. Consumers (like me) vote with our wallet. You really don't Have to vote A or B. And no one says you can't combine any of the letter choices.

    Now I will say this. Oh I miss Winn-Dixie. That was one awesome beef section for quality on a budget.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:01 AM, dalearthurl wrote:

    Organic food is snob food. I buy food every week from Walmart. I never heard of Whole Foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:13 AM, shannonabernathy wrote:

    But.....aren't all the seeds that farmers use to grow produce and bulk grains on loan from Monsanto? If so, what is the difference between Wal-mart and Whole Foods?

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:19 AM, dalearthurl wrote:

    The fructose and glucose in sucrose is chemically bonded. The bond is broken by acid in the stomach so the fructose and glucose get to the small intestine in the same form as the fructose and glucose in high fructose corn syrup. As for organic foods most families raising children cannot afford them.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 2:24 AM, Carlsbad101 wrote:

    Walmart belongs in the same category as the tabacco industry. The FDA is a joke run by lobbyist; i.e. meat & dairy industries. The ingredients mentioned in this article are banned in other countries, but not here in the USA by the FDA. We're an unhealthy country, gluttons, with perpetual healthcare diseases that keep our pharmacy industry fat with cash and our healthcare industry uncapable of caring & managing for the disaster created. A vicious circle that needs to be snapped and broken. I appauled Whole Foods and others like, for providing a healthier balanced options for my better wellness and longeivity.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:34 AM, billsmith1900 wrote:

    As always, the comments here are chock full of illiteracy.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:35 AM, billsmith1900 wrote:

    Will the time ever come in human evolution when people wake up to how their soda addiction is poisoning them? There's plenty of information available out there to prove soda is the cause of many illnesses and deaths.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 5:05 AM, sdp17448 wrote:

    But yet Whole Foods has a bar inside. A bar selling beer - a product that destroys brain cells and lives. Really can we say talking out of both sides of ones mouth.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 5:52 AM, ThereseAmin1978 wrote:

    I haven't but anything other than some veggies and fruit from Walmart in almost a year, and by the meats and other groceries else where and have lost 50 pounds in 6 months, so that alone should tell you about the crap sold there. And as for the treatment of their employees you hit it spot on, I worked there for 5 yrs and was fired because a racist mgr. didn't like i wouldn't do her work as well as mine. They deserve every lawsuit they get.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 6:35 AM, Sillysilly64 wrote:

    Comments and article are biased and weak. walmart can sell anything they want. Many of the items at Walmart are the same as other grocery chains which can sell whatever they choose. So why pick on Walmart.

    It's the consumers who make the choice. Shop where u want make the choices u want. You can't tell me that those who claim they eat healthy don't drink alcohol or smoke or don't eat a slightly healthier version of junk food.

    And yes, choosing whole foods may have something to do with being socially conscious but there are many people who cannot afford to make that choice.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 7:34 AM, immoveable wrote:

    The standards for the "food" have been dumbed down in our big corporate driven marketplace. The crap in most supermarkets served up as "food" is, at least, very toxic to our health and, god help me, I hope I can avoid it for myself and family. That's what the public needs to learn....that big bucks trumps your welfare in this industry, as well, as many other industries. Education...education...education.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 7:43 AM, patty2 wrote:

    Does anyone care about the social issues surrounding these stores? Walmart pays its workers so little that many of them are on public assistance. John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods is on a vendetta to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I shop at Costco where workers are treated decently-you can tell the difference in the level of service. I'm thinking of selling my WF stock because of Mackey's campaign.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 8:18 AM, betty15 wrote:

    This article is a hatchet job on Walmart. Every store I have been in carry the same items Walmart carries only for more money. The ingredients plus weight are listed on the packaging of every item I pick up. Is Hellman's Mayo at one store worse than Hellman's at another? As long as I am talking groceries--organic is over rated. I have a vegetable garden every single year. I don't have to do anything to most items so they are "organic". Green peppers---nothing bothers them. You don't have to add fertilizer. The same is true for onions, green beans. Now when it comes to fruit trees, spray does keep the worms out, etc,

    You can eat healthy by choosing wisely. You can shop Whole Foods if you want but my money is going to Walmart where I can get the best price and I am smart enough to cook great meals and exercise to live longer. Motley Fool continues to do hatchet jobs on Walmart. Show me a Kroger that doesn't carry the same brands. Safeway was run out of this town because the prices were so high.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 8:30 AM, cococandy wrote:

    The organic industry plays upon the ignorance of consumers. I dare say most Americans believe organic foods are safer, healthier, and more nutritious. These are beliefs that organic-oriented companies like WF are only too happy to capitalize on like anyone looking to make a buck. However these claims are not supported by any scientific study. There's no connection between the price you pay for your food and its safety. I'm perfectly content to go to my local grocery store, bypass the pricey organic carrots, and purchase the less expensive but just as healthy and safe regular carrots. Plus my loyalty card gets me discounts at the gas station next door.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 8:51 AM, Reallythisisit wrote:

    So glad you decided to do an article that is Pro-healthy. I put all your emails into my spam as I was tired of the Pro-Monsanto articles. For those that are pro-Walmart. Good for you. I do shamelessly shop occasionally there for non-food items but ignorance is not bliss to your health and the environment. It is hard to decide on the cost we can afford or the benefit to my children for their health and future.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 8:56 AM, dvd1003 wrote:

    See how far your SNAP benifits go at Whole Foods. This store is for Yuppies & Snobs. I shop at WalMart the quality of the food is good and I can do all my shopping needs in one stop. By the way what do they pay their employees , everyone every news outlet seems to focus on WalMart.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:08 AM, verneoz wrote:

    Slate magazine is a liberal rag. These liberals like Blatt are always espousing their "egalitarian" views and prescribing what people should or should not eat, drink, think, own, drive, or say. Yet these elitists ("the more upscale Whole Foods") always partake of that which they want to deny everybody else. People want to be left alone and free of these nonsensical do-gooders.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:29 AM, saggerrr wrote:

    For the people that go to whole foods to get strictly organic veg/fruit,you are being fooled also. it is allowable to have up to 30% pesticides with these items(stupid).

    Home grown products are the safest way to go with healthy this way of thinking.

    Also the water supply must be free of man made poisons. 95 % of the worlds waters are contaminated.

    I have found the best way to fix this problem is EAT LESS and vitamins.

    You should look at whole foods customers,most are FAAAAT because they still eat way to much.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:33 AM, saggerrr wrote:

    dvd1003 comment is typical ignorance and stupidity that people can get all their shopping in one stop. they only care about getting cheap crap for a not so cheap price. YEHAW HE SAYS MY LIFE IS A PILE OF CHEAP CRAP AND I WILL LITTER THE EARTH WITH ALL MY BROKE WAL-MART TRASH.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:39 AM, GrayPlayer wrote:

    Walmart, and all it stands for, depend on serving the "herd!"

    All foods contain chemicals to lengthen shelf life and increase attractiveness.

    Consumers should limit the amount in their daily diet.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:42 AM, lanholiday wrote:

    It is great we live in a country where we can still nitpick about all the choices we have for buying groceries.

    Meanwhile, the nation's debt continues to climb into the stratosphere, the workforce continues to shrink, and inflation is just around the corner. I believe WalMart stands to gain more business than WF down the road.

    As consumer, I buy a side of beef from a local organic ranch for a fraction of what I would spend at WF. Grow what we can with Costco, WalMart, Albertsons filling the voids.

    I see WF as a lazy and very expensive way to eat healthy. It's great they are in business, but it would hurt a lot of people if WalMart were to disappear. In the meantime, enjoy all the choices.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:53 AM, new1949 wrote:

    This story misses the whole point of being an American, we fought for the right to choose how we want to live. We can choose not to shop at wal-mart or whole foods. Now if whole foods or wal-mart were to to be the only option that would be another thing. We cannot allow any business to monoplize a product or a service that is essential to living. Emagine if ford were to be the only automobile manufacturer allowed to do business in America. I feel this way about any business, especiality if they are a family or privately owned business. They as Americans should have the right to refuse to serve or sale their product or service to anyone they choose to. This applies to races or gender or sexual preferences. African Americans have the right to refuse to sell or serve you, this is their store and their right. Christians should have the right to refuse to sell or serve homosexuals if they want to, it is their right as Americans. White people have the right to refuse to sell or service anyone they want to, it is their right as an American. This also applies to homosexuals, if they do not want to sell or serve you it is their right as an American. Of course this cannot apply to a company or corporation who sells a product or service that is essential to living.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:03 AM, Xanthoula wrote:

    If we should all be shopping at Whole Foods, then tell me why all of their stores are in upscale neighborhoods. The ones in my town are in the most expensive parts of town. Not one close to my middle class neighborhood and none in working class or poor neighborhoods. Oh, yes, it's because they are so expensive that no one but upper middle class and rich people can afford to shop there for more than a couple things.

    I hate to be fair to Walmart, but it's not the only grocery store that sells things that Whole Foods would not. This is true for nearly every grocery store. But I can and do make choices. Fresh fruits, organic or not. I try not to buy too many processed foods, but I am not a fanatic. Yes, I will buy a bag of Oreos for the week. But most of our dinners are made from scratch. You have to have balance.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:10 AM, AlexKalman wrote:

    Whole foods sells plenty of "Junk" food too. The consumer wants to eat unhealthy food and demand moves the suppliers.

    Maybe less crap than Walmart but there are plenty of unhealthy looking people shopping at Whole Foods.

    Remember the Woody Allen Sleeper? Miles Monroe the owner of the Happy Carrot Health food store wakes up 200 years in the Future. In the Movie McDonalds sells over 1 billion hamburgers and healthy food will kill you. Our generation of people are living longer than our predecessors. I would not take much meaning as to the distinction between healthy ingredients and Walmart. I think Walmart looks like a business model that is falling into rapid decline. While Whole Foods needs to raise revenue so they are compelled to decrease the size and weight of the items they sell to increase the bottom line. Our society, we live in a dog eat dog world.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:22 AM, TruthAlmighty wrote:

    So majority of the people prefer wallysworld because of wider choices and cheap prices?

    People mind set is that they have no choice because its makes the budget last till the next one comes.

    Every store has its own flaws.

    I had worked for 13 years at wallysworld and would like to share whats going on inside.

    the 2 for 2 thingy sign

    They put this sign to trick customers.

    This works by making the customer think that they would be saving big by buying two at once but if you just spend a little bit more seconds of your time, you will find that you are actually buying it at a regular price. This i heard in a meeting with a previous manager encouraging dept managers to trick customers using 2 for 2 signs

    They buy their merchandise at dirt cheap prices in bulk, leaving almost no profit for the suppliers, The more they buy in bulk, the less the suppliers make. This is why they say Wallysworld is bad for business.

    Then they send out scouts to spy on the prices competitor stores so they could knock off a few cents on their prices on some of their merchandise making the impression that they sell cheaper.

    The trend now is fire almost all regular employees and for every regular employee, they would hire 2 part time employees. Then giving them just a few hours a week, force them to do the work that the regular employee could do doing full time.

    They hire people for full time positions but the probationary period gets extended then they make it impossible for them to perform the task pushing the employee beyond what is possible. so the employee never makes it thru the probationary period.

    If you happen to shop there, pay attention to the prices because most are even a little bit higher than the competitor stores.

    After paying at the checkout, check the prices they had charge for each item you bought. Most of the time, the price sign on the shelf is not what you paid for. Surprisingly a lot of people don't check this and the store gets away with it.

    There are times that they will advertise a merchandise and charge you at the regular price.

    In my 13 years of employment, ive seen them give hispanics one promotion after another, salary adjustment at max per period allowed. At the same time giving everybody of different ethnicity a hard time. Ive also seen them hire people who cant even speak english, requiring an interpreter all the time. Hispanics can walk around, chat, do little work, cut corners but when white caucasians and african american do these, they get written up. WHY? I am Not against hispanics, Im against racism. Imagine, hispanics being prefered as first class employees over white caucasians and african american just by their ethnic origin.

    I am just sharing this so the next time you shop at wallysworld, think what kind of store you patronizing.

    In fairness to wallysworld, I think WF should reduce their prices if they are really so concerned for the welfare of their customers.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:40 AM, miller wrote:

    Whole Foods is cost prohibitive. I agree it would be the most wonderful place in the world to shop, but it does cost more, and that makes it cost prohibitive for a majority of Americans. If you can afford it..go for it!

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 11:55 AM, billmartin725 wrote:

    Shop at Whole foods and join the parade of fools

    in the waste your money line.

    "Shopping Experience"? What is that worth ?

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:18 PM, connie137 wrote:

    I don't like the fact that Whole foods is using the motley fool for advertising.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:45 PM, suenoko wrote:

    There is a Whole Foods about 200 miles from me,I see.I have never been to one.I have seen the petition that is trying to get a store in Evansville ,Indiana which is closer to me but I don't know of any response from Whole Foods.I hear Whole Foods is ridiculously priced ,but I think if they were playing it smart ,they would build more and be a bit more competitive with prices and educating the community about foods without chemicals,additives,high fructose corn syrup etc and people would be loyal to Whole Foods.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:56 PM, 01nrr381 wrote:

    Whole Foods is so over rated!

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 12:59 PM, sldkeoei wrote:

    Choose to eat healthy. I doesn't have to break the bank, just use common sense and support your local farmers/farmers markets, maybe start a small garden of your own. We can make smart choices as consumers if we Choose to.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 1:12 PM, fat2fit wrote:

    I think most of you are missing the point here, I am willing to bet that none of you actually look at the ingredient list of the food you buy. Whole Foods means exactly that, whole foods that have nothing added that you cannot spell let alone understand. My son use to go through bottles of Mio added to his bottle of water until I showed him that the first ingredient is "anti-freeze". Fruit and vegetables can be found at your local Farmers Market, make your bread, muffins, granola etc at home. You will love how better it tastes and it will not have an ingredient list that's as thick as a dictionary. Cancer and other diseases can be knocked out if we just eat better.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 1:54 PM, Iforgot1 wrote:

    I can't speak with authority on Whole Foods since it has been years since I've been in one (mostly because there's never been one close). My daughter has mentioned them as serving really delicious food in their "deli". Wants to take me there. Other comment is they are very expensive. The Wal-Mart is the story of the American Dream (or is it a Fairy Tale?). One little guy started out with a little seed of an idea and it grew and grew until it is almost all over the world. The reasons I have shopped a lot at Wal-Mart is I don't like to shop. So I don't have to drive all over to get the items I want. When I did I found I could have gotten the same thing for less at Wal-Mart. Many of the people I've talked to have been there for years! Many of them are aged and are friendly and helpful. I respect Wal-Mart for hiring older people. Another thing I like is if something is not as advertised or I simply don't like it there is no hassle or funny looks when I ask for refund. I quit shopping there for awhile when I discovered they were contributing to family destructive activists. I hope I'm right in thinking they stopped doing that. I just read Whole Foods support abortion providers, so they're out. I just wish companies would remain neutral in these divisive things, do what a business is supposed to do and not give me another stressful thing to think about.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 2:00 PM, SBayJJ wrote:

    The point is you can eat healthy with food from Walmart -

    1. Buy fresh produce and meat - not processed ones.

    2. Learn to cook, not reheat

    3. Learn what the unhealthy additives are and avoid them.

    4. Read the darn labels no matter where you shop.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 2:44 PM, skysky wrote:

    "Beyond the statistics, however, Blatt attempts to answer the intriguing question for customers and investors alike: Why does Whole Foods limit consumer choice?"

    Shouldn't the question be "Why do Wal-Mart, Safeway, and other mainstream grocers limit the consumer's choices to food products loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy ingredients?" It's very difficult to find foods without HFCS at these stores.

    I shop WF so that I can find an abundance of foods without HFCS and other chemicals that I choose not to eat. I don't understand why some people feel compelled to criticize WF as its success speaks for itself. People are free to shop where they want just as they're free to eat as much junk food as they want. Stop the hypocrisy with taxing sweetened beverages and cigarettes under the guise of health issues. These are legal products that people choose to buy. I do, however, feel sorry for children who have no choice but to eat what's put in front of them.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:23 PM, gskinner75006 wrote:

    As soon as Whole Foods finds it important enough to show up in small town USA, I will check them out.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:38 PM, bak11 wrote:

    I don't understand why people think Walmart has low prices. The meat is over priced, produce isn't cheap, and nothing is ever on sale .Meijer, Kroger, and even Target will have sales. Kroger sends me coupons for free items like peanut butter and lunch meat I buy bulk items and 360 brand at Whole Foods, shop at farmers markets and fruit markets, & buy flours, seeds, nuts online at Vitacost when they have a sale.

    But I've committed to making food from scratch. It really is cheaper to throw flour, milk, and egg together to make pancakes. You can add fruit, nuts, and other flours like almond or buckwheat to make it more nutritious. If you don't buy any canned or boxed items, you save a lot of money.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 3:54 PM, dclaudew wrote:

    Why does WFM add inorganic preservatives such as sodium chloride to their organic products? I'd buy a lot more from WFM if their organic products had 100% organic ingredients.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 5:50 PM, gypsy wrote:

    I don't see what difference it makes whether a company practices "fair trade" or not, or whether the manufacturer is paying people in India or China 3 cents an hour to make a product that's sold in USA stores. Who seriously gives a hoot WHAT is done overseas, so long as what we're buying here is affordably priced and made with halfway decent ingredients?

    If these "fair trade"-minded fools are so concerned, let them move overseas and built their own plants and farms and hire the residents of those countries and pay them what they think is a decent wage. They'll soon find out that what used to be cheaply bought in the USA now costs a fortune so nobody buys it, and then their company goes out of business.

    There is a REASON why you can't find "Made in the USA" goods these days -- speaking purely from my own job in the textiles industry, what fabric we can get from India is cheaper and in better quality than anything made in the US.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 6:21 PM, KS wrote:

    I have recently relocated to a Central FL town that is two hours away either direction from a Whole Foods,

    Out here, the choices are dismal. Winn Dixie and Publix are okay, but about 30% higher in many prices than King Soopers.. Almost five bucks for a half gallon of Horizon milk. Really?

    Organic produce is hard to come by and very expensive; the prices here for conventional are similar to what I paid for organic, out there. I'm going to look and see if I can buy from local farms.

    Forget trying to find a tortilla that's not full of crap for your breakfast burrito. I called all over town and ended up having to hit the WFoods two hours away when I was there and stock up.

    I've had to switch to shopping at Walmart for food (a new low) because the prices are comparable to King Soopers out west. Target offered a few more of the brands I was used to seeing at more reasonable prices. But I will never buy produce at Walmart. Really, it's the pits. Just awful.

    So I've been stocking up on spaghetti sauce and staples at Wmart and Target, BIg Lots and such, following the sales. Produce and meat I buy at Winn Dixie or the fruit stand when they are around. Some higher premium items I buy at Publix. And then I live for the day I get to Tampa or Orlando and hit the Whole Foods and pick up some premium items.

    Yes, price does matter, but so does health. I eat fresh and healthy within my budgetary limitations. The trend is toward consumers like this who are becoming more educated and reading labels, less willing to put crap in our body.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people around who still do not know how to eat. They fill themselves and their kids full of sugar, refined foods, processed crap. They give their kids sugar cereals for breakfast and drink Mountain Dew all day long and then wonder why they are obese. One good look around Walmart and it's clear to see that many people have yet to get the message. The American diet is awful. There will probably continue to be a market for stores selling crap and processed food for a long time.

    Thank goodness there are companies like Whole Foods who are changing the culture a bit by their presence.

    'Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.' Michael Pollan

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 6:36 PM, mumsie wrote:

    While Whole Foods has its good points a lot of their "core values" a purely to influence the gullible to let loose of more of their hard earned money. A sensible shopper can buy at the supermarket including Wal-Mart and eat healthy. The key to healthy eating is leave the convenience foods and excessive amounts of junk items on the shelf and learn to cook. Organic is a ruse to make a bundle off the gullible. High Fructose corn syrup is syrup made from corn. It in its self is not harmful the fact it is used in large amounts in processed foods is the problem. It is abused as a preservative. Learn to cook and quite depending on the nuker you will be healthier without spending a bundle in a specialty store.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 8:14 PM, taloft wrote:

    I love this take on the whole Organic food movement.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5amLAMRQk5I

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:22 PM, Boacheta wrote:

    No one who is selling you something has your interest in mind. Just follow the money, especially to health food.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:22 PM, JohanStrauss wrote:

    I go to Sprout's on occasion, because it's like 2 minutes from my house. I get stuff like blueberries, meat, and similar stuff I could get at HEB's (at the same price) but not have to drive as far. I would NEVER get cereal there. A box of Cheerios is TWICE what HEB's sells it for. That's just plain retarded.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 9:32 PM, KS wrote:

    Love this: (It's Gettim' REAL in the Whole Foods Parking Lot)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UFc1pr2yUU

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:15 PM, wahoo1963 wrote:

    Just another hack job by the people of this sight who call themselves journalists . Your anti Walmart bias comes through, loud and clear . If you took away all the generic products that Walmart has in it's grocery department all you have is left is the name brands that are sold by all the other grocery stores , including your beloved Costco . But no , the Mostly Foolish has to try and make this story sound like Walmart is poisoning society with garbage when they sell the same products other stores sell . If you want to compare apples to apples , fine . But don't try and compare apples to oranges . If you really hate Walmart then come out and say so . Don't write this biased garbage and try to pass it as fair and balanced journalism . You want organic produce ? Go to your local farmers market . Since you hate big bad Walmart , see if you can support your local growers - they need your money too .

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2014, at 10:52 PM, brock2118 wrote:

    I had to regretfully sell my Walmart Shares 20 years ago to buy a minivan.

    But have been eating Walmart food the last thirty years-and loving the quality and low prices.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 1:54 AM, FoolTheRest wrote:

    <<Why does WFM add inorganic preservatives such as sodium chloride to their organic products?>>

    Nice!

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 3:22 AM, AlabamaPoets wrote:

    I have no problems with either Whole Foods or Wal-Mart choosing what to stock on their shelves. In a market-based economy, stores get to choose what they want to sell. Consumers get to choose whom they want to purchase from. Some consumers will like the Whole Foods approach and not purchase from Wal-Mart. Other consumers will purchase from Wal-Mart and not from Whole Foods. Still others might make use of both grocers. Either the way, the consumer will choose between the concepts. If Whole Foods can not compete with other grocers, either because of price -- there is a reason many of these ingredients Whole Foods bans find their way into food products, and most of that has to do with price -- or product availability, then it will fail to attract customers and its business model will fail. The ultimate judge will be the marketplace and my guess is that there is room for both Whole Foods and Wal-Mart...

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 8:10 AM, vet212 wrote:

    Do your shopping at Whole Foods you WILL pay 4 times as much for half of what you get at Wally World

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2014, at 1:09 PM, Afterberth wrote:

    I don't understand why some people are in such a tizzy over Whole Foods. If you don't like, don't shop there but don't knock them for serving a market that many people clearly want. This is America after all, we have choices. The way I look at it, you can pay more now eating healthy or pay more later with your health bills.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 2:32 AM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @sdp17448

    Yes, they sell alcohol. Nobody said natural foods were automatically healthy. There are plenty of natural foods that are unhealthy for you. There is no hypocrisy there.

    What Whole Foods does with alcoholic beverages is the same thing they do with all of their products. If the alcoholic beverage contains ingredients their "unacceptable ingredients for foods" list, then it won't appear on their shelves. That's what happened to the Skinnygirl Margarita brand a little more than two years ago. It had sodium benzoate in it, so Whole Foods removed it from their shelves.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 8:26 PM, cmalek wrote:

    @dclaudew:

    "Why does WFM add inorganic preservatives such as sodium chloride to their organic products?"

    FYI, sodium chloride is your common, everyday TABLE SALT. Do not tell me you don't use ANY in your house.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 8:50 PM, cmalek wrote:

    "Whole Foods bans roughly 54% of Wal-Mart's fare due to the presence, in its words, of "unacceptable ingredients for foods."

    BS! Whole Foods bans them because they cannot make enough of a profit on them.

    BTW - does the Whole Foods site disclose 100% of ingredients in all their products?

    "Wal-Mart's "Great Value 100% Whole Wheat Bread" contains seven ingredients that Whole Foods scoffs at"

    It has been know for at 50-60 years that white bread is nutritionally worthless. Long before Whole Foods and Wal-Mart came on the scene.

    "Whole Foods, however, holds itself to a higher standard."

    Are they Whole Foods or Hebrew National?!

    Why this jeremiad against Wal-Mart?! Every supermarket, grocery store and bodega in the United States gets its food stuffs from the same suppliers. Whatever Wal-Mart sells is sold wherever food is sold, Safeway, A&P, Krogers, Mejiers, your corner deli. Wal-Mart does not re-process their food to make sure that it includes harmful chemicals.

    Whether you "organic food" fanatics want to admit it or not, the food you buy at Whole Foods, Sprout's, Trader Joe's, et al does contains chemical preservatives. Otherwise they would have to throw out their entire inventory every night or every other night because of spoilage and Health Department regulations.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 9:29 PM, malclave wrote:

    "Why does WFM add inorganic preservatives such as sodium chloride to their organic products?"

    Heh. Reminds me of a story a while back about some company selling Carbon-free sugar in its efforts to be "green".

    It's been a long time since high school chemistry, but isn't carbon-free sugar just... water?

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 10:49 PM, dickieduck wrote:

    I am amazed to read the comments and see how many people do their grocery shopping at a department store. Whole Foods Market is something I know of only through Fools articles about promising stocks. There is not one anywhere near where I live, so it is not even on the radar for my grocery shopping. Wal-Mart has two stores nearby, so I do have a choice about grocery shopping there. They do sell groceries and just about everything else under the sun - much of which is made in Communist China. I choose to shop for groceries at a grocery store, where I can get in and out in less than half an hour and do not have to stand in long lines behind people who are buying any of the thousands of other things that Wal-Mart carries.

    By the way, none of this, and very little of the other comments about personal preferences in grocery shopping have a thing in the world to do with the value of the stock of either WFM or WMT - which is what Fool articles are all about.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 11:12 PM, whahoppened wrote:

    WOW! I would never guessed this to be such a HOTbutton.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2014, at 11:12 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @malclave

    Or how about seeing college students sign a petition to ban the use of dihydrogen monoxide. Who wouldn't want to ban that? Sounds scary as hell!

    Dihydeogen = H2

    Monoxide = O

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2014, at 10:59 AM, observerbob2013 wrote:

    To compare Whole Foods and Wal Mart in this way is to compare apples and oranges.

    Wal-Mart supplies a full range of products for the regular market while Whole Foods supplies a very limited range to people who want a particular type of food.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2014, at 11:23 AM, piker43 wrote:

    The article says Walmart "offers lower prices and greater choices." Walmart does many things but it does NOT offer greater (or more) choices. It strictly limits choices to the best selling items. That's why they offer lower prices. They are always getting rid items that do not sell and are not as profitable to find others that attract more business. Nothing wrong with that. but it does drive some customers away while attracting those looking for value. That is and will always be a formula for success.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2014, at 11:35 AM, RealityCounts wrote:

    ONLY 50%? Think you're way, way low.

    Already voted for the Co-CEO's as Top Executives in last 25 years on a CNBC Poll.

    Over 2500 years ago, Hippocrates said "...let good food be thy cure, and let thy cure be good food."

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2014, at 7:13 PM, svoyvr wrote:

    Another place that takes a road between Walmart & Whole Foods is Costco. If you read the labels you can find many healthy food choices as well as your Coke & Doritos; all at competitive prices.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:02 AM, Fight4Justice wrote:

    It's not just food additives that sets these two apart, Wal Mart continues to buy pork from producers who use the so called 'sow crates' in which these poor sows are confined in metal cages 'lying down' and can not move for breeding purposes. It is one of the most inhumane treatment of animals in the world and yet Wal Mart couldn't care less. Whole Foods does not buy from any producer using this or any other inhumane procedures.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:06 AM, Fight4Justice wrote:

    Do you remember the now infamous 'Pink Slime' that was being put into hamburger meat at almost every grocery store and fast food restaurant in the entire nation and they all knew about it. Whole Foods was one of the very few who did not sell any Pink Slime tainted beef.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 4:24 PM, Lea77 wrote:

    Fritos have only whole corn, corn oil, and salt and they still don't sell them. I always figured Whole foods just had a general policy of only stocking more expensive alternate brands for pretty much everything.

    Which is why most people can't buy everything at whole foods. Comparisons with Walmart are kind of silly, as they are marketing to completely different groups.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 6:07 PM, Mystic wrote:

    Whole Foods is also a GMO supporter, and stocks foods that are defined as GMO free.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 6:24 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    Most of the food we eat in this country is unacceptable for human consumption when compared to other countries.

    We eat Cellulouse which is basically saw dust. We eat Sachrine which causes cancer, Pink Slime which has an unhealthy amount of ammonia mixed in with meat waste product.

    It's great that Whole Foods Market, which is owned by a conservative republican is this choosey when it comes to food. I don't mind paying extra for that piece of mind. Although I do prefer to shop at grocery co-ops which do the same for less money.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:32 PM, yoshii wrote:

    Are those Chinese-imported, allegedly "organic" vegetables still in Whole Foods?

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 9:13 PM, MatBastardson wrote:

    The average human lifespan is double what it was when all food was - guess what - organic and pesticide free.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 9:50 PM, cmrk3 wrote:

    I went to Whole Foods the other day and only spent $25.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 7:52 PM, cmalek wrote:

    @cmrk3:

    "I went to Whole Foods the other day and only spent $25."

    WOW! I guess that not too much to pay for a whole head of lettuce and an entire tomato. But they were ORGANIC!

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 11:59 AM, CtizenWhy wrote:

    The FDA protects food manufacturers, not food eaters. The FDA is a failed agency.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 12:01 PM, CtizenWhy wrote:

    The FDA only concerns itself with short term ill effects of food, but not with long term ill effects. FDA approved food is one of the leading causes of ill health in the USA.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 12:24 PM, IndustreeWag wrote:

    If I ran a store in competition with the largest business on the planet I would ALSO bad mouth them. (And secretly stock my store there, too, just like the owners of smaller 'Ma & Pa' stores.)

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:05 PM, Frankolino57 wrote:

    Look, it's about your health people! Grain is not a natural food to cattle or foul so they have be pumped up with antibiotics which are passed on to us along with their sickness - you are eating sick meat. The FDA's budget is funded largely by the pharmaceutical companies at this point. Most vaccines are worse for you than the virus they are supposed to rid you of. Etc. Etc. Go ahead eat the food that is FDA approved, take all the vaccines that, essentially, the pharmaceutical companies are scaring you into taking and get cancer or sick down the road. Sickness and suffering is more expensive than the food at Wholefoods. Get informed - read mercola.com articles and buy Dr. Joel Fuhrman books. You are responsible for you, not your doctor, not your god, not your mother, YOU!!

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:06 PM, nanasavi wrote:

    Hello out there,

    NO ONE can do all their grocery shopping there. This store is one with an aloft attitude--and lots of whacky products among its cosmetics and "herbal remedies" that it might be called "alternative" medical products. I do not want an alternative to medicine--I want the real thing. Full of limousine liberals with more education they know what to do with. Where do they go when they get sick?

    Go for the produce or the baked goods, but consult real science for remedies.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 2:44 PM, Feralcat wrote:

    I go to Whole Foods only for certain Gluten Free

    Items. Otherwise it's over priced for someone on a fixed income budget. There are plenty of alternatives in California for local grown produce and dairy. Whole Foods also chooses to avoid brand name products that are in fact quite healthy and contain zero weird ingredients. This is clearly intended to convince the shopper some lessor known brand of (for example) juice is somehow better... along with subdued labeling giving an organic impression for a jug of juice. Also watch Whole Food products for expired dates on some of their food items. I recently had to return 2 boxes of Gluten Free Sandwich Bread mix. That said.. I have never entered a Walmart except for 2 occasions. Once at the Oakland airport after realizing I left my 'dress' shoes home, and again recently when the wife wanted to pick up a tablecloth and we happened to be at a nearby hotel. I found Walmart to have no better deals than many other retailers.. Target for example, and found I hated the size of the place because it took to much time to find anything (Target is bad enough the few times I go there).

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 4:14 PM, cmalek wrote:

    @Frankolino57:

    "Get informed - read mercola.com articles "

    And you believe everything that you read on the Internet?!

    "buy Dr. Joel Fuhrman books."

    I'd rather buy Dr. Atkins books.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 8:28 AM, lobo42 wrote:

    Why all this heated debate? The foundation of our nation and our economy is freedom of choice. We as consumers can shop wherever we like for whatever reasons we choose. Shop at Whole Foods, WalMart, Safeway, Trader Joe's, or your local farmers market - or shop at ALL of them. It's your choice. Likewise the merchants have the freedom to offer goods and services according to their perception of the needs of the market and to their own values. No law says that any one merchant must be all things to all people.

    The same logic applies to Tesla Motors: There is no law that requires TM to cater to the masses - there are plenty of other suppliers who fill that niche. Think back to the days of film cameras: Kodak sold a million Instamatic cameras for every model F that Nikon sold.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2014, at 8:32 AM, eyelighter1 wrote:

    Interesting the Buffet, who appears in these pages regularly, owns Dairy Queen and plenty of Coke...and folks eat it up. Hope no anti-WalMart types own Altria.

    There is no Whole Foods in my area. We buy some things at Walmart, some things at Kroger, some things at Aldi's (pretty inexpensive for certain products) and some things at Trader Joe's and commissary (not that great a deal usually). We try to buy in bulk, do a lot of our own cooking, and appreciate trends that push companies to use better ingredience, buy local and treat people better. It's good to encourage more responsible food prep and consumption, and to educate people on the options, and work to make them more affordable.

    I'm not sure I'm as positive on the growth prospects of WF as the Fools (other stores incorporate these trends) but I'm glad they exist and are trying to stake out some moral high ground.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 10:05 AM, Firebird7478 wrote:

    Oh, please! Whole Foods was caught selling GMOs and a lot of their food is junk, too. A box of organic Apple Jacks made with agave instead of sugar is still crap.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 11:18 AM, tuckeris9 wrote:

    This is all well and good. For many of us there is no Whole Food close to us. Where we live the only one is about 60 miles. The amount of gas etc. makes it necessary to shop at Walmart or Giant Foods. Whole Foods is a money making company to the elite and to those that shop there in their location. I believe that this man will trash everyone to get people to see that what he has is more perfect than anyone else. Nonsense, people shop where they can afford to in these days and buy what they want and how they want. Organic does not always mean better.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 12:24 PM, DieselDogg wrote:

    My son has corn and nut allergies that cause it almost impossible to shop at Walmart. Between the HFCS and other corn derivatives used as fillers and sweeteners, I have found only 11 ready to eat items, out of the thousands that they offer, that my son can eat. Fortunately for my son, Whole Foods offers enough products that I can use to have a different meal everyday for over 6 months before I ever have to have the same meal twice. Maybe the FDA should look at Whole Foods as a better watchdog than they are. Walmart cuts costs so far that they give their suppliers no choice but to cut corners and use subpar ingredients for their products. Kudos to Kellogg's for recognizing this and their campaign to remove Corn Syrup and HFCS from their cereals. For this reason, I have boycotted Walmart and have not shopped there for groceries in over 2 years.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 1:34 PM, CharlieTX wrote:

    We used to shop at Walmart for the lower prices. Then, as we gained a better understanding of foods and its ingredients, we shfted to about 99% organic. The organic food tastes better, is readily available in both quality and quantity and there are plenty of choices since the organics market is growing so quickly. I'm told it is the most profitable segment of the grocery business these days, so it is getting huge attention from the real grocery stores like Krogers, HEB, etc. It's hard to tell if our medical costs have been reduced proportional to the incremental cost of organics, but we all feel better these days, and the only thing we changed, health wise, was going to organics.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 2:25 PM, ThePunisher wrote:

    "After 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing mass commercialization of GE crops, like Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa"......

    We can address the grain of sand, while ignoring the brick that's falling on our heads.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 2:58 PM, Joycie wrote:

    Why put either chain store down. If people don't care what they eat, or what's in their food, then they shop at walmart or wherever they want. If people do care about eating healthy, and what the ingredients are in their food, then they shop at stores like "Whole Foods", "Trader Joe's", "Mothers", etc. Who cares. I happen to think it is important to read ingredients, so I read them no matter where I shop. I know what the bad ingredients are, so it isn't difficult. I do believe you are what you eat. But each to his own.

  • Report this Comment On June 11, 2014, at 3:24 PM, Curiousergeorge wrote:

    People who live in smaller towns and cities across the country in many cases don't have the same options that we have in the major population centers on both coasts. Most of them only have a centralized Walmart in which to do their shopping. Even if they read the labels, their choices are limited because of their economic conditions and is a major reason why so many of them are overweight. Just drive across the country the way I've done several times and see what people are eating at the truck stops and other interstate rest stops. The Choice Hotels and other chains which populate the interstate system and serve breakfast offers some packets of oatmeal, hardboiled eggs and fruit but if you look at what the majority of the travelers are eating, it's biscuits and grits smothered in gravy, chemical produced waffles and sugar coated cold cereals and pastries...It's very sad...

  • Report this Comment On June 12, 2014, at 12:57 PM, jackvan wrote:

    Cracker Barrel cheese is not related to Cracker Barrel Restaurant. It is made by Kraft, recently recognized as one of the top 25 socially responsible companies. So, why does Whole foods not carry it? Anyone know why it is "banned" according to this article? Or is this just the result of a misguided person trying to be politically correct about WF "core values" and not knowing what they are talking about?

  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2014, at 1:46 PM, kmscomments123 wrote:

    whole foods is a bunch of hype.. one can get fresh fruits/veggies/natural foods at mass markets, big box stores and yes even wal-mart.

    I don't and won't shop in wholefoods a lot of their fruits and veggies come from mexico .. you can't drink the water so how can you eat fruits and veggies grown in the water ??

    support AMERICAN FARMERS..

  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2014, at 6:32 PM, randydevinney wrote:

    I'm so thankful for the freedom to shop where I want and buy what I want. When buyers stop buying sodas sweetened with corn syrup, stores will stop putting it on their shelves.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2014, at 9:21 AM, basha0810 wrote:

    It's not just Whole Foods. The little mom and pop grocery stores sell the same crap that Walmart sells. And I'm not so sure that everything at Whole Foods OR Trader Joes is actually really what they say it is. I've read reports stating otherwise that what they are selling isn't really what the consumer thinks they are buying AND it's with a higher price tag. For instance, organics. I'm not sure who's actually truthful anymore when it comes to selling anything to the consumer. Of course Whole Foods is going to do a smackdown with Walmart and I can understand being Walmart does sell junk but it's junk people can afford. If sales are suffering at Whole Foods then it's because people, today, just cannot afford the price tag on the stuff that's good for them. It's sad but true. I went to Walmart a few days ago. I hadn't been there in a LONG time. The store was the deadest I've ever seen it. If people aren't buying there as much just think what's not going on at places like Whole Foods.

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