In this video, Jim Mueller, author of the Fool's premium research report on Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), sits down with Motley Fool analyst Austin Smith to discuss the merits of investing in the health food grocer. Mueller points to three distinct and compelling reasons to own the stock despite naysayers who are deterred by a high valuation. Indeed, Mueller's first point is that Whole Foods represents a "great growth story." When it comes to produce, Whole Foods is a leader, not a follower, and as a result forces the hands of competitors, such as Kroger (NYSE:KR), to step up their organic game. Secondly, Whole Foods has a strong balance sheet with minimal debt, and consequently earns an attractive return on equity. Lastly, he points to Whole Foods' chief executive, John Mackey, who has been at the helm for decades and who Mueller says is there because he wants to be and not because he has to be -- which has made all the difference.
Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Jim Mueller owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks and Whole Foods Market and has the following options: short JAN 2013 $47.00 puts on Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Starbucks and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.