HOW TO GET YOUR PRODUCT INTO WHOLE FOODS
The early stages of a business are a careful mix of vision and flexibility, and that how you implement this mix will have a lasting impact on your business.
Whole Foods Market is the largest natural and organic grocer in the United States. The Austin based company runs about 460 stores across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. With over $5 billion in sales every month, there’s no wonder local farmers and vendors want to get their products on Whole Foods’ shelves.
After Amazon recently announced the acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7B, there is even more incentive for small and mid-sized businesses to build a relationship. Who knows? Maybe working with Whole Foods can lead to a nationwide deal or an opportunity to sell directly to Amazon. But you won’t know until you try. These are the steps to get your product into Whole Foods.
Whole Foods loves local vendors
If you are reading this, odds are you have been in a Whole Foods Market store at some point in the past. The stores are high-end supermarkets with a focus on organic and natural products. Much of the natural product community prefers locally sourced produce and products, and Whole Foods has embraced this as part of its core product sourcing. Whole Foods stores proudly show off local productsto customers walking through the busy stores.
Whole Foods buyers use a system called RangeMe to connect with vendors around the world. Primary categories include grocery (dry goods, dairy, frozen, and general merchandise), whole body (supplements, body care, apparel, lifestyle), prepared foods, produce, meat, seafood, and specialty, which includes beer, wine, and cheese. If your company’s products fall into any of these categories, you may be a perfect fit to sell at Whole Foods.
Get your product up to Whole Foods quality standards
Whole Foods doesn’t take just any old product. To ensure its customers are always satisfied with each purchase, the company publishes product quality standards that vendors must reach and customers can count on.
This includes a deep dive into the ingredients of each product. When you submit a potential product to Whole Foods, be prepared to list out every single ingredient you use including its source and organic status. Here are some other standards to look out for:
- Products must be free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.
- Foods should be fresh, wholesome, and safe to eat.
- Whole Foods seeks out and promotes organically grown foods.
- Products should be in line with Whole Foods’ mission of providing food and nutritional products that support health and well-being.
Most of these standards are something most producers strive for anyway. However, getting rid of all artificial ingredients and hydrogenated fats is not simple for everyone. But if you can do it and get on Whole Foods’ shelves, it could be a worthwhile.
Sign your company up on RangeMe
Whole Foods uses RangeMe to connect producers with buyers. You cannot do business with Whole Foods as a seller until you register, so once you know your product meets Whole Foods’ guidelines, head to RangeMe to sign up.
You will start by creating a profile for your company and each product. Having your product details on hand will make the product creation process much easier. Once your products are in the system, the waiting game begins. Keep in mind that just because you upload your products, there is no guarantee they will be selected. You may never get a response. The better fit your product is for Whole Foods, the more likely it will be that you’ll hear from a buyer and get your products sold.
Whole Foods buyers log into RangeMe from their own accounts which they use to find and order products. When the buyer thinks a product is a good match for their stores, they will connect with you through the platform and get the deal in place.
It never hurts to say hi to the local manager
THERE'S NOTHING FISHY ABOUT IT. SEAFOOD LOVERS MAY ENJOY LESS ACTIVE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS.
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about food as medicine.
In the case of fish, this topic may ring true.
A recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, concluded that the consumption of fish may correlate with lower disease activity in people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The researchers found that, simply put, fish and other types of seafood may lower inflammation in the body.
BEING DIFFERENT IS THE NEW NORMAL: WHY 'DISRUPTION' IS HERE TO STAY.
Remember what Netflix did to Blockbuster? Don't let that happen to you.
E-commerce sales grew 15.6 percent in 2016 and now accounts for 11.7 percent of all retail sales, according to recent reports. Amazon alone accounts for 43 percent of those ecommerce sales. And it’s no secret that ecommerce has changed not only the way consumers think about their shopping experiences, but also how entrepreneurs think about disruption and innovation.
You don’t need to look far to see a clear example: Last month, Amazon announced it would buy Whole Foods, the upscale supermarket chain that took organic food mainstream. The news had a ripple effect across the industry, and many food companies saw their stocks plunge, according to Bloomberg.
So . . . the original disruptor struck again. Not only did Amazon up-end the entire grocery industry, but also elbowed its way into the brick-and-mortar space.
Still, exactly what is "disruption"?
"Disruption" is defined as an innovation that creates a new market and value network, up-ending an existing market and displacing a company, product or idea. The term “disruption innovation” was first coined by Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen back in 1997. According to Christensen, “Disruptive innovation occurs when an industrial advancement creates brand new markets via the discovery of new types of customers.”
WALMART IS DEVELOPING A ROBOT TO IDENTIFY UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS
Walmart is working on facial recognition technology that can detect when customers are unhappy.
The US supermarket giant wants to use the technology at the checkouts in its stores to monitor customers as they queue, and if dissatisfaction is spotted the technology can alert staff to open more tills in order to reduce queuing times and improve a shopper’s mood.
According to a patent filed by the retail giant, the company is working on ways of “improving customer service” by using a video feed to “identify customers and measure customer biometric data”.
As well as using it to keep an eye on customers’ moods in the queue, the patent filing says Walmart could also use the data and correlate it with shopping behaviour to try and spot any trends that emerge in what customers buy and how they feel.
Why is Walmart looking into this technology? The patent filing says the company believes it is easier to retain existing customers than to “acquire a new customer through advertising”, hence the focus on spotting and improving levels of shopper satisfaction.
Walmart says the range of choice consumers have these days means it can’t afford not to spot dissatisfaction.
MCCORMICK HOT ON RECKITT SAUCES DEAL DESPITE FIERY MULTIPLE
McCormick & Co. this week emerged as the buyer of Reckitt Benckiser's food assets, which include French's mustard and Frank's RedHot sauce. The brands look a good fit with McCormick's own basket of sauces and spices but the US group has paid what appears to be a rich multiple for the assets and its shares cooled on Wednesday when the deal was announced. Can McCormick extract value? Dean Best reports.
Three months after Reckitt Benckiser effectively put a for-sale sign over its food arm, McCormick this week announced it had agreed on a deal to buy a business that includes brands like French's mustard and Frank's RedHot sauce from the UK-based consumer goods giant.
But, with its US$4.2bn offer, has McCormick paid too much?
In the immediate aftermath of Reckitt Benckiser announcing a "strategic review" of what deemed "non-core" assets, McCormick, home to brands from Schwartz herbs to Stubb's barbecue sauce, was touted as a potential suitor for a division that turned over GBP411m (US$532.9m) in sales (growth at constant exchange rates of 5%), contributed EBIT of GBP118m and generated an EBIT margin of 28.7% in 2016.
McCormick, which a day after Reckitt Benckiser revealed the review told investors "condiments and sauces" were "core" to its business, was predictably mum about whether it would be interested in buying the business. Between then and this week, other companies were suggested as potentially interested parties and, as recently as this weekend, The Sunday Times claimed Unilever and Hormel Foods were the front-runners to acquire the assets.
MANY U.S. EFFORTS TO IMPROVE SEAFOOD TRACEABILITY FALL SHORT OF GOALS, ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT
In March 2015, the Obama administration announced plans to change how seafood arrives to U.S. shores. The stated goal of the administration’s plan was to counter illegal fishing and associated crimes such as seafood fraud and forced labor by requiring companies to report where the fish was pulled from the water, what gear was used, and which boats carried it to shore.
For too long, seafood destined for American plates has been tainted by a variety of crimes. Fish of one type was advertised as another. It was also routinely stolen from foreign waters, and caught by trafficked and slave labor. Historically, the U.S. government did little to police these crimes. Authorities from federal agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is responsible for marine issues, have been reluctant to tackle human rights and labor violations because they fall outside their traditional zone of expertise. What agencies did have clear jurisdiction over these issues like the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security, had little interest or experience in confronting abuses at sea.