This picture captures Whole Foods‘ strategy for growing revenues and competitive advantage. The picture is the aisle length display of rices offered at a Whole Foods store.
The three key elements of Whole Foods’ success is capture in this merchandising of rice:
- “Guest Driven.” Whole Foods calls their customers “guests.” And they really listen to their guests. In this case their guests told them they wanted the fullest possible array of rice types. Compare this Whole Foods breath of rice varietals to the typical super market’s. If rice is important to your diet where will you shop?
- Sustainable Packaging. What their guests also told them is they will bring their own rice containers to the store. Guests like the ability to buy the exact amount they want and to put it into their containers. This saves on packaging costs both in terms of money and environmental impacts.
- Price Competitive. People falsely think Whole Foods is not price competitive. Ask rice consumers. Whole Foods is able to offer very competitive prices for rice because they gain economies of scale selling in this bulk merchandising approach.
This case example epitomizes The Secret Green Sauce of Whole Foods’ success. Recycling is not a burden or a cost. It is what their guests expect from businesses that they loyally do business with. Recycling to Whole Foods is a path for building/maintaining their brand loyalty.
They are using recart packaging because their guests are very alert to issues of BPA. But this packaging also lowers their store’s operating costs because it uses less or no refrigeration. The very definition of “Cost Less, Mean More.”
Tom Wright of Sustainable Bizness Practices is a guru on sustainability, sustainable packaging and merchanding.
CLICK HERE to watch a three minute video interview with Tom on additional insights on Whole Food’s best practices.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 that focuses upon the emerging smart, healthy and green economy. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses making money going green.