Organic and natural foods are entering the mainstream of the grocery market. That's a mixed blessing for Whole Foods , which now sees a much bigger store footprint potential than the 1,200 supermarkets it had pegged as an upper limit until just recently.
Unfortunately for the organic grocery king, Whole Foods can't as easily move down the market without hurting its brand. " We can continue to be aggressive in gradually lowering some of our prices, but the Whole Foods Market brand stands for the highest quality, the best selection, the highest degree of service," an executive told investors this summer . "That brand can bend a little bit, but we can't break it. We're not willing to break it," he said.
That's why the company opted to create an entirely separate store concept, 365 by Whole Foods, to go after those more value-conscious shoppers. In the meantime, Kroger will keep working to expand its appeal at the higher-income demographic through a strategy that's worked well recently: Offer premium products at aggressive prices through a company-owned brand.
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The article Should Whole Foods Market Inc. Fear This New Kroger Co. Brand? originally appeared on Fool.com.
John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns and recommends 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 .
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