Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Whole Foods Doesn't Want My Money

In many ways, I would be a natural demographic for Whole Foods, grocers to crunchy yuppie mums everywhere, to market to. I like high quality fruit and vegetables. I'm fairly price insensitive. I live in an area where they are located fairly close by. I could be upsold on a bunch of other random interesting food items.

But I don't go there very often, except for certain specialty items. I certainly don't do my regular shopping there.

And why not?

Because they don't sell any Coca-Cola products.

Now, I'm not saying this means I boycott them on principle.

But rather, it means that if I want a regular supply of Coke Zero and want to buy their fruit and vegetables, I now have to visit two stores per shopping cycle*, instead of one.

And you know what? There are closer substitutes to Whole Foods high quality fruit and veg at the povvo supermarket than their are substitutes for Coke Zero among the gourmet artisan Mexican soft drinks, or whatever junk it is they have instead.

The thing I find so funny is that there is no chance that a small amount of shelf space devoted to Coke wouldn't shift some product. Hell, they'll devote entire aisles to ridiculous placebo pills and potions for every conceivable ailment, real or imagined. You're telling me that the fifth brand of echinacea sells more than Diet Coke would in the same shelf space? Don't make me laugh.

So why do they do it?

Simple. Because Whole Foods knows that they're marketing themselves to the demographic of wankers. These people pride themselves in part on not buying soft drinks because they're "bad for you", but clearly that's not enough. Not only do they not want to buy it themselves, they also don't want you to be able to buy it there either. They think that the presence of Coke would somehow taint their wholesome organic good-for-you vibe. With all of the puritan fury they can muster, they're eschewing patronising anyone who sells Coke products because ... well, frankly I've got no idea why. Insert crappy modish cause here.

The people running Whole Foods are no fools, of course. They seem to have estimated that there's far more money to be made appealing to the Anti-Coke puritan crowd than there is to be made appealing to me.

That's fine. It's a free country, they're a free company, and I wish them the best of luck.

But I'll take my low brow dollars somewhere that isn't too pompous to sell me a Coke Zero, and avoid the professional shopping-cart busybodies.

Which is a shame, because they have really good fruit. So it goes.

*The phrase 'shopping cycle' is used under advisement. The original draft read 'week', but then a fit of honesty compelled me to admit that the actual frequency is less than that.


  1. I have been following your blog for quite some time and, while the majority of your posts are racing and sexist, threatening to organize a boycott of Whole Foods because it doesn't sell Coke is surely a new low. There is not an iota of doubt in my mind that you are Nazi or fascist or something along those lines, and clearly connection to reality is not your strong point. I have only one thing to say to you: you are on notice. Next time you spew offensive invective, I will send it to the Huffington Post, and then you can have endless fun under the spotlight of progressive media. Enough! We are going to take our country back. Oh, and by the way: learn some proper American English. I had to Google to find out what "povvo" means, and it turns out to be some Australian slang. I seem to recall that you are from Australia, so you may want to go back there and leave American stores like Whole Foods alone. We don't need your kind here, fascist troll.

    1. I find you sexy in ways you can't imagine.

  2. I'll leave aside for the moment the irony of you calling me a troll while turning up to leave ad hominem attacks on a blog that you obviously can't stand but somehow keep reading.

    I'm not "threatening to organize a boycott of Whole Foods", you fool. I don't care one whit whether anyone else shops there or not, and I'm not even "boycotting" them myself. In fact, the whole explicit point of the post (which seems to have breezed right past you) is that I enjoy drinking Coke, don't have the time to do multiple grocery trips, and would otherwise like to shop at Whole Foods because I like most of their stuff. If I could be bothered doing multiple shopping trips, I'd probably shop there more as it is.

    But the bigger point is, why would you keep coming here to make yourself angry at my 'racing [sic] and sexist' posts? Isn't there something else you'd rather be doing with your life?

  3. The almost perfectly mirrors my experience at Whole Foods. It's also impossible to get a simple bag of chips there. They have a great cheese section that I enjoy, but I'm usually too lazy for multiple shopping trips and I want my soda and tortilla chips.

    Trader Joe's is sort of the same way, but for some reason I find myself there more often.

  4. Huh, I'd believe it. I'm not a chips guy myself, so I didn't notice.

    I think there's a niche market for you and I, Dustin. I think it just needs a catchy name, like 'Slobs with Taste', 'Low Brow But High Quality', 'Wal-Mart For Yuppies' or something like that.

  5. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685

    1. Oh, absolutely. I think the health benefits are almost certainly trivial or nonexistent. But for some reason they tend to be more tasty. I guess yuppies just have a higher willingness to pay for quality.

  6. A willingness and capacity to pay for quality.