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We have been noticing what looks like a regular marketing practice in some of the Whole Foods stores. We can’t say all because we have not visited all.
When Whole Foods is about to push or introduce a new Whole Foods brand – the other brands seem to disappear from the shelves – or – they are sold in other sizes – smaller and less popular sizes just to maintain a presence.
We’ve been looking at this phenomenon around Organic Whole Wheat Flour. Our choice is Organic Whole Wheat STONE GROUND Flour. In that group our choice is Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Wheat Stone Ground Flour.
We’ve seen the Whole Foods brand of Whole Wheat Flour appearing on the shelves immediately adjacent to the Arrowhead Mills Flour. At the same time we’ve noticed the Whole Foods brand has depth in its positioning – usually, large bags of flour four abreast being placed either two or three bags deep on the shelves.
At the same time the Arrowhead Mills’ position is shrinking. Only one bag long and one bag deep and most of the time there is none available. When we ask, we are told it is due in tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and the shelves still do not have the Arrowhead Mills Flour and we get the same response from the Whole Foods employee – tomorrow!
We looked carefully at the prospect of changing to Whole Foods flour and decided against it because the Whole Foods brand is “Organic Whole Wheat Flour”. It is $1 less per bag, but it is not STONE GROUND. It is apparently ground with heat making it much less nutritious and with all that such milling implies. If you are going to get serious about this and are willing to spend more for organic products, make sure they are the best you can find. Make your money count. Eat less of the right food and save money even at higher prices.
While in one Whole Foods Store recently, we were standing in front of the Organic Whole Wheat flour and watched a woman pass quickly by, pick up the Whole Foods brand, advise us to do the same because it is $1 cheaper than the Arrowhead Mills flour. We stopped her and asked if how the flour was ground meant anything to her. “Of course,” she said. We asked her to read the label of the Whole Foods brand carefully and tell us if it was what she wanted and what she thought she was buying. She looked carefully at the label and expressed her shock at realizing this was not flour ground properly for it to have the Organic label. Why pay more for flour so milled. She put the Whole Foods brand back and instead bought the only two small bags of the Arrowhead Mills “Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat” Flour. She was quite upset that Whole Foods had ‘tricked’ her (her words not ours).
So – shop carefully and healthily as you shop for flour and if you don’t like the Arrowhead Mills’ Flour, please read the labels slowly and carefully and make sure your “Organic Whole Wheat Flour” is STONE GROUND” – ground without heat to destroy the nutrients.
Whole Foods is changing. While they have some great organic products, they are not the store they used to be and look as though they are on that slippery slope to becoming just an ordainary grocery store with a few organic products, most of which are their own store brand watered down from what they should be.
We are going to call the Arrowhead Mills company to see if we can’t get the large bags of their stone ground organic whole wheat flour because what we see on the shelves at the Whole Foods Stores is small bags of Arrowhead Mills Flour and even those small bags are out most of the time now and we want a constant reliable source for our flour. Whole Foods seems to want to reduce and finally eliminate the competition, leaving us with lesser quality and less healthy products.
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