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Survey Shows Shoppers Won’t Compromise on Food Quality Despite Economic Times


Nearly 80 Percent Say They Don’t Want to Trade Quality for Price;

Two in Three Prefer Natural and Organic over Conventional if Price is Comparable

Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFMI), the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, today announced results from a recent survey that found, despite rising food prices, nearly 80 percent of U.S. adults (79 percent) say they do not want to compromise on the quality of the food they buy and the majority (70 percent) are continuing to buy the same amount of natural and/or organic foods as they always have.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive®, also found two in three adults (67 percent) prefer to buy natural and/or organic foods to conventional foods if prices are comparable, and they would like to find ways to be able to buy these foods within their budget (66 percent). Surprisingly, the survey results were similar across geographic locations, despite the varying regional impact of the housing slump and economic downturn.

“It is reassuring to see these results as they confirm we’re on the right track in highlighting our value offerings for our customers,” says A.C. Gallo, co-president and chief operating officer for Whole Foods Market. “At Whole Foods Market, we’re reminding shoppers that they don’t have to trade down on quality to save money – they can continue to choose high-quality foods and stay within their grocery budgets.”

The survey also found many adults are now preparing more meals at home (43 percent), using more coupons (40 percent), or going out of their way to look for lower-cost items (37 percent) as a result of higher food costs.

Whole Foods Market has recently initiated several programs that show consumers “how to shop Whole Foods Market on a budget.” These include:

· “The Whole Deal™” value guide which highlights great product steals and offers money-saving coupons and tips, and budget recipes to help shoppers continue to enjoy quality organic and natural foods while stretching their food dollar

· Value Tours: In-store “Value Gurus” lead Value Tours to show customers how to find the best deals and enjoy savings

· Promotion of 365 Everyday Value® items, the company’s private label brand

· Promotion of family packs, value packs, and weekly promotions and deals

· “The Whole Deal” customer tips site with shopper suggestions and ideas on stretching your food dollar found at:


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