Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whole Foods Not Immune to Protests

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, recently authored an article in the Wall Street Journal which is causing his regular shoppers to threaten to boycott. Protesting in person and online, shoppers are critical of his article against the Obama healthcare plan and in favor of a free-market type system.

"A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to healthcare, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This 'right' has never existed in America," Mackey wrote.

Think they got their practice protesting factory farms?

The organic food movement has created a very vocal public not afraid to demand what it wants--within reason or not. I find it extremely interesting that helping create that voice amongst its consumers is now working against the Whole Foods Brand.

The following analysis comes from Brandweek.
Especially considering Whole Foods has a highly engaged customer base, many of whom are deeply concerned about the issues of health and food, said Amy Shea, global director of Brand Keys. "It becomes problematic for a brand when you have the emotional side firing, and that's what [Mackey] did, he tripped that wire. It's never a good idea for a CEO to do an op-ed piece on such a volatile topic. Of all the topics he could have chosen, he chose one that is very, very close to the space in which the brand participates."

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