26 October 2016: rising demand for organic foods and the struggles of US Whole Foods

Amidst rising demand for organic food and grocery products (for the UK, see The Organic Report 2016 by the Soil Association), the US supermarket Whole Foods has growing financial trouble. A recent report by Natural News describes how new competitive markets mean that consumers are shopping elsewhere for organic groceries, including in WalMart. In addition, the article reports how Whole Foods has  been caught up in a number of scandals, including price-gouging and cheating customers with false weights and measures which, it suggests, has also added to customer perceptions about how shopping in the store eats up your ‘Whole Paycheck.’

In the UK, although the Soil Association report demonstrates the organic market is up 4.9% on last year,  the most rapid growth has been in the organic health and beauty sector (up by 21.6%) and the catering sector (up by 15.2%).  The report also shows how widening interest in the organic sector has resulted in new opportunities for independent retailers (up by 7.5%) and growth in ‘box schemes’ and online sales (up 9.1%), alongside more modest growth in supermarket sales (up 3.2%).

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