Today Whole Foods Market is one of the world’s best-known grocery store chains that specializes in natural and organic foods. The company began in 1980 with its first store in Austin, Texas, and has grown to more than 500 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Over the past several decades, Whole Foods Market has grown its market share by acquiring many different health food retail stores. And it has now become one of the most successful food retailers in history.
But how did this company climb the ladder from a locally owned and operated, single store in Austin, Texas to the world leader that it is today?
Surely their commitment to the highest quality standards and a sustainable agriculture model has something to do with it. But beyond that, Whole Foods Market is governed by its mission, vision, and core values that set it apart from the average competitor.
In this article, we’ll examine the corporate mission and vision statements for Whole Foods Market, as well as their values and beliefs toward corporate responsibility. It’s time to find out exactly why this company is recognized as a world leader in natural and organic food.
The Whole Foods Market Mission Statement
It is fairly obvious that Whole Foods Market is passionate about wholesome, nutritious foods. But the company’s mission statement revolves primarily around quality.
The Whole Foods Market mission statement reads:
“Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet. We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market.”
As you can see, it is important to Whole Foods Market to “set the standard” for the retail food industry. But it is also clear that through a mission of quality, the company is committed to serving the greater good of the planet, as well as the people on it.
And what better way to impact both people and the planet than to embrace a mission of top quality, wholesome food, while supporting sustainable agriculture practices. Making it possible to not only deliver the best supply of food but to ensure that this standard of nutrition is available to future generations as well.
The Whole Foods Market Corporate Vision
The corporate vision for Whole Foods Market revolves around value-driven leadership that best serves the customer. The company believes that every team member is a leader and, therefore, takes personal responsibility for quality and customer satisfaction.
A brief paragraph from the Whole Foods Market Website reads:
“Our leaders start with the customer and work backwards. We work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although our leaders pay attention to competitors, we obsess over customers. Customers are our most important stakeholder and the lifeblood of our business.”
This is a powerful message that serves to communicate two primary aspects of the Whole Foods Market vision, (1) Leadership, and (2) Customer Trust.
Leadership at Whole Foods Market
“We believe that every team member is a leader who is ultimately responsible for customer happiness. We use our leadership principles every day, whether we’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem.”
Whole Foods Market makes it very clear that leadership is the responsibility of every team member. But their vision is one of unity as well, in which team members work together in order to best serve the customer.
A Model of Customer Trust
Whole Foods Market is well aware that it’s their customers that keep them in business. And through a vision of leadership and empowerment for their employees, Whole Foods Market is committed to gaining the long-term trust and satisfaction of their customers.
The company openly admits that it sometimes makes decisions that lead to “negative short-term financial impacts.” But in doing so, Whole Foods Market has the long-term well being of its customers and stakeholders in mind every time.
Whole Foods Market Values
In looking at the primary mission and vision of Whole Foods Market, it is easy to see that the company places value on quality and environmental sustainability. But there are many more values of corporate responsibility behind the company’s operations.
Whole Foods Market actually went as far as to put a business code of conduct in writing for all team members, customers, and stakeholders to see.
However, the company makes it clear that there are six core values that make Whole Foods Market the successful retailer that it is today.
These six core values are: (1) Quality, (2) Customer Satisfaction, (3) Team Member Care, (4) Suppler Satisfaction, (5) Profit and Prosperity, and (6) Community and Environmental Support.
As we’ve seen so far, Whole Foods Market has a primary mission that revolves around quality. And this practice of quality extends to every single aspect of the business, from vetting suppliers and products to responsible and ethical farming practices.
Above all, the core value of quality ensures that customers keep coming back and they trust Whole Foods Market to sell only the highest quality natural and organic foods.
What business would survive without a high rate of customer satisfaction? Certainly not any business in the retail industry, and certainly not a brand like Whole Foods Market.
The company sees it’s customers as the “lifeblood” of the business, and the most valued stakeholders. The way the company values customer satisfaction leads to a consistent drive to create new ways to enhance the customer experience and build long-term relationships.
A Commitment to Team Members
Whole Foods Market makes team member growth and happiness a priority. The company practices an open door policy with its team members and promotes trust through an inclusive environment where all team members’ input is valued.
In holding their team members in such high regard, Whole Foods Market rallies around their employees and empowers them to stay motivated and reach their full potential.
Positive Supplier Relationships
As a world leader in natural and organic foods, Whole Foods Market works with thousands of suppliers around the globe. It is important for the company to create a “win-win” environment for everyone involved.
Without the right suppliers, Whole Foods Market could not fulfill its mission of quality for its customers. And these suppliers must be treated with fairness and respect to ensure a long-term, prosperous, and mutually beneficial relationship.
Creating Profit and Prosperity
Whole Foods Market recognizes that any business must generate a profit to become successful. From team members to customers, it is not possible to provide the level of quality that Whole Foods Market does without sustainable profits.
By maintaining a profitable company, Whole Foods Market ensures a future of growth and prosperity for team members, suppliers, and stakeholders.
Serving the Community and Environment
Finally, Whole Foods Market makes it a priority to serve and support local communities, while maintaining the environment for future generations.
Whole Foods Market is the largest retailer of natural and organic food in the world. And from its humble beginnings in Austin, TX the company has kept its purpose-driven mission at the forefront of everything they do.
The overall mission of quality serves as the foundation upon which the company builds a solid structure of sustainable values. And these values have served in making Whole Foods Market one of the most trusted brands in the retail food industry.