Founder and chief executive John Mackey explained that the business had changed because “the more conventional, mainstream supermarkets have upped their game. The world is very different today than it was five years ago.”Not only has Whole Foods been the butt of jokes over its prices; comedians have also noticed the declining foot traffic:
One rival chain, Sprouts Farmers Market, was found to be on average 19% cheaper than Whole Foods. Other rivals, including Kroger, picked up Whole Foods customers. Last month, Barclays advised that Whole Foods had experienced a “staggering” decline in foot traffic that it estimated at 3%, or roughly 14 million customers.
Whole Foods has long been the butt of jokes for its prices – although it disputes it is more expensive than it rivals – and its bougie products. Comedian John Oliver is particularly fond of its asparagus water.
Whole Foods on Sunday is just a refugee camp for people with too much money.— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) January 25, 2015