Whole Foods CEO Discusses Pandemic, Pricing, Obesity Epidemic

Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey was a guest on Fox Business' "Barron's Roundtable" to talk grocery trends ahead of a likely surge in COVID-19 cases.

No Change To Recent Trends: Whole Foods isn't stocking up on food items at a more than typical pace, Mackey said.

The mix of in-store shopping and online delivery remains unchanged from the early days of the pandemic, he said. 

Related Link: Amid A Pandemic, Amazon Pivots — And Profits

The 'Whole Paycheck' Nickname: Whole Foods has been active in dispelling its unfortunate "whole paycheck" nickname by enacting three rounds of price cuts since it was acquired by Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN, the CEO said.

The company is working on its fourth price cut, although it will "never be the cheapest" grocery store on the block, because Whole Foods only sells the highest quality food and produce, he said. 

Amazon is active in exploring ways with Whole Foods to lower costs by eliminating expenses that don't create value for customers, Mackey said. 

Eating Better: Approximately 70% of Americans are overweight, and almost half of the adult population is obese, Mackey said.

It's not a health problem unique to America, and is occurring worldwide, the CEO said.  

His comments follow a New York Times interview in late September where he discussed health-related issues in detail. 

"We have not done a good job of educating people about what healthy food is," Mackey said in that earlier interview.

"I tend to think it's going to come about through education and through people becoming more aware and conscious about eating healthier, and then the market will respond to that."

Related Link: Ex-Whole Foods Exec Says Grocery Stores Need To Prepare For Next Disruption

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods. 

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