Announcing a Freemium version! Get your FREE subscription to Organic Insider today!

Wednesdays at Whole Foods – 365 Debuts, Big Things Happening in Prepared Foods, Mac and Bees

Wednesdays at Whole Foods - 365 Debuts, Big Things Happening in Prepared Foods, Mac and Bees

On the first Wednesday of every other month, I have a column called Wednesdays at Whole Foods. It showcases the most interesting news, exclusive products, store events, and happenings at the company. 365 OPENS ITS DOORS As you may very well know by now, 365 by Whole Foods Market, the company’s lower-priced grocery chain, made its long-awaited debut […]

Wednesdays at Whole Foods Whole Foods
LivingMaxwell.com

365-whole-foods-market

On the first Wednesday of every other month, I have a column called Wednesdays at Whole Foods. It showcases the most interesting news, exclusive products, store events, and happenings at the company.

365 OPENS ITS DOORS

As you may very well know by now, 365 by Whole Foods Market, the company’s lower-priced grocery chain, made its long-awaited debut last week in Los Angeles.

With its pared-down look and feel, 365 by Whole Foods Market is very focused on efficiency and technology, all with the goal of passing on savings to its shoppers.

Among the many innovative aspects of the store, I found the following to be particularly interesting — the ability to see the entire store from the entrance, the teaBOT (an efficient self-serve kiosk, allowing customers to create personalized tea blends by choosing from a selection of 18 teas and herbal ingredients) and the prepared food ordering kiosks.

Stay tuned for a lot more coverage on 365 by Whole Foods Market in the months to come and for a deeper look at the inside of the store, here are some great pictures.

teabot-365-whole-foods-market

kiosks-365-whole-foods-market

EXCITING CULINARY CHANGES

The other day, I spoke with Tien Ho, who was recently named to the newly created position of Vice President of Culinary and Hospitality.

Tien Ho comes to Whole Foods Market with a serious pedigree. He ran the culinary department at Morgans Hotel Group and held positions within David Chang’s Momofuku empire, including at Má Pêche, where he was named best new chef in 2011 by New York Magazine.

tien-ho-whole-foods-market-food-truck

(Tien Ho, on the left)

Much to my delight, it was was an incredibly encouraging conversation. Fantastic changes and improvements are in the works.

Here are some highlights of our call:

  • Tien Ho launched a food truck test kitchen (below) outside of the flagship store in Austin, Texas. The theme rotates every two months, and the food truck allows Tien’s culinary team to experiment with and get immediate feedback on new dishes and recipes.
  • It is absolutely Tien Ho’s goal to make all of the salad bars in every single Whole Foods Market store entirely organic. (Music to my ears!!!!) Tien said the reason that everything isn’t organic already is because of the complexity of the supply chain, and this is the main issue that he is trying to work through right now.
  • Expect more partnerships with well-known chefs, such as the one with Roy Choi at Chego in the Downtown Los Angeles store or Erik Bruner-Yang’s ramen concept, Paper Horse, in the Foggy Bottom store in Washington D.C.
  • Tien Ho’s mission is to find strength in commonality (what recipes can be used everywhere) and to support individualism (helping the regions develop new ideas that will work in their local areas).

Tien told me “I want to recruit really good chefs and create a culture of culinary excellence here. I want chefs to know that there are great possibilities at Whole Foods Market.”

food-truck-test-kitchen-whole-foods-market

ON THE SHELVES

The following products are currently exclusive to Whole Foods Market and will be in stores within the next month. 

Annie’s has launched Organic Mac & Bees (macaroni & cheese) to celebrate and spread the word about the importance of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and beetles. They play an absolutely critical role in the foods we eat.

annies-mac-and-bees

The pasta comes in fun, pollinator themed shapes, and on the back of the box is a “Dear Friend” letter, which educates consumers on why they should care about the pollinator species. This summer, Annie’s will donate $15,000 to The Xerces Society to create pollinator habitat gardens on dairy farms across the U.S.

Another company working to support the bees is Maisie Jane’s, a 4th generation family-owned and operated company, who is coming out with an organic creamy cashew butter. This product has only one ingredient – cashews – and contains no oil, salt, or sugar. For every jar sold, 5 cents will be donated to The Xerces Society.

Starting today, Lundberg Family Farms will be offering its organic and Biodynamic tri-colored quinoa and sushi rice in the bulk bins. Additionally, Lundberg is launching organic sprouted entrees, available in chile verde rice, thai red curry rice, toasted coconut rice, toasted coconut rice, and vegetable fried rice flavors. All are kosher, certified gluten-free, and Non-GMO Project verified.

LAST BITES

At the Pearl Street Store in Boulder, shoppers can now purchase The Beyond Burger, a veggie burger that “bleeds”.

In Colorado, the company has signed a partnership with the BoomTown Accelerator, a technology accelerator for start-ups.

Boomtown and Whole Foods Market will undertake three special projects throughout the partnership to develop and test tools that accelerate the speed, modernization, innovation and quality of the grocer’s regional marketing and operations initiatives. The group is currently exploring options ranging from apps to enhanced internal operations, to solutions for third-party non-profit donation campaigns.

This is an incredibly smart partnership and if successful, it ought to be replicated throughout the country. Some fantastic innovation could come from this.

In Florida, Whole Foods Market has partnered with Recycle Across America (RAA) for its “Leaders for Progress” initiative and its “Let’s recycle right!” campaign. Launched in all of the stores in Florida, the goal is to help further educate and enhance the public’s recycling habits.

Also in Florida, the company has begun a very important initiative by selling lionfish, a fish species that is a serious environmental threat to native marine life and habitat in Atlantic coastal waters.

Apparently, the white, buttery meat of lionfish lends itself to a number of different recipes, and its venomous spines will be safely removed before the lionfish ever touches the hands of shoppers.

lionfish-whole-foods-market

(Whole Foods Market is a sponsor of pressedjuicedirectory.com)

Are you interested in staying up-to-date on the most important news in the organic food world?

If so, make sure you Like my Facebook page, follow me on Snapchat (maxorganic), and join my email list.

To join my newsletter list, please enter your email below and I’ll send you my Top 5 Inexpensive Ways to Shop Organic.


Signature: Have a great day!


13 Comments

  • Thank yoou for some other informative site. The
    place else may just I get that type of information written inn such an ideal approach?
    I’ve a project that I am simply now running on, and I have been on the glance outt for such
    info.

  • basic tees says:

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before ending I am reading this enormous article to increase my know-how.

  • Sharyn says:

    I believe that is one of the so much vital info for me.
    And i’m satisfied studying your article. However should statement on some basic issues,
    The website taste is perfect, the articles is in reality nice : D.
    Good job, cheers

  • chrissydf says:

    Hi Max, I discovered your site through your connection with food babe and enjoy reading your posts about WFM and all things organic. Thanks for caring and sharing.

  • Adrienne Belt says:

    I’m surprised your article would push Annie’s when they were bought out by General Mills.

  • Thanks Max. WF is one of my go-to food options. I really appreciate your updates and news about them.

  • lora says:

    Awesome post Max and great news! You know how much I love WF salad bar 🙂 I can’t wait for 365 to open on the East coast!

  • Tillie Sfriend says:

    Good news (hopefully) about the salad bar. My experience is that they are poorly labeled (like vegetarian corn!) and have limited organic choices. It would be nice to see prepared foods become organic as well. None are available in the nearest two WF stores.

    • andrea zizzo says:

      Amen! I often wonder why the salad bar at WFs is not properly labeled. And worse, the employees never know what’s in it. Love WFs but they do need to improve on that.

      • Max Goldberg says:

        Hi Andrea, When I spoke with Tien Ho, he was very aware of the issues at the salad bar and is working hard to address them. I’m very optimistic! All the best, Max

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Tillie, It is really good news and Tien is working hard to get the entire salad bar all organic. I can’t wait! All the best, Max

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.