SN spoke to Whole Foods’ executive global grocery coordinator Errol Schweizer about the trends and product types it’s helping pioneer. The following are among the items shoppers will see more of at the Austin, Texas-based chain:
Non-GMO grass-fed dairy products — “You’re going to see a lot more grass-fed dairy products launching at Whole Foods. That’s been a big push for us. Mostly exclusive items from some well-known brands,” Schweizer told SN. The chain’s top growth segment in eggs has been non-GMO verified, he said, meaning that the chicken feed is non-GMO. Schweizer is seeing more organic and conventional grass fed options in other dairy categories as well.
Biodynamic products — “We’re pioneering biodynamic products and that is a form of organic sourcing that is even more holistic and we’re looking at how we can use that as an incremental offer in our product assortment,” said Schweizer, who is working with one of its trusted brands — Amy’s — on a biodynamic frozen entree. “Where do biodynamic products work? We don’t see biodynamic as becoming as big as organic for a long time, but I think that Whole Foods can champion this food trend because our customers get it and our suppliers want to work with us to develop new products and develop supply.”
Domestic fair trade — “Something that is really important to us is understanding our domestic supply chain and how we need to address farm labor and domestic fairness in regards to farm works,” said Schweizer. “I think that’s a major opportunity for all retailers and something that we’re working on. We’ve not completely figured it out but we do a huge volume of business with fair trade cocoa and fair trade sugar that is imported and so we’re working out domestic programs.”
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