Whole Foods Plans Fee for Wellness Clubs

BOSTON — Whole Foods Market plans to charge a monthly fee of about $40 or $50 when it begins opening in-store wellness clubs in its stores later this year, Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer, said at an analyst conference here Tuesday.

BOSTON — Whole Foods Market [3] plans to charge a monthly fee of about $40 or $50 when it begins opening in-store wellness clubs in its stores later this year, Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer, said at an analyst conference here Tuesday.

As previously reported [4], Austin, Texas-Whole Foods plans to test five of the clubs, which will offer nutrition education, discounts on groceries, and other health-related benefits.

In a press release on Whole Foods' website, the company said the first of the wellness clubs — an outgrowth of its "Health Starts Here" nutrition education program — is scheduled to open in mid-August in Dedham, Mass. That release also states that members will receive a 10% discount on "healthy foods." It does not mention a monthly fee.

(Click here for a previous REFRESH blog about the Wellness Club.) [5]

"The mission of the Wellness Club is to provide an inviting environment where members are empowered to make educated and positive lifestyle choices that promote their long-term health and well-being through coaching, delicious food and a supportive community," Whole Foods said in the release.

"It will feature courses and lectures developed by medical doctors, inspirational and informative skill-building classes, supper clubs and special events, coaching and support."

A company spokeswoman told SN the specific monthly fee has yet to be determined.

Robb, speaking at the Jefferies & Co. Global Consumer Conference here, said the wellness clubs would be tested in five different cities with an initial investment of less than $5 million in total.

Whole Foods previously had said the first five clubs would be located in New York; Chicago; Boston; Oakland, Calif.; and Princeton, N.J.