With high inflation continuing to affect food prices, one grocery chain is looking to increase its market share by reducing prices — and they’re going to the source.
Whole Foods Market recently asked its suppliers to reduce their prices, so that the stores can better compete with grocery chains that typically offer lower prices, The Wall Street Journal reported this month.
That report also said that Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, wants suppliers to prioritize Whole Foods stores when items are in high demand, and that Whole Foods will offer more promotions to drive customer traffic to stores in the coming year.
Whole Foods is one of the more expensive grocery stores in the Triangle, specializing in organic, plant-based and natural foods, as well as salad bars, hot bars and prepared foods.
A 2022 analysis by The News & Observer found that produce prices at Whole Foods were mostly in line with stores like Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods and Sprouts, but more expensive than discount stores like Aldi, Target and Walmart.
In the Raleigh metro area, Whole Foods’ market share slipped from 2019 to 2022, holding onto 2.74% of the market in 2022, which was down from 3.3% in 2019, according to data from industry researcher Chain Store Guide. In the Durham-Orange metro area, Whole Foods held 4% of the market share for 2022, down from just over 5% in 2019.
Those numbers put Whole Foods at No. 8 among competitors in the Durham area and at No. 11 in the Raleigh area.
The Durham CBSA, a core-based statistical area used for the research, included Durham, Orange, Person and Chatham counties. Raleigh’s CBSA included Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties.
Whole Food had six total stores in the Raleigh and Durham combined CBSAs.
Grocery-price inflation was up 11.8% in December, compared with a year ago, according to the Consumer Price Index released earlier this month.
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