Our B&I group was welcomed for a visit to the Whole Foods Market’s Austin headquarters with a fantastic insiders’ view presented by Keith Manbeck, CFO.

While their mission statement aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers, another item paramount to the culture at Whole Foods is their commitment to team members, which keeps them within the Top 100 Best Companies to work for in 2017, an award they have achieved for some 20 years in a row.

At the forefront of the discussion was the recent acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon. With the acquisition being so recent, the companies are still operating two financial and accounting systems with plans to merge into one at some point in the future.

Whole Foods Market retail stores are adding kiosks to some locations filled with Amazon products to see how those fit into the customer shopping experience. In addition they have added their 365 natural, organic food brand to Amazon’s online site to promote quality food to shoppers who aren’t situated near a retail location.

With the value proposition, they are adding products to their price reduction list and other in-store benefits Amazon Prime Members can expect when Prime becomes the office rewards program at Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods hasn’t ventured so far to expand retail into the international market but they haven’t ruled out the possibility in the future.

Our Chapter graciously thanked Keith for taking the time to meet with us, and we are grateful for Travis Johnston, Chapter B&I Committee member and Whole Foods Accountant, for making this an excellent event enjoyed by all.