AUSTIN, Texas. (January 22, 2008) FORTUNE magazine ranked Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, number 16 on its 2008 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The Company has made the list consecutively for 11 years and is one of only 14 companies to be named every year since the list's inception.

“To be among only 14 companies in the nation to be named as one of the Best Companies to Work For since the listing began is an amazing achievement and a validation that we are honoring our core value of 'Supporting Team Member Excellence and Happiness' by creating an empowering work environment,” said Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey.

“The passion and dedication of our Team Members has driven the success of Whole Foods Market and I congratulate and thank each and every one of our valued Team Members who helped place us on this prestigious list.”

FORTUNE cited Whole Foods Market as the “beloved natural and organic foods retailer” for opening a record 21 new stores in 2007, as well as the merger with Wild Oats Marketplace which was finalized last summer. Additionally, the Company was included in the list's Top 10 for job growth for adding 3,755 new employees in the last year.

Whole Foods Market ranks number nine out of the 37 large companies on the “best companies” list. The natural and organic grocer is one of 21 companies on this year's list that pay 100 percent of its employees' health-care premiums. Additionally, the Company was ranked the 11th most diverse of the 100 companies listed.

Whole Foods Market was one of 17 companies in Texas to make the list and one of two companies based in Austin, Texas. The list and related stories appear in the February 4 issue of FORTUNE, available on newsstands January 28 and at

Company employees-referred to as Team Members at Whole Foods Market-played an important role in determining the FORTUNE ranking. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on survey responses from 400 randomly selected employees.

FORTUNE Magazine selects the “100 Best Companies to Work For” through an extensive evaluation of company policies and culture and the opinions of the company's employees, who answer a 57-question survey. Questions include attitudes toward management, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The remaining one-third of the score is based on an evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, pay and benefits programs, and culture.

Whole Foods Market has earned the following rankings on the same list the past 11 years:

  • 2008 – number 16
  • 2007 – number 5
  • 2006 – number 15
  • 2005 – number 30
  • 2004 – number 47
  • 2003 – number 32
  • 2002 – number 48
  • 2001 – number 41
  • 2000 – number 72
  • 1999 – number 48
  • 1998 – number 34