AUSTIN, TX (Aug. 13, 2010) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) turns 30 this  September, celebrating three decades of offering the highest quality natural and organic foods and supporting organic agriculture, environmental stewardship and local producers.  With a birthday bash at its world headquarters and festivities at all of its stores, Whole Foods Market will acknowledge not only its past accomplishments, but also future food, farming and environmental initiatives for healthier communities and planet.

 Nineteen Team Members helped open Whole Foods Market in Austin on September 20, 1980, with a simple goal of providing a more natural alternative to conventional grocery offerings. At the same time, the organization that became the Organic Trade Association was established, giving the organic movement new momentum.  After Whole Foods Market was in business for a decade, U.S. organic retail sales reached $1 billion in 1990; today these sales represent a $24 billion industry.  America’s first National Certified Organic Grocer, Whole Foods Market today employs more than 55,000 Team Members in its 298 stores in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom and reached sales of $8 billion in 2009.

“Whole Foods Market was started to offer people healthy, high quality food in its purest state, and we’re still committed to that mission 30 years later,” said co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey.  “It has been extremely rewarding to see that Whole Foods Market is much more than a grocery store to our shoppers and our Team Members.  It is a catalyst for helping make our world a better place to live. We now have the scale, visibility and opportunity to have a larger influence than ever before.” 

In a recent online survey conducted in June by Harris Interactive® for Whole Foods Market, more than four-fifths of Baby Boomers say they are now more concerned with the foods they eat (84 percent), read nutrition labels more closely today (84%) and have a better understanding of how their food is produced (83 percent) than they did three decades ago.   

 

World Headquarters Birthday Bash & Store Celebrations

To commemorate its 30th birthday, 30 shoppers (and their guests) were selected from more than 5,600 entries from the Company’s “A Heart as Big as Texas” short essay contest to win a trip to Whole Foods Market’s world headquarters in Austin for an expense-paid VIP culinary weekend, September 17-19, presented by Texas Tourism, JetBlue Airways and Radisson Austin.  The winners, who will enjoy a weekend of parties, events and culinary delights, include:  

ARIZONA

Marianne Thomas, Scottsdale  

CALIFORNIA

Kristin Kozlowski, Los Angeles Amy Neussl, Healdsburg Mary Jo Ridgway, Clovis  

COLORADO

David Westman, Denver  

FLORIDA

Anjanette Cason, Orlando Donna Gephart, Jupiter Jan Williams, Jacksonville  

GEORGIA

Michael  Love, Atlanta  

HAWAII

Angela Ericksen, Maui  

MASSACHUSETTS

Gayle Gordon, Sharon Sarah Hine, Brighton Gian Scozzaro, Belmont  

MICHIGAN

Claudia Hershman, Huntington Woods Annmarie Skazinski, Grand Haven  

NEW MEXICO

Mindy Caplan, Albuquerque

 

 

NEW YORK

Justin Soffer, New York  

OKLAHOMA

Karee Pyeatt, Oklahoma City  

OREGON

Shawna Allen, Hillsboro Merit Webster, Portland  

PENNSYLVANIA

Beth Moulton, Audubon  

SOUTH CAROLINA

Donna Roberts, Murrells Inlet  

UTAH

Karen Abbott, Salt Lake City  

TEXAS

Clare Frey, Dallas Sadie Jones, Austin  

VIRGINIA

Kathleen Feeney, Richmond Anthony Mace, Fairfax  

WASHINGTON

Charles Berghoffer III, Redmond Melissa Cisneroz, Seattle

 

 

CANADA-ONTARIO

Dustin Brown, Toronto All 298 stores companywide will also celebrate this milestone with parties and events from September 17-20.  Visit local store web pages to learn about their 30th birthday festivities at wholefoodsmarket.com/stores and visit the Whole Foods Market 30th birthday press room   page at: http://bit.ly/c2zcDI.

 

 

# # #

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Whole Foods Market from June 24-29, 2010 among 1,349 adults ages 46-64 (Baby Boomers). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Robin.Rehfield@wholefoods.com.