Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The convoluted mystique of Whole Foods and its ilk

What do you think when I say Whole Foods
Of all the veggie joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.
Who says that?
John Mackey, the CEO
No, he doesn’t. That's Humphrey Bogart.
Maybe not but he could.  John Mackey is cool.  It’s capitalism with a mission.
Some say Whole Food, Whole Paycheck.
I don’t care.
Waldbaum’s probably carries much the same stuff
Sure if you want to feel like a schlumpetty dumpetty.
And Whole Foods?
Nervously excited.
In Brandwashed, Martin Lindstrom says retail stores like Whole Foods neuromarket you.
What’s that?
It’s like when you prime a pump by giving the lever a few yanks until the water gushes up?
What’s a pump?   Just messing with you.  You were saying?
Upscale retailers prime us with imagery until our money gushes out.
Grow up, sailor.  Neuromarketing began in the womb.
How do you feel when you see the fruit displayed in a crate at Whole Foods?
That Farmer Brown just took it off his truck.
How do you feel when you see prices scribbled on a piece of chalkboard?
That I’m in a French outdoor market.
Lindstrom says all of that is staged.
So?  Everything is staged.  Don’t you watch HG TV?
Wouldn't you call it misleading?
I would call it psychic income.  The New Yorker called John Mackey a Food Fighter and you know what he is fighting?  Big Agra.  Horrid tomatoes and peaches, the same dreary rice pudding in the deli counter, acres of unnaturally red meat.  They could do with a little staging.
How do you feel when you see packaged food at Waldbaum's?
That bad men are trying to kill me.


  1. Once again, you are responsible for my great big morning laugh! This is fantastic. I have to read it again. "Schlumpetty dumpetty!" HA!

  2. We don't have a whole foods. But we have something similar. I don't go there, because I always end up spending way too much money on things that I didn't realize I craved. Like ear candles, organic cat food, sandalwood insense, seaweed tablets, and spelt buns. Molly

    1. Oh, Molly, I like your comment. We've all been there.