Reflecting data from U.S. independent natural retailers operating over 700 stores, this isWholeFoodsMagazine's largest survey ever, providing information that will help inform business decisions and set retailers up for greater success.
Average sales per store from the reporting period were $2,439,257. Since Amazon closed its deal to buy Whole Foods Markets in August 2017, this year’s results reflect 10 months of competition from the new Amazon-Whole Foods. “While some retailers did report sales declines, many more reported increases, and the vast majority reported that their sales remained stable,” said by Jay Jacbowitz, WholeFoods Merchandising Editor and president ofRetail Insights. “Overall, respondents reported a sales increase of 1.6% compared to the sales they had the prior year.”
Looking to the future, WholeFoods Editor-in-Chief Maggie Jaqua noted that survey respondents discussed the topics causing them stress—mainly, competition from mass marketers and consumers increasingly shopping online—but remain optimistic. “An overwhelming 92% of respondents who forecast their sales for 2019 expect an average increase of 4.8%. Just 8% of respondents who gave us their forecast believe sales will decline, by an average of 3.9%,” said Jaqua. “There was a sense of opportunity surrounding hemp-based products and CBD. Respondents also noted the general consumer trend toward wellness and transparency in the marketplace, which bodes well for independent natural products retailers who are in a better position to serve these needs and connect with consumers on a personal level.”
WholeFoodsMagazine also published the Retail Insights® 2019 Retail Universe for Premium Natural, Organic Food, Supplement & Personal Care Sales by Jay Jacobowitz. This covers all eight retail channels including supernaturals such as Amazon Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market; conventional supermarkets; mass merchandisers, pharmacies and vitamin chain stores.
- U.S. retail food stores grew 2% in 2018, while natural organic products grew 5.26%—more than 2.5 times the rate.
- Shoppers spent nearly one of every three new food dollars on natural organic foods.