How Whole Foods bungled its marketing to millennials

In announcing its new chain of boutique grocery outlets for Gen Y shoppers, it dissed 20-somethings and older consumers alike in one fell swoop, the author asserts.

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Stock prices suffered, and media coverage has been largely negative as analysts and industry insiders debate whether this approach will hit home with 18- to 34-year-old consumers.

One motivating factor was the sheer size of this generation. This year millennials will overtake Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation in the United States, with 75.3 million members, according to recent population projections released by the Census Bureau.

Yum, stale buzzword soup

The problem with Whole Foods’ strategy in making this proclamation lies largely in the way in which it was positioned to the public.

Few details were included in the announcement, only that these new, smaller stores will offer all-natural food at lower prices and will be tailored to this demographic segment. The stores will be “tech-savvy,” more “streamlined” in design, and “unlike any of the other stores you’re seeing out there” (whatever that means).

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