Whole Foods Changes Supplier Relationships

Grocer signals merchandising freeze
Posted March 13, 2018

Whole Foods Market (Austin, Texas) has apparently changed its relationship with the companies stocking its shelves, according to a number of suppliers. Many of those suppliers are blaming new parent company Amazon (Seattle) for the change in the natural food retailer’s practices.

One of the biggest signals to the consumer packaged goods community was Whole Foods’ absence from the nation’s largest natural foods trade shows, Natural Products Expo West, where it was previously the company with the largest associate presence to sample products it would possibly carry in its stores.

It was not present at the industry show because it has chosen to “freeze all merchandising plans for the next several quarters (no changes to planograms) as it seeks to rework/refine its new centralized buying program,” according to Christopher Mandeville, a Jeffries senior analyst, reports Forbes.

On March 19, Whole Foods will hold a meeting with many of its important brands to address the concerns and discuss their relationship moving forward.