Whole Foods to stop selling junk


Whole Foods (WMFI) is, much like Starbucks (SBUX), a reflection of the out-sized personality of its CEO. Both companies expanded madly in the early part of the 'oughts, at about the same time the CEOs' waistlines were expanding, and their health was declining. Working all the time, eating Top Pot doughnuts and 365 chocolate sandwich cookies, can't be great for you. This is 2009: time for a more sober outlook. We'll close stores. We'll stop haranguing competitors in online forums. We'll tighten our belts. We'll start helping our customers eat like us. So yesterday's revelation to the Wall Street Journal, that the company will refocus on healthy foods -- reflecting John Mackey's own recent diet that eliminates refined fats-- fits the pattern.

Sure, Whole Foods has always been about (well, duh) whole foods; those foods that don't really have ingredients, or if they do, it's obvious and clear that they come from nature. Apples. Broccoli. Shrimp. Milk. Nuts. And even today, the produce and meat aisles of Whole Foods are surely some of the stores' brightest attractions. But those make up only a small fraction of the typical Whole Foods store's square footage, and probably an even smaller percentage of the profit.