Thursday, June 21, 2012

Will you go to Whole Foods to watch a movie about honey bees and stay long enough to buy something?

Whole Foods has begun a campaign to raise funds and awareness about the dwindling number of honey bees.  The effort includes in-store screenings of films, tweet-to-give and pin-to-give programs benefiting the Xerces Society, an “adopt a bee” option on their Facebook page and a 25 cent donation for every organic cantaloupe sold.
They hope to raise $180,000.  (Mahoney, 2012)

Do you think they will be successful?  Will any long term benefits accrue from the effort?

Mahoney, S. (2102, June 18) Whole Foods Creates A Different Buzz. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from


  1. I have a lot of faith in this campaign. People who go to Whole Foods care about where their food is coming from and are willing to pay a premium for it. This makes for a prime market to show screenings on honey bees and collect donations. I think that the long term benefit would be an iniative that would protect the honey bee population. Thumbs up from me!

    Jee Young

  2. Whole Foods is a great venue for raising awareness on issues such as this one. Whole Foods customers are there assumably because they are aware of and care about their health and/or the environment. Not only that, but they are willing to pay more in order to shop there instead of another grocery store chain that is most likely cheaper. The campaign is great for reaching out to their existing customer base and making them feel good about shopping there. Campaigns such as these offer customers something more than a shopping experience - they even offer them an education, making shoppers feel like Whole Foods relates to them and gives them something more than the typical grocery shopping experience.

    However, I don't think Whole Foods will bring in a signifiant number of new customers based on this campaign. I think this is part of a long term effort for brand imaging and earning customer trust and approval. I think they will be successful in raising $180,000. Many people love cantaloupes anyway, and many Whole Foods shoppers prefer organic produce. Other than that, all Whole Foods is asking from consumers is to help raise awareness through the use of social media. This is great because it will also tie the Whole Foods brand with causes such as these, which makes them more special than the typical grocery store.

  3. With all of the recent “buzz” about bee colonies declining and the negative impact that would have on our vegetation, Whole Foods has a great idea in raising this awareness within the community and getting people involved in the cause.

    Several other food stores such as Shoprite currently have tv monitors above their cash registers playing shows from the food network and produce news. Whole Foods seems to be taking it a step further by interacting with their consumer to become part of the solution.

    Because Whole Foods carries local and organic products, they are appealing to the core values of their customers. Although I have never shopped at Whole Foods before, I think it’s a great cause to support and get involved. I give them a thumbs up.


  4. Whole Foods is an event from my experience. I have never been there on my own. I have always just been a plus one in the wonderful world of Whole Foods.

    Personally, if my friends did not take me to Whole Foods I would have never set foot in the store even though its has a plethora of options to offer. I really hope that this campaign accomplishes what it was meant to. My experience at Whole Foods is a bit of a sensory overload; different counters specializing in various types of food. It is just shy of Stew Leonard's sans robotic cows, Chiquita banana and pigs playing banjoes and fiddles. How can one concentrate on a film about bee's when the loud environment is the counterproductive force for this new initiative.

    I would love to have this effort to be successful. This is the type of campaign in my mind that is the basis of Whole Foods is about; buy food at a premium because there is a good story behind it.

    The long term efforts are hard to quantify however, with the right follow up marketing and correspondence from Whole Foods and linking agencies this effort might be a long term successful venture to create awareness as well as a movement to save a commodity and its producers, the bees.


  5. Yes I believe the campaign will be successful due to the fact that the amount is rather insignificant considering the number of Whole Food stores. The Whole Foods demographic is typically educated, wealthier and/or liberal minded. Both Wealthier and liberal minded HHs tend to contribute to a issue or cause related to the environment. 69% of Whole Food customers shop there because of the organic mindset/values of Whole Foods. Since bees are critical for pollination for organic farmers, bees are critical to the sustainability of organic foods. This will easily persuade shoppers to contribute to the cause, regardless if they watch the movie. I believe with society being busy bees, people will not care so much about the screening, but will care about the cause.

  6. 1. People who shop at Whole Foods tend to be better educated (in general people who eat healthier are known to be the more informed members of society). Informative films will be more enticing to this crowd so they will come in to Whole Foods to attend the screenings. Getting them into the store is half (maybe more) of the battle. Once in the store they will be inclined to buy something.
    2. People who are more educated are generally wealthier. This means that these people have the extra money to spend and they wouldn’t mind spending that extra money at Whole Foods in order to help champion a worthy cause. Also, they might be attracted by this campaign because they feel as if they are getting involved in helping without having to make too much of an effort.
    3. Whole Foods already caters to consumers who are more concerned with their diets. By aligning themselves with this cause, Whole Foods positions themselves as the “concerned market for the concerned consumer”.

    I believe that this campaign will be successful and it has the potential to attract members of the target audience who have never shopped at Whole Foods before.

    Although I think this will be a successful campaign, I believe Whole Foods can do a whole lot better with their prices… It shouldn’t cost more to eat healthier, but that’s another story.


  7. Smart move by WF. This is a great social awareness effort that promotes their core message - organic local farmers - and it hightens a more serious biodiversity issue that will have tremendous impact if not addressed. The goal ($180,000) is totally attainable across their distribution base.

    This campaign will deliver all of their intended goals and should they adopt any other social campaign it would be wise to offer "pins" since many customers appreciate a take away, plus, these pins begin a new dialouge when the next person inquires about its "purpose".

    Nice work by WF corp.


  8. I think that great marketing comes from great partnerships. By partnering with the Xerces Society, Whole Foods is giving their consumer an opportunity to support a real issue in a very efficient and easy way. The variety of ways to contribute also helps the customer feel that they have choice, rather than having to donate or support one way. Whole Foods is a leading food retailers in America. Today many American's are becoming health food conscious, also more aware of issue regarding the environment. This campaign is not only a good cause, it reaches a niche market of people who already care about the source of their foods. I think this is a very smart move by both companies

  9. Whole Foods has got to be kidding me. My wife and I go there every once in a while but its always in and out when possible. Although they do have notoriously long lines, so maybe we’d watch the movie while on line for the register. But we will not give ay money to this campaign. I am sorry they are dying out. But there are bigger problems families have to worry about than honey bees…like dwindling jobs and dwindling money to buy groceries….at Whole Foods or anywhere else. Maybe a few college kids who are idealistic and may want to do something to help. But I think there is nothing in the future for the Whole Foods campaign than doom.

    Jason Grant

  10. Whole Foods has found a cause to get behind and I love the multiple tactics they are implementing. However, I wonder if Whole Foods is underestimating that though the shoppers who purchase products tend to be wealthier and more willing to contribute to social causes, that they are still time stricken. To take the time to watch a education video during a visit does seem like something people will do. I believe the other aspects of the campaign, the integration of social media and portion of cantaloupe going to the charity, can and will achieve the results needed.

    I do believe there is an impact to the long-term image of Whole Foods. By taking on this social cause and associated press, Whole Foods is furthering its image as a retailer that focuses on the environment.


  11. I believe Whole Foods will attain their goal. I personally would probably not contribute, because of my budget. However, most people who shop at Whole Foods shell out the extra money to eat organic/healthier (ergo, more expensive) foods.

    I don't think the majority of people will contribute due to the video, or even sympathy for the honey bees. However, I think the social media aspect will help if enough buzz is created about it. I could see hipsters getting behind this. Also, the cantaloupe donations will certainly help, especially during the summer.

    I don't think it will be wildly successful, and I doubt anything long term will come of it. After all, what is honey bees compared to the economy, global warming, or Sarah Mclachlan's plea to adopt a pet?

  12. I believe this campaign will be successful based on the consumer base of Whole Foods. As many other users have stated, Whole Food’s core group of consumers are health-conscious and willing to pay (much) more for organic/farm fresh/local food and produce. They care about the environment and this is a simple cause for them to get behind.

    Given the wide scale of the campaign, ranging from digit to in-store, I can’t see how they won’t reach their goal of $180,000. Several times I’ve been in Whole Foods they requested a donation for a cause directly at the register. If they implemented this strategy alone, I still believe they would reach their goal. Overall is appears to be a win-win situation. Whole Foods gets positive press and consumers believe they’re doing something positive by shopping there.

    Whether or not Whole Foods will see a long-term benefit is still unclear. I don’t believe this will drive new customers to shop at their stores, but it may help in retaining current customers.

  13. This type of partnership with non-profits signals want WF brand's stands for. In fact, WF is known for raising awareness of issues concerning like conserving our environment and making more conscious buying habits in the process. Also, this pin-to-give program will enhance the company's Face book page, since many consumers visit this social media site for up-to-dates product events.