Whole Foods aisle

Source: Whole Foods Market

An initial 180 lines would roll into stores from March, with more to be added

Whole Foods Market is to stock a range of “UK favourite” brands as it seeks to win back British shoppers.

The Amazon-owned grocer has seen its sales fall at its seven London stores during the cost of living crisis, as shoppers have traded down from its high-end offer. In response, buying teams had been working to roll out more opening price points in its offer, Jade Hoai, UK purchasing and operations director told The Grocer in August.

It will now stock 141 “staple” UK brands including lines from Heinz, Marmite, Ambrosia, Ben’s Original and Sharwood’s. Tropicana, Kellogg’s, Cathedral City, Colman’s, Bonne Maman and Quaker Oats are some of the other brands that will now be listed.

From March, an initial 180 products would begin to roll on to shelves, with more to be added throughout 2024.

Whole Foods said the “strategically priced” products would enable customers to “pick up essential items” at a competitive price. All 180 of the new SKUs had passed the retailer’s strict quality standards, which bans products containing 230 specific additives and ingredients.

“We are constantly reviewing our offering at Whole Foods Market to ensure we are providing our customers the best experience possible,” Hoai said.

“We want to ensure we remain a trusted location for shoppers to come and do their weekly shop, knowing that all products in-store have passed our rigorous quality standards.

“All products will be competitively priced with major retailers, allowing customers to come in-store and shop their favourite, household brands and still leave with a value-led basket of quality products,” she added.

Operating losses rose 53% to £26.3m in 2022, according to the latest accounts from Fresh & Wild – which operates Whole Foods in the UK – published in June. A 3% fall in sales was the second consecutive year of falling demand after a 4% drop in 2021.

Whole Foods has been working to improve its value perception and cut costs. It has seen the retailer reorganise space in some stores, for example adding more self-service checkouts, and reducing the presence of its ‘Cheese Vault’, with products increasingly positioned on the shop floor, rather than in a separate room.

New yellow shelf-edge labels and banners have also been appearing in stores to highlight a curated 58-strong range of existing Whole Foods products it deemed to be among its lowest priced.

The products, which are advertised with the slogan ‘Low prices, Same High Standards’, include Rowse Honey, Fage Yoghurt and lines from Ella’s Kitchen.