Whole Foods Will Consume Wild Oats

Well, folks it looks like Whole “Paycheck” is about to get a lot bigger. The natural-foods grocer announced that it would be acquiring competitor Wild Oats. The Wild Oats stores will be remodeled and re-branded as Whole Foods. Do these tears come in soy?—MEGHANN MARCO

Whole Foods to Consume Wild Oats [Seeking Alpha]
(Photo: cmorran123)


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  1. Katharine says:

    Last week they opened a Whole Foods literally next to a Wild Oats store. I wonder what will happen.

  2. AtomikB says:

    I live in Boulder, the spawning ground of health food stores. We used to have Wild Oats, Alfalfa’s, Crystal Market, and Ideal Market, all of which originated in this city. Wild Oats bought out the others over the years, and in the process, just became a more expensive version of King Sooper’s. Most of their produce is not organic any more, and they’re pretty weak on actual “health foods”, i.e., foods that are dairy-free, gluten-free, poisonous-chemical-free, etc. They’re already just like Whole Foods.

    On the up side, Whole Foods (or “Food Hole” as I like to call it) has excellent fish, while the fish selection at Wild Oats sucks balls. Maybe Wild oats will get better fish now?

    If you’re actually more interested in shopping for healthy food than you are in making a fashion statement with your groceries, shop at Vitamin Cottage. Their stores are clean and brightly lit, and their prices are reasonable. Or try shopping at a locally-owned store that doesn’t ship its profits far away from where you live.

    By the way, King Sooper’s and Safeway in Boulder have a better organic selection than Whole Foods does, anyway.

  3. heypal says:

    I don’t care what color you paint it, it’s still a big store with big bills and a profit margin to maintain. I used to work next to the Wild Oats in Pasadena and got to know the maintenance guy there.

    Store management made him empty out the recycling bins (kept next to the front door of the store for the convenience of return shoppers) into the dumpster with the rest of the trash daily. It was a cheap alternative to actually, you know, recycling the recycling. Never shopped there after I found that out.

    I hate the thought that they were presenting themselves as socially responsible, but really only dedicated to the dollars they were saving. I’d rather shop at a store that dumps its trash in the street but is honest about it.

  4. Demingite says:

    heypal: That would have been a terrific story for a local TV news investigation.

    I thought a friend of mine invented the nickname “Whole Paycheck.” One thing they are, consistently, is expensive. While they try to fool people by pricing many items as “$x.99”.

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..We’re getting a Whole Foods near me. However, I’ll never shop there. The developer was refused the permit to build on top of a major source of clean water, numerous times. His solution was to clear-cut the property, and dumped a huge pile of gravel on top of it all. This nasty mess sat for about 5 years before the city council caved in and granted him his permit. Guy should be in jail. Instead, he’s further disrupted the US 280 traffic pattern, destroyed virgin forest, and successfully bullied the city council. I’m not spending a dime there.


  6. heypal says:

    @Demingite: I probably should have followed up on the fleeting thought that “I should call the news about this.”

  7. Citron says:

    That’s funny. When I was hired, they explicitly said “Whole Foods is not looking to aquire any new companies (this was in response to their buy-out of Fresh Fields) because we’re satisfied with our business model as it is, blah blah blah, &more benevolent junk.”

    Whole Foods is freaking expensive, though. Probably has something to do with the fact that I was started out at $10/hr for part-time work.

  8. chickymama says:

    Each Wild Oats store is different. The one in Pasedena might have botched their recycling program but I know the one that I worked at in Oregon did not. The store was orginally called Natures, a chain started in Oregon and eventually bought out by Wild Oats. That was Wild Oats first problem.
    As Wild Oats grew, they started buying local natural food store chains in certain states in order to expand their business, instead of investing their profits into brand new stores and creating a unique identity. They grew way too fast and didn’t know what to do with the chains that they purchased. I was working for Natures when it was bought out by Wild Oats and it created a lot of hurt feelings. Many people left for more local chains as they felt corporate america was moving in on a good thing. And that is exactly what happened. Every store received huge makeovers and almost a glossening effect occurred. Many customers had a hard time identifying with Wild Oats and felt the “local” was being taken away. In the end there was more resentment to our new owner and the fact that we were losing money due to so much money being used to make us over.

  9. Keter says:

    DAMMIT! In Austin, there’s “Sun Harvest” (bought out by Wild Oats a few years ago) here and the corporate center of Whole Foods. Whole Foods is the lesser of the two – more products, but less products I actually USE and their meat department is nowhere near as good (spoils way too fast and I will bet is NOT organic despite all claims — organic chicken is not YELLOW – yellow dye added to non-organic commercial chicken feed is the source of the color). “Sun Harvest” is also a LOT cheaper. So, the fallout of this no doubt will be that in the organic food capitol of Texas, organic food will no longer be available to the mere mortal. I hate Whole Foods with a hot, hot hate.

  10. DutchFlat says:

    I bought a cup of the horse piss coffee at the fruitcake, hoity-toity coffee bar a the Sacramento Whole Foods Store. Guess what, I asked for the artifical sweetener. I HAVE DIABETES. SUGAR WILL KILL ME.

    THE ASSHOLES AT WHOLE FOODS DID NOT HAVE ANY ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER. “So what?” you ask? I’ll spell it out for you… Whole Foods essentially says: “FUCK YOU IF YOU HAVE DIABETES!!!!!” Oh yes, I asked about it, “Where is the artificial sweetener?”
    “Oh,” says the self-righteous asshole behind the counter, “we don’t have anything artificial in this store.” (TRANSLATION: “We are self-righteous pricks.”)
    Another customer reaches into his pocket and pulls out some Sweet & Low. He says: “I’m used to this here. I bring my own.”
    What kind of idiotic horseshit is this?
    So, Whole Foods… Go fuck yourself! I will never set foot in your stores again! Why should I? YOU WANT ME DEAD! HEALTH FOOD INDEED!

  11. healthdog says:

    @DutchFlat: Whoa. Good to know that we all have a right to be served exactly what we want, or else the company wants us dead. Dude, drink it black or shop somewhere that serves artificial sweetener.

  12. questionthemark says:


    This is like me going into McDonald’s and being appalled that there is no hostess their to seet me and complaining about the lack of caviar. The freakin’ point of whole foods is nothing artificial.

  13. elvisaintdead says:

    um, maybe you’ve had enough coffee already.
    perhaps a nice soy milk or mineral water?

  14. major disaster says:

    Well, Whole Foods might make life difficult for diabetics, but they sure make make it way easier for celiacs. Their dedicated gluten-free bakehouse means I can buy muffins and cookies and pizza crusts that actually taste good and won’t make me sick. Prices aside, I love them.

  15. Zach Everson says:

    Um…if the store is pricey, don’t shop there.

  16. ikes says:

    @Zach Everson:
    I don’t shop there. I shop at Henrys, which is owned by Wild Oats. Guess what is going to happen there? Please, sir, recommend somewhere else to shop… Vons? Albertons? Their produce is crap. With this buyout, I won’t HAVE a choice of worthwhile grocers.

  17. You-Me-Us says:

    Got a farmer’s market in your area? Support it! Local farms selling direct to consumers? Support them! You’ll get better food, probably cheaper, and you’ll be supporting your LOCAL economy. I realize there are som eitems you have to buy from the big boys, but buy local whenever possible. Not sure what’s available where you are? Check the map at the Food Routes Network web site. http://www.foodroutes.org/localfood/

  18. Jory says:

    @Dutch, if you’re diabetic, do you really need sweetener in your coffee? I think your body is trying to tell ya somethin pal. Drink that shit black.

  19. isadora says:

    Jory: Ha! Diabetic humor. I like it.

    I love Whole Foods. It’s just across the street, they have great service (especially when compared to the cheaper places) and the meat and veggies are well above par! The seafood is wonderful! And house brands are tasty, overall. And when I’m too tired to bother with dinner? They have plenty of ready-to-go food items, including sushi, salads, pastas and even pizza! And the pizza’s not half bad! $7.99 for a large on Wednesday nights. Call it in early or you’ll be in for a wait, people!

    I find the core staff knowledgeable and friendly. And the younger kids that bag and work the counter seems like nice kids.

  20. contender? says:

    I just moved to the San Diego area from Philly. Henry’s quickly became my favorite grocery store. No more way-high prices of Whole Foods, and the produce was amazing.

    Doggone it.