Part A
Part B

Whole Foods Market, Inc.: Damage Control Over Product Mislabeling

Koehler, D., Rearick, S., Schoedel, D., O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
January 26, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Marketing & Sales
19 pages
Brand Management, brand, crisis management, Food and Beverage, retail, management
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

On June 25, 2015, Whole Foods Market finds itself embroiled in controversy when the New York Department of Consumer Affairs releases a report alleging the company systematically overcharged on their store-packaged goods and inflated prices for the customer. This further damages the company’s reputation as a super-premium, overpriced retailer in the highly competitive organic food industry. 

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight the conflict that can arise when a company builds a reputation as being socially responsible and customer driven, but then gets caught overcharging customers when they come to the register.
  2. To demonstrate the importance of addressing customer affair allegations promptly and taking action not to repeat that problem at other locations.
  3. To encourage analysis of communication strategies to implement when public perception of a company is at an all-time low.
  4. To provide an example of how similar actions from different companies can have different effects on their brand image, depending on their value propositions.
  5. To facilitate a discussion regarding the level of responsibility businesses have to protect customers from mislabeled prices and keep shareholders informed.