Bar-Hopping Inside Whole Foods?

As if Whole Foods didn’t already have a vice grip on wandering shoppers, they have now added an in-store bar feature to some stores. Opening up five test runs in California, Arizona, Illinois, and Texas over the past year and a half, plans for expansion into even Hawaii are on the horizon. The offerings? Local wine and craft beer, which supermarket experts expect to help keep shoppers in the store longer and increase sales significantly. The wine and beer trend has been expanding as pilot projects within various chains nationwide including Starbucks are picking up steam.

While the bar may improve the mood of shoppers and keep them in the store longer, some are concerned it will lead to unwelcomed behavior in the grocery store. Whole Foods is arguably known for its community feel with super store prices (for organics). With the potential of drunken behavior inside the store, the community feel may quickly be diminished. Whole Foods representatives have not experienced this type of behavior or set back yet. As alcohol starts to enter more establishments, promoting casual drinking while shopping, the future societal impacts are unclear.

For those shopping for local wines and beers though, this comes as great news. With the addition of bars, shoppers can more easily taste wine and beer without having to purchase an entire bottle or pack. They also offer growler jugs for those interested in closing the loop on their bottle purchasing.

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Tiffany Finley started her sustainability journey while camping in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. Since then she has been dedicated to reconciling the industrial and the natural world views to create a hybridized mode of development toward sustainability. Majoring in Environmental Management in the US and then obtaining a Master's of Science in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability in Sweden, she takes an analytical view based on science. She works with non-profits, small to medium businesses, and government organizations to strategize for sustainability in their respective sectors. Honored to join the writing cast at Triple Pundit, she looks forward to covering a wide range of sustainability news.

One response

  1. There’s been a beer and brat bar in the Milwaukee whole foods for some time. It’s a cool local touch… suspect it adds to sales as well.

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