From the economical perspective, a supermarket has to be a place where goods and services are offered and purchased; from the marketing perspective is not very different, as is also the place where companies try to position their products on the premium spots and consolidate their brands; but, also a supermarket can offer catharsis.
Whole Foods from the marketing point of view is an amazing place, as the atmosphere is almost surreal, and even urban. The only issue with Whole Foods, is that their emphasis on the "alternative" or better say pseudo science within some of their products.
The store at plain sight is not very different from any other stores, there is a parking lot, a facade and the exterior decoration. Inside the customer realize that there is an aim on urban trends, as on the inner decorations there is some shades of modernism as well employees can express individuality on their personal image.
As soon you start walking around or better say you notice what is around, you will there is a lot of products with philosophy; useless NON-GMO, USDA Organic, Vegan verified, Gluten Free stickers; as well magazines and books with the "alternative treatment ideologies." As every supermarket rules on their own ideology, they can sell their own products.
Some supermarket who go within the Christian eschatology, they will sell books related through prayer healing as well prayers, or stories from the Bible. The problem goes when there is an imposition of a truth as being hold as ultimate, and trying to show customers that they can skip their doctors visit or nutritionist instead by following a fad that doctors didn't told you.
Who cares if a product is Genetically Modified or Engineered.? Only some kind of poser who believes everything that reads on the internet, and that's the reason people enjoy going to supermarkets who profess an ideology, because they give them a sense of belonging and the place encourage their woo ideologies, as if they were the ultimate truth.
On a segmented demographics, it's not bad to have places as Whole Food or Trader Joe's, where they carve a niche for vegetarian and vegan customers; but then finding places such as the one mentioned who endorse Dr. Oz (or shall we say the American version of Dr. Who, named Dr. Woo.); homeopathy, as medicine in their medicine aisle (which they are the most expensive sugar pill ever) as well they sell essential oils and aromatherapy. Which essential oils aren't going to cure you from acid reflux or diarrhea.
It's the environment that can be absorbing, but yet exclusive from people who see that creating a hysteria towards GMO is just part of the problem and shows that is just an environment aimed to first world customers, who probably much of them have no clue about the hunger situation that is happening around the world and how biotech has helped to find a solution even not on a short term, because from a evolutionary biology point of view much of what we consume had to be modified in order to reach the shelves, which made those stupid labels and stickers items of no value and part of the problem that perpetuates the myths.
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