The strategy behind the 365 brand was to help Whole Foods attract conventional grocery store customers with a value priced line backed by Whole Foods reputation for quality. In a letter to stockholders, John Mackey, founder and CEO, said “It would be hard to exaggerate the success of the 365 brand.”
We started working with Whole Foods Market in 1992 when they had just 13 stores, most located in Texas. Over the next two decades, we created branding, store graphics and private brand package design that helped Whole Foods rapidly grow from a regional chain to going public and operating more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and the UK. Working with Lex Alexander, Whole Food’s “Food Guy” we created brands and packaging for thousands of natural and organic products in every grocery category.
The 356 brand has proven so popular with customers that gaining access to Whole Foods 365 house brand was regarded by analysts at Bernstein, the investment firm, as focal to Amazon’s acquisition. Describing the 365 brands as a linchpin in Amazon’s future grocery offerings, they were quoted by Food Navigator, “Clearly many of us thought that any ‘Amazon’ branded foods would be shunned by consumers. But by acquiring Whole Foods, the 365 brand becomes instantly available as part of Amazon’s online offering. This brand is highly credible with consumers.” Supermarket News has reported that 365 sales through Amazon.com totaled $10 million in just three months, averaging weekly sales gains of 9%. The 365 Everyday Value brand was consistently the No. 2 performer in sales volume behind Amazon’s main private label, AmazonBasics, during the short time it was available, and was the fourth most popular brand for the full year.