Whole Foods Gets Help for the Holidays

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Whole Foods Gets Help for the Holidays

By Samantha Nelson - 11/15/2017

Whole Foods Market has enlisted actress Kristen Bell and the owners of Philadelphia vegan restaurant Vedge to provide holiday cooking and entertaining guides this season.

A themed microsite (holiday.wholefoodsmarket.com) hosts a series of tips, recipes and videos (see below) from Bell that spotlight the retailer's sourcing standards, prepared foods and seasonal produce. Bell is a vegetarian and her husband does not eat gluten so her guides spotlight products from Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Immaculate Baking Company and Garden Protein International as a way to cater to guests with dietary restrictions.

Also on the microsite, Vedge co-owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby provided guides to making a plant-based Thanksgiving meal which link to a web page for ordering seasonal prepared foods made using their recipes. Whole Foods promoted the dishes and the designation of Nov. 1 as "World Vegan Day" by offering $5 off a vegan Thanksgiving meal for two for orders placed from Nov. 1-6. A Nov. 1 email blast and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram updates promoted the deal.

A Nov. 6 email blast, and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates plug the holiday microsite. Some of its content also appears in a 32-page holiday guide distributed in stores and online.

The retailer is heavily promoting its prepared foods options in stores. Framed signs plug the Vedge dishes while rack and checkout signs encourage shoppers to reserve their holiday meals. A leaderboard ad on wholefoodsmarket.com links to the online ordering web page.

Stanchion signs dispensing holiday menus plugged a pair of "Taste of Whole Foods Market" sampling events occurring Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 11-12. Other checkout signs position seafood as "something unique" for the holiday and encourage shoppers to buy store gift cards to give as easy presents.

Elsewhere in stores, gondolas merchandise kitchen appliances from DKB Household USA's Zyliss as "holiday essentials" and endcaps stock packaged foods from brands including private label 365 Everyday Value, Amy's Kitchen and Back to Nature Foods "for your holiday table." The retailer is continuing its annual partnership with PBS Kids, positioning toys from the brand on endcaps under a "great gifts" message. Floorstands stock exclusive gift wrap from Paper Source made using 100% recycled materials.

Additionally, the alternative grocer's new owner, Amazon, is setting up pop-up stores at five Whole Foods locations, which will stock Alexa devices and be staffed by Amazon employees promoting the e-commerce giant's Prime loyalty program.

Radio spots, run-of-press ads in newspapers including the Wilmington Star News and The Washington Post, and display ads on website such as evite.com and philly.com support the marketing campaign.

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