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MarketWatch reports that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey told an economics conference this week that the perception of the retailer as expensive “is wrong-headed and counterproductive, as America grapples with high rates of heart disease and other diet-related health issues.”

Mackey said that if people spent more money on better food, they’d actually save money on other things, like health care. “People are historically ignorant of how little people spend on food in the United States,” Mackey said, adding, “It would be a lot easier if the media would stop repeating Whole Paycheck, Whole Paycheck.”
KC's View:
It actually might be a lot easier if Whole Foods didn’t charge so much for so many of the products that it sells. Not all the products it sells, of course; when the recession hit, Whole Foods went out of its way to promote a lower-priced tier of own-label products that were more affordable.

But that effort alone makes the point that Mackey wants to deny - that Whole Foods costs more than most other supermarkets. That doesn’t mean his broader point is wrong. Indeed, maybe if we spent our food budgets on whole grains, beans and fresh produce, it would save us a lot of money down the road.

But for many people, the rubber meets the road at the supermarket checkout ... and that’s where Whole Foods becomes unaffordable for a lot of folks.