What will hipsters look like when they grow up?
Will they shed their beards, embrace baggy Levi’s and start eating McDonald’s every day?
I mention this only because of the travails of a hipster go-to — Whole Foods.
It’s been having troubles, some of them organically related to its high pricing. Surely, though, it’s still the grocery store with the most aspirational, lovable qualities, isn’t it?
It seems not. It’s just been voted America’s not-favorite grocery store.
In new rankings released by Morning Consult Intelligence, the Austin-based health-conscious store for the self-conscious only managed second place.
The winner? Why, Kroger.
This is a name that used to be synonymous with, well, beige. Suddenly, it seems to have reinvented itself as a charming repository of joy. Or, at least, of uplifting good value.
Indeed, it was the only grocery store that scored above 50 percent in the MCI ranking.
It’s also the store that appears to have stolen much of Whole Foods’ organic credentialing.
A recent report from Barclays’ analyst Karen Short suggested that as many as 14 million customers had deserted Whole Foods, while Kroger enjoys more revenue from organic and natural food than does Whole Foods.
I contacted Whole Foods to wonder how it feels about its apparent descent from the summit and will update, should a reply fall into my email basket.
The company has said that it’s going to change a few things in the way it does business. One idea is to centralize its processes, something that may result in fewer products being stocked in stores.
I’m always suspicious of surveys, however. The results can sometimes defy logic or merely personal prejudice. This one is based on the views of 200,000 American shoppers and only looked at brands with large national footprints.
Look at what these discerning 200,000 love.
In this MCI survey, Hershey’s was America’s favorite Food and Beverage product. Baskin Robbins was America’s favorite Restaurant. (Baskin Robbins is a restaurant?), Levi’s represent the apogee of American apparel and, oh, Sony is America’s favorite consumer electronics brand. (Apple wasn’t even in the top 5.)
Do I hear a small sigh of relief from Whole Foods?