What to Expect at the First Oregon Whole Foods’ 365 Store
Recently in Los Angeles, Whole Foods opened the first location of its new, millennial-centric supermarket chain. Dubbed 365 by Whole Foods Market, the store is named after Whole Foods’ in-house 365 Everyday Value brand, and aims to offer natural and organic products at low prices.
Think of it as Whole Foods’ hipper, craftier, more frugal little sister. Just don’t forget about the main event; as some industry pundits have warned, 365 has the potential to cannibalize the Whole Foods’ sales, or at least prompt some questioning of the company’s established image and business model.
For us, Silver Lake’s 365 store is newsworthy for two reasons:
- A second location will be opening in Lake Oswego, Oregon, in July.
- The store’s layout and product offerings exemplify the creative and sometimes outlandish ways food and beverage marketers are trying to reach younger consumers.
To learn what Whole Foods believes millennials value, and to get a glimpse—perhaps!—of what’s to come this July in Lake Oswego, take a look at some of 365’s unusual features:
Is there any food with greater millennial appeal than the avocado? Not even kale can compare to the scoopable, spreadable, juiceable, nutrient-rich, good-kind-of-fatty wonder fruit. Millennials love it on their toast and in their burritos and bowls, and they buy significantly more of it than any other consumer group. According to Instagram, the 365 in LA offers bags of organic Hass avocados for $2.70—less than half of the price of the equivalent at Whole Foods.
Produce and Prepared Foods, Front and Center
As is the case at Main & Vine, Kroger’s Seattle concept store, pre-packaged meals dominate 365, where take-out boxes are priced by size rather than weight. Suiting millennials’ appetites for all things authentic, local, and fashionable, the store’s food bars showcase “trending flavors and ethnic tastes.” Vast and lush, the produce display forms the store’s nucleus, perhaps because—you guessed it—young shoppers can’t get enough fresh fruits and veggies.
Lots of Vegan Stuff
Although most millennials don’t adhere to strict plant-based diets, the largest group of vegans (42%) comprises people between the ages of 18 and 35. In general, and for social and environmental reasons, younger consumers who do eat animal products are more inclined to cut back on meat and try dairy alternatives. Consequently, 365 stocks a wealth of vegan options not available anywhere else: baked goods, Kite Hill yogurt and cream cheese, exclusive dishes created in partnership with by CHLOE, and even cupcakes for your dog.
One of the more outlandish and buzzed-about aspects of the 365 store in LA is the teaBOT: a mechanical kiosk that will brew a customized blend of loose-leaf tea for you in less than a minute. Elsewhere in the store, you’ll find digital scales, automated self-checkout machines, and wine scanning stations provided by Delectable—an app that crowdsources reviews and information about vintages all over the world.
The forthcoming 365 store in Lake Oswego won’t be an exact replica of the one in Silver Lake. We know, for instance, that our local 365 will host new locations of Next Level Burger and Canteen. Whole Foods has also hinted at the possibility of a tattoo parlor and a record store, though these ideas are likely illustrations of the Friends of 365 concept rather than actual partnerships. But hey, with vegan dog cupcakes and tea-brewing robots in LA, you never know.
We’ll follow up with more when Oregon welcomes its 365 store next month—watch this space in July. You can also read our coverage of Whole Foods’ first national ad campaign here.