New Whole Foods Tool Assists Online Grocery Shoppers with Dietary Restrictions

Randy Hofbauer
Digital and Technology Editor
Randy Hofbauer profile picture

Whole Foods Market has launched a catalog on its website to help shoppers search for products based on dietary preference and easily obtain complete nutritional information and ingredient lists.

Understanding that nearly one-third of its frequent patrons shop according to a specific dietary preference, the Austin, Texas-based natural grocer developed the tool to help shoppers research food options and verify product availability at their local store. Customers can now search for tens of thousands of Whole Foods' most popular products and filter by a number of dietary preferences via desktop computer or mobile device, including:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Paleo-friendly
  • Keto-friendly
  • Sugar-conscious
  • Dairy-free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Whole Foods Diet-approved
  • Engine 2
  • Low sodium
  • Low fat

Upon searching for a dietary preference or product, customers will pull up results featuring products' photos, nutrition facts panels, ingredients lists and tags related to diets and allergens. To learn about availability and price, users can easily find their local Whole Foods Market store using the store selector on the page.

“Whole Foods Market has always been a go-to for those who follow special diets or want greater transparency into what they are eating,” said Jason Buechel, EVP of technology and chief information officer for Whole Foods Market. “This new experience makes it easier than ever for those customers to find products that fit their needs from dietary preferences to lifestyle changes, and ultimately helps them achieve their wellness goals.”

As grocers seek ways to better bridge the gap between online and in-store operations, they're offering new tools and revamped online storefronts that help provide shoppers make better informed purchase and eating decisions while also offering supplier partners increased exposure, even for harder-to-find products. Other grocers that have recently revamped their websites to improve convenience and ease product searches include:

  • Raley's, which unveiled a new website in October to enhance the customer experience through a revamped ecommerce interface and a design that helps shoppers better understand the grocer's vision and purpose surrounding health and wellness. Designed to deliver a personalized, time-saving digital shopping experience no matter when, where and how people shop, the site integrates personalized offers, regularly purchased products and more.
  • Natural Grocers, which relaunched its site the same month, designed to better personalize the online experience. Offering a cleaner, more streamlined experience, that new site features an improved page speed and enhanced layouts, faster and more responsible page load times for different devices, and simplified navigation to help visitors easily locate stores, favorite recipes, articles or sales.
  • Albertsons Cos., which launched an online marketplace in October to help shoppers more easily discover hard-to-find products. The site is focused on connecting patrons with natural, organic, ethnic and alternative goods – all with the intent of helping both itself and its vendors react better and faster in trending markets.
  • Tops Markets, which launched a dedicated online natural and organic store the same month. Offering both national-brand and private label items, the store will feature thousands of certified organic, gluten-free and minimally processed products, all available for online ordering and grouped in one spot for shoppers' convenience.

Whole Foods Market operates more than 470 stores throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Under the name of its parent company, Amazon, the grocer is No. 8 on Progressive Grocer's 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the U.S.

About the Author

Randy Hofbauer is the former digital and technology editor of Progressive Grocer. He has more than a decade of experience as a content strategist, researcher and marketer, almost all of it covering CPG retailing. His insights and work have been cited in a nu Read More

Also Worth Reading