Social Responsibility: Company Comparison and Analysis Companies in Focus: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market

Part 1: Comparison of Business Strategies Relating to Recognition and Response to Social Responsibility

Social responsibility is noted as the element that defines the connection of an organization towards the society that it serves. This particular matter provides a great source of indication of whether or not an organization could be considered responsible. Sections of social responsibility includes the manner by which the organizations view the health of the people, their living status and their overall welfare. It could be realized that whatever activities any organization engage in would have a great impact on the people and most often than not, this particular impact creates a distinctive indication on how the organization is able to respond to the needs of the people accordingly.

The society, from where the buying market comes, is considered by each organization as a vital part of their most valuable resources. This is the reason why it is very important for organizational administrators to see to it that they are able to respond to what the society demands from them. In the food industry, the main concern of social responsibility is that of the health of the people and how it is being developed through the values that the organizations impose accordingly. In the discussion that follows, a comparison between Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market is set to create a distinctive indication on how each of these companies try to resolve issues of health conditions that rather defines their reputation in the market.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market are both grocer-type businesses that offer a variety of food choices to the market. Relatively, they have a common ground of reputation, and that is promoting the consumption of healthier food resources. Considerably, it could be analyzed that the campaign towards healthier living has become a common talk in the society ever since the desire to reduce consumption of junk foods [such as fast food products] has emerged. As response to such desire, these grocery establishments decided to get their resources from direct growers hence being assured that the products they sell are organic and that they would specifically cater o the needs of the market they are trying to serve.

One specific difference with regards how these two companies run their business though is the manner by which they consider their marketing strategies. Relatively, Whole Foods Market tries to impose on direct campaign on living healthy through suggesting massive adjustments to their customers. Likely, their desire to make their customers embrace a healthier lifestyle pushes them to become more endowed in directly pushing for more direct campaigns. It is just like saying that if their customers want a healthy lifestyle, then they have to be serious about it. This campaign is more on defining a culture rather than reassessing the situation of their customers and specifically going through what their clients might likely agree to.

This approach has a large point of difference to what Trader Joe’s uses. Although the said chain-grocer-shop identifies healthy living as a necessary choice, they also intend to realize the need of a person to satisfy his palate. In this case, the organization tends to seek probable approaches that could entice the market to live better lives through eating healthy food selections. The administrators of the business believe that when it comes to food, satisfaction plays a great role. Hence, to make sure that they are able to cater to this need, the company creates particular choice food selections that might not seemingly appear healthy, but are rich in nutrients [more than what is even expected by their buyers]. Although this approach is much more of a struggle, Joe Trader’s gets the best benefit from it.

At this point, it could be analyzed that even though both organizations campaign for the same aspect of living a healthy lifestyle, not both companies use the same approach of imposing a culture that could define their market. The desire to promote a valuable culture of eating good food is a primary purpose of both companies yet they take different approaches to the matter. This indicates that somehow, while both are serious about their campaign, Trader Joe’s tries to manifest a sense of concern for its marketability among people who may not likely be much interested in eating healthy food and would rather choose satisfaction than health itself. To make a relative impact on the thinking of the said types of individuals, the company tried to tweak the manner they present healthy living and impose a more acceptable picture to the market. As a result to this, Trader Joe’s was able to expand the marketability of its products compared to the selections that Whole Foods Market offers.

Notably, Whole Foods responds to this matter through improved service and well-defined servicing points. Their shops are much more conveniently designed to assure customer satisfaction. Given that they have more space, they intend to cater to a larger number of customers who would go for comfort than product choice. This however could be considered a weak approach to serving what the market demands for in comparison to what risks Trader Joe’s was willing to undergo especially in relation to how it redefined the patter of creating the products it offers to the market.

Part 2: Company Analysis on Trader Joe’s

How does the company respond to the issue of social responsibility? In what kinds of activities does the organization participate? Do you think its activities are appropriate? Explain you answer.

Trader Joe’s response to its social responsibility is rather balanced. It knows and imposes that healthy living is a choice that its customers must make. Nevertheless, it does not put on pressure on the matter. The company recognizes the fact that the modern society has been used to the culture of eating junk food for comfort and for the satisfaction of their taste buds. Hence, to cater to such demand, the company constantly searches for possible conditions by which they could make healthy food selections taste better hence attracting more individuals to shift to a healthier choice of food intake. These activities are rather appropriate especially that the business is engaged in developing a culture that would define the healthy habits of the market they hope to serve.

Prepare a SWOT analysis of the selected company, including at least two strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats each.


  1. it has an edge in redefining the taste and the reputation of healthy food
  2. it has the proper capacity to influence more individuals in the market thus expanding its market share because of its inviting approach to developing a campaign towards healthier living.


  1. small distribution stores
  2. location of shops situated in different states


  1. further research on healthy yet tasty selections to offer to the market
  2. Create a notion that healthy is also tasty through creating recipes that are their own


  1. New comers in the industry
  2. New options of living healthier lives without the need to go organic

Based on the concepts learned so far, provide your recommendation for turning the weaknesses into strengths and the threats into opportunities.

            The weaknesses of Trader Joe’s is most likely dependent on the way its shops are designated in particular locations and the way they are designed. Considering that the business is hoping to serve more through its campaign of healthy and tasty food selections, it should be able to come up with a plan that would be able to present the feature products in primary locations outside their shops therefore bringing in more customers in the centers where they could be served immediately. Redesigning shops may also help in solving this particular issue. The threats considering completion and market alteration, it is necessary that Trader Joe’s find a way to keep their selections fresh and their offers to the market consistently responsive to the changing demands of their customers.


Kowitt, Beth (August 23, 2010). “Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s”. Fortune.

Armstrong, Larry (April 26, 2004). “Trader Joe’s: The Trendy American Cousin”. BusinessWeek.

Edwards, Richard. Contested Terrain: The Transformation of the Workplace in the Twentieth Century. Chapter 2 and Chapter 8. New York: Basic Books, 1979.

Federal Trade Commission. “FTC Consent Order Settles Charges that Whole Foods’ Acquisition of Rival Wild Oats was Anticompetitive”. News Release. March 2009.

Fligstein, Neil. The Transformation of Corporate Control . Harvard University Press, 1993.