business news in context, analysis with attitude

Nice piece by National Public Radio about Portland, Oregon’s New Seasons Market, which it describes as having “local meat, sustainable fish and a lot of local and organic produce, tagged with yellow ‘home grown’ labels,” but with a difference - “side-by-side with a wide array of organic and natural products are conventional products, including Double-Stuff Oreos, Skippy peanut butter and Diet Coke.”

The reason is simple, says founder and CEO Brian Rohter: “We know that people aren't perfect. We know that people want to eat good food, but they also want their Doritos and they also want their Oreo cookies. We are not the food police. We want to offer what people want."

Also noteworthy about New Seasons, according to NPR: “New Seasons has very low employee turnover. The company pays well above minimum wage, with salaries starting at $10 an hour. It offers health coverage for workers and their families. Most employees work more than 20 hours a week, and the company pays 80 percent of their premium. New Seasons pays 50 percent of the premium for employees who work less than 20 hours a week. Workers also benefit from a profit-sharing program: 20 percent of New Seasons' after-tax profit goes back to employees.”
KC's View:
New Seasons may sell stuff not generally considered to be healthy, but when you walk through the front door, it fairly reeks of good health. They may not want to serve as the food police, but they do a wonderful job of making healthy food seem appetizing and fun. There is a general lack of intimidation that is refreshing in this kind of format.