Whole Foods CEO is leaving the company to launch a new vegan venture

Whole Foods CEO is leaving the company to launch a new vegan venture

John Mackey, longtime CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, officially resigned from his position at the grocery giant this month. Mackey helped build Whole Foods into a multinational company for more than 40 years, and now, the former CEO has his sights set on a more sustainable venture. Dubbed Healthy America, this health-focused startup is expected to operate a chain of vegetarian restaurants and health systems.

In August, Mackey was listed as one of the brand’s new partners along with former Whole Foods CEOs Betsy Foster and Walter Robb. A job posting for Healthy America described the company as an “evidence-based lifestyle company, driving the convergence of cooking, healthcare, and wellness.” The first location is set to open in Southern California, according to vegan expert.

“At our medical and wellness centers, we adopt a holistic approach to wellness and leverage the best of Western and Eastern medicine, along with health, education, fitness and spa services to deliver best-in-class solutions,” the list read. “[Healthy America’s] The mission is to create a new model of care that heals the whole person by focusing on prevention and reversal of disease through evidence-based health care using nutrition and lifestyle, and aspires to elevate each individual’s health to the optimal state possible.”

Last year, Mackey addressed the company and employees in an open letter announcing his resignation. The CEO gave the company 12 months’ notice with a deadline of September 1, 2022. To move on from the company, Mackey helped prepare Jason Buechl, COO, to succeed him as CEO.

“Many people can go their whole lives without ever discovering their higher purpose, but I was fortunate enough to discover myself in 1976 when I was living at a vegetarian co-op called Prana House in Austin—two years before we first opened Safer Way. [which became Whole Foods],” he is Wrote in time. “I am very proud of the role we have played in developing how food is grown, produced and sourcing, and achieving our ultimate goal of feeding people and the planet is what makes Whole Foods so much more than just a grocery store.

Despite eating vegetarian food, Maki is critical of meat alternatives

Mackie’s recent work decision reflects the former CEO’s dietary preferences. During an interview with Joe RoganThe Whole Foods founder revealed that he is 100 percent vegetarian. He claimed to have become a vegetarian in his twenties before briefly introducing fish into his diet. But by 2003 Mackie had adopted a vegan diet for ethical reasons. He also noted that a whole-food plant-based diet can help reverse heart disease.

However, Mackie has historically mocked vegetarian meat alternatives from brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The entrepreneur claims that these products pose serious health risks due to their highly processed ingredients and recipes. Despite being more unhealthy than whole plant foods, research indicates that plant-based meat products contain more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients.

“Our product is much better for the consumer than it replaces.” Pat Brown, former CEO of Impossible Foods, responded at the time: “What it’s replacing is a burger made with a cow, not a kale salad. So, if you’re saying this isn’t like an absolute ‘superfood’, you’re right. But the point is. It’s a much healthier product for the consumer than a burger made with cow [and] Better for the planet than a burger made with a cow. And for many consumers, it’s even more delicious.”

Whole Foods Fueling a Vegan Future

Whole Food Market published its first report on a vegan trend last spring after the Hartmann Group found that 48 percent of consumers look for vegan products when they go to the store. The report found that five types of products will dominate the vegan market, including vegan seafood, gourmet cheese, vegan barbecue, vegan baby food and dairy-free sauces.

Last October, Whole Foods partnered with Lightlife to bring its unparalleled vegan roast chicken to market. Whole Foods’ whole-food vegan chicken is included in many dishes in Whole Foods’ prepared food divisions, which means hot bars, cold salad bars, and fast food meals.

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