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“We’re going to reinvent the supermarket business as we know it,” says John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, about his company’s recent, controversial merger with online retailer Amazon.
If that happens, it means that Mackey will have reinvented the supermarket business twice in his own lifetime, as no individual has done more to revolutionize how Americans shop for groceries than he has since co-founding Whole Foods in 1980. Gone are the days of dreary, heavily processed, and strictly limited choices when it came to bread, produce, meats, and service. If we demand variety, freshness, and a sense of morality when we go shopping for dinner these days, it’s in large part due to the triumph of Mackey’s explicitly libertarian re-imagining of the great American supermarket.
Reason’s Nick Gillespie caught up with him at LibertyCon, the annual conference of Students for Liberty, and talked with him about Whole Foods’ recent, controversial merger with the online retailer Amazon, his belief that young Americans are more “conscious” about life and morality than past generations were, and his take on Donald Trump’s presidency so far. “I will say that there are some things President Trump has done that I like and some things that I don’t,” says Mackey, the co-author of the 2013 best-seller Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business and last year’s The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity. “I’m not a huge optimist about government solving our problems.”
(Disclosure: Both Mackey and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are donors to Reason Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that publishes Reason.)
Photo Credit: LINDSEY WASSON/REUTERS/Newscom. Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Newscom.
Music: Massive by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.
Edited by Mark McDaniel. Intro by Todd Krainin.