Food & Culture

Whole Foods Tops Covid-19 Safety Survey

Whole Foods ranked high in areas such as mask use, sanitizing and enforced social distancing

By Nat Rubio-Licht September 4, 2020

April 14, 2019 San Jose / CA / USA - Whole Foods store displaying an ad for Amazon Prime Membership

Whole Foods ranked No. 1 of 33 brands across several industries for its coronavirus health and safety practices. 

Whole Foods, which was purchased by Seattle-based tech giant Amazon in 2017 for $13.6 billion, ranked high in areas such as mask use, sanitizing and enforced social distancing, according to the Consumer Health & Safety Index by research firm Ipsos. Whole First also ranked first last June, when the index was created.

Using mystery shoppers at thousands of stores across the country, the Ipsos found that employees at 76% of Whole Foods stores actively sanitized high touch areas. The industry average is 59%, according to the report. 

Employees at all Whole Foods stores were wearing masks correctly, and 98% of customers complied with mask policies. Social distancing policies, such as closing every other check-out lane and closing self-serve food and beverage stations, were enforced at around 99% of the Whole Foods stores visited.

Issaquah-based Costco was ranked No. 5 in the index, dropping three places from the first time the index was released. However, Costco ranked first in the installation of physical barriers to promote social distancing. 

An Ipsos survey of 2,000 Americans in the spring found that 62% would stop shopping somewhere if it did not take health and safety seriously amid the pandemic. 

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