Whole Foods Market shared with MarketWatch a list of its top-selling items. At that time, these were the 10 most popular items among Whole Foods' exclusive brands, ranked by dollar sales:

  1. 365 Everyday Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Mediterranean Blend
  2. 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Milk
  3. 365 Everyday Value Organic Wild Blueberries
  4. 365 Everyday Value Organic Grade AA Unsalted Butter
  5. 365 Everyday Value Organic Grade B 100% Maple Syrup
  6. 365 Everyday Value Organic 2% Reduced Fat Milk
  7. 365 Everyday Value Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  8. 365 Everyday Value Grade AA Unsalted Butter
  9. Whole Foods Market Italian Sparkling Mineral Water
  10. Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets

It comes as no surprise that this has little to do with being vegan. Except for the blueberries and water, the items are mostly fat and/or animal protein. We guess some customers can discuss the perceived higher quality of those items rather than buying equivalents in a supermarket. Possibly people see these as generic items and will buy the less expensive Whole Foods version rather than the brand name.

This can be looked at in several ways. Selling these products brings in customers and adds income so stores are also able to sell organic produce and vegan foods, which may appeal to vegans. When advocating for businesses to carry healthy vegan items, remember that markets need to use shelf space for what sells. So they have to make the items available as well as build consumer demand. Some people will only patronize restaurants and stores that solely sell vegan or vegetarian items, so as to reward the store's ethical decision making. Others will support mixed businesses so that non-vegans have exposure to vegan food. What's your opinion on this topic?

Kudos to Debbie King who has long promoted vegetarianism in Texas and among health professionals. Thank you to Kitty and Karen for ideas on assisting those on low incomes. Thank you to Nancy Berkoff for a perspective on promoting veganism through becoming a food technologist. And congratulations to Laura McGuiness, who became vegetarian at ten-years-old, won one of our scholarship prizes, and continues to promote vegan eating.

Whichever role you take on, thank you for working for a vegetarian and vegan world.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler, Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group