Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods--How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped American Business

Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods--How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped American Business

by Joe Dobrow

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Overview

From a handful of idealistic farmers and local co-ops in the 1960s to the domination of juggernauts like Whole Foods, the wild success of the natural and organic foods industry proves that principled business is not just possible, but profitable. With nearly unfettered double-digit annual growth, the development of this now-$88 billion industry is one of the most remarkable untold stories in American business history. Trailblazers like Mo Siegel of Celestial Seasonings, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms, and John Mackey of Whole Foods openly challenged the interests of Big American Agribusiness, transformed food manufacturing and retailing, and re-wrote the playbook for small entrepreneurs.

Dobrow, a 20-year veteran of the natural foods industry who had a front row seat (and backstage pass) to much of the upheaval and expansion he describes, characterizes the radical vision of these "natural prophets" as one part anti-industrial activism, one part bold opportunism, and one part new-era marketing genius. The triple bottom line—people, planet, profit—emerged as a major new lodestone for successful, values-based business practices.
Natural Prophets is a fascinating narrative account of these upstart Davids—their failures and their unprecedented successes—that distills lessons about management, marketing, and entrepreneurial growth, and offers a lively, urgent profile of an industry that continues to change the way we eat, the way we live, and the way we think about ourselves.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623361792
Publisher: Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 02/18/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Joe Dobrow is a marketer, management scholar, historian, and journalist with two decades of experience as a top executive with some of the most prominent natural foods retailers in the U.S., including Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market. A graduate of Brown and the Yale School of Management, Dobrow is the recipient of numerous awards, including Advertising Age's Eco-Marketer of the Year (2007) and the Hub Prize for Retail Excellence (2011, 2012). He lives near Phoenix, Arizona, and in the Washington D.C. area.

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CHAPTER 1
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Excerpted from "Natural Prophets"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Joe Dobrow.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Tipping Point vii

Chapter 1 The Milkman or the Cow 1

Chapter 2 A Few Gnarly Pieces of Fruit 25

Chapter 3 The Rise of the High-Minded Idealists 46

Chapter 4 The Boulder Mafia 81

Chapter 5 Spontaneous Combustion 109

Chapter 6 Land of Opportunism 141

Chapter 7 Cult of Competition 177

Chapter 8 Dueling Business Models 208

Chapter 9 From Co-Op to Co-Optation to Clout 240

Afterword 269

Endnotes 274

Acknowledgments 291

Index 293

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