Whole Foods not yet "World's Healthiest" store

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) is developing a meal-kit offering to deliver its own brand of healthy meals, and seems to be considering expanding further beyond U.S. borders with a new catchphrase of "World's Healthiest Grocery Store."

Unfortunately, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Whole Foods' application to trademark that slogan, according to The Washington Post. The company can still tweak the application and reapply for trademark approval.

The grocery chain already uses the phrase "America's Healthiest Grocery Store," and its quest to add a global twist could be an indication that Whole Foods is considering expansion.

Whole Foods operates just a handful of stores outside the United States, in Canada and the U.K., but competition is fierce and expansion slow.

Competition is also fierce among meal-kit providers, where brands such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh are growing. Even the The New York Times has a meal kit offering.

Whole Foods CIO Jason Buechel mentioned the effort during the company's July 27 conference call with investors, saying that tests were ongoing, according to Quartz.

The once-leader among natural food grocers has been struggling to reinvent itself in the face of strong competition from new and traditional supermarkets, including Kroger, Walmart and Target. New store formats such as 365 by Whole Foods are part of this effort, but that is not the only place Whole Foods is looking for growth.

For more:
- see this Quartz story
- see this Washington Post article

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