It's not the apocalypse—just Whole Foods on the eve of a snowstorm. In preparation for this year's first big blizzard, the grocery chain is preparing its cavalry for an onslaught of organic food lovers looking to hoard vegan oat scones and Sicilian pistachio gelato.
Whole Foods metro marketing team leader Alexandra Agostini, who works with the P Street and Foggy Bottom locations, says the pre-storm rush began on Tuesday, but she expects the peak crowds will be this afternoon into the early evening.
To prepare, Whole Foods has beefed up on staff to make sure lines move quickly and shelves stay stocked, although Agostini didn't have exact figures on how many more employees were working than average. "It's all hands on deck," she says. The stores have also increased orders, especially of staples like water, milk, bread, bananas, and canned foods.
"They've already started changing the delivery schedules," Agostini said yesterday. "All week long we were anticipating this. It's not our first rodeo." (Although that hasn't stopped the grocer from running out of staples in the past.)
Aside from those pantry basics, Agostini expects to see a bump in premade and oven-ready food sales as well as cut fruit or veggies—"anything that people don't have to prepare." Diapers and baby food are also going to be hot items, along with kid-friendly foods like mac and cheese. And then there are the party/mood-setting items, whether it's chips and guacamole or Valentine's Day goods (Champagne, massage oil) that are already on display.
"For sure, beer sales go up," she adds.
Photo from the P Street Whole Foods pre-snow in 2014 by Jessica Sidman