Updated: Apr 5
What is Wholesome Market?
Wholesome Market is a membership based, online retailer selling the highest quality, most sustainable, better-for-you groceries at wholesale prices. Committed to breaking down barriers, Wholesome Market’s mission is to make healthy living more accessible to all Australians.
Current industry landscape
Wholesome Market is built around the sectors of e-commerce and health and wellness.
Globally, the shift to digital channels is happening at the speed of “a decade in days.” Trends in Australia are no different. The health food industry in Australia has traditionally been fragmented and concentrated in brick-and-mortar stores and slow to adapt in the digital space.
Recently, with COVID acting as a catalyst, the grocery industry is rapidly moving into the online space with larger organisations innovating in the health and digital space alongside smaller ones. While the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, it is also in effect growing the market and overall demand for healthy products.
Wholesome Market was established not only to harness these opportunities, but through technology and an innovative business model to fundamentally change how Australians shop for healthy groceries.
The birth of the company
Founded in 2020, Wholesome Market was born out of the belief that nutritious and high quality, healthy products should not be exclusive. The co-founders are both deeply passionate about democratising healthy eating and living.
The idea for Wholesome came to Jerry almost five years ago when straight out of Uni he was working for an organic and natural health product distributor and saw how expensive better-for-you products were. Leaving her established almost 20-year career, Alene joined Jerry in 2020 to launch Wholesome and they set out to solve a problem: how could they get healthy products into the homes of more Australians? Their goal was for all Australians, regardless of means, to have an opportunity to eat and live healthy.
They determined that through a membership model and a relatively low annual fee, Wholesome Market could remove the traditional retail markups and pass on the savings to their members, saving them up to 50% on retail prices.
The company vision and growth
Through technology and an innovative business model, Wholesome Market is revolutionising the way Australians shop for healthy groceries. At its core, the company is a tech start-up and is committed to using innovation and technology to develop the easiest, most convenient and enjoyable experience for members to shop, eat and live their healthiest.
With over 3,000 products that have been carefully curated to ensure that they are the highest quality, most sustainable and ethical products available, Wholesome Market has taken the guess work out of shopping for better-for-you, natural and organic products. Their 165 brand partners are making incredible products and strides to change how Australians eat and live, setting benchmarks for sustainable and socially conscious producers in their own right.
At Wholesome Market, sustainability and their impact on the planet is ingrained in everything that they do. They strive to leave this planet better off than when they entered. From the top down, they work with companies and brands that share their ethos and intentions. From the bottom up, they prioritise ground delivery to minimise carbon emissions, offsetting all emissions from deliveries and packing all parcels with 100% post-consumer recyclable/reusable materials.
Wholesome Market is a purpose driven business. Offering free memberships for Australians in need and partnering with OzHarvest to donate the equivalent of five healthy meals for every member is integral to achieving their mission to make healthy living accessible for all Australians.
Success is measured not by revenue and profit but by how much they are saving Australians on healthy groceries and how many free memberships and healthy meals they are able to donate.
In just over a year of operation, Wholesome Market has saved its members almost $1 million in savings on better-for-you products.
Stories from free membership recipients has really illustrated the difference that Wholesome Market is making for Australians. Recipients include Australians with disabilities who can’t drive to their health food store, Australians with strict dietary requirements who can’t find the products they need or simply just students who want healthy snacking options while they study.
In addition to low-income families, free memberships are also offered to Australians affected by COVID-19 as well as students and essential workers such as teachers and firefighters as they are the lifeblood of the future. Wholesome Market’s goal is to get as many free memberships to as many low-income Australians as possible to truly achieve its mission of making healthy living accessible for all Australians.
As a start-up in its infancy, co-founders Alene and Jerry currently make up the core team. Jerry, a millennial with a computer science background and Alene, a mum of two toddlers and nearly two decades of corporate experience, couldn’t be more different.
As co-founders they are inherently different in thought and aptitude but strongly motivated by their shared purpose and mission. This shared purpose is fundamental to their culture and is what energises and motivates them. A small team means wearing all hats on a daily basis, being extremely adaptable, nimble and agile.
“I was born in Australia to immigrant parents and saw first-hand the difficulty and expense of accessing healthy food, especially for low- income families” says Jerry Li.
“Building a socially conscious, business with purpose and breaking down those barriers, has been a life-long dream for both of us” adds Alene.
Check them out: https://wholesomemarket.com.au