‘Organic’ growth driving organic supermarket

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 6:39 PM ET
We owe part of success to healthier eating trend: Whole Foods co-CEO
Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 6:40 PM ET
John Mackey, Whole Foods Market Inc. founder and co-CEO, and Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market Inc. co-CEO, discuss the "counter revolution" towards healthier living, lifestyle, and diets. Robb says obesity looks like a headwind to the economy, turning it around would offer growth and more vitality.

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

It appears that Whole Foods knows a thing or two about organic and we're not just talking lettuce.

The seller of organic and natural foods told Jim Cramer during an exclusive interview that the appetite for its unique assortment of foods is so robust, they're upping expansion plans.

That is, in the past Whole Foods has said it expected to one day have 1,000 stores in the United States, up from around 300 as of summer 2013.

Jim Cramer talking with John Mackey and Walter Robb, the co-CEOs of Whole Foods.
Kate Kohlbrenner | CNBC
Jim Cramer talking with John Mackey and Walter Robb, the co-CEOs of Whole Foods.

However, John Mackey and Walter Robb, the co-CEOs of Whole Foods told Jim Cramer that target is now 1,200 – that's a 20% increase in less than 6 months.

That may seem like a small change, but Cramer says it reveals big things about the ambitions of Whole Foods as well as the trend of healthy eating.

Earlier in the year, metrics released by Whole Foods called growth into question when same store sales decelerated to 5.9 percent, the slowest pace of the year.

Skeptics worried that the healthy eating trend had peaked.

"But, if that were the case, would Whole Foods need to expand?" Cramer asked.

Cramer is convinced any earlier declines were actually signs of an acceleration in the healthy eating trend with more companies getting in on the act and generating more competition.

"Even Wal-Mart got on the band wagon," Cramer reminded.

Read More from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Taper talk can't derail this trend: Cramer
Forget fruitcake, give these stocks: Cramer
Could Fed send stocks tumbling lower?

But Cramer doesn't think increased competition is a big problem for Whole Foods.

"The company is just incredibly well run," he said. And it's become almost synonymous with nutritious food.

If you're looking to play the theme, "this one is a keeper," Cramer said.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change

Contact Mad Money

  • Showtimes

    Monday - Friday 6p ET
  • Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

Mad Money Features

  • Grab the latest CNBC gear from the NBCUniversal Store!

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Cramer formulates his investment advice. "Inside the Madness" is a column, which features e-mails and more with Cramer and his researcher Nicole Urken.

  • You’ve always wanted to hit the “Hallelujah!” button. Here’s your chance.