Whole Foods To Launch Rewards Program In 2017

Whole Foods Market is fighting back against budget grocery chains by launching a nationwide customer rewards program next year.

"It's a very competitive market out there," John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, told CNBC. "Everybody's feeling it."

Competition from lower-cost grocery stores such as Sprouts Farmers Market has challenged the company's earnings and sales growth. Fresh food delivery services from Amazon and meal kit companies also pose a threat to the grocer. A rewards program will allow the company to give back to customers and stay in-line with competitors.

The rewards program isn't necessarily new to the company, as the grocer has been running tests in Philadelphia since 2014 and in Dallas since this past summer, according to Whole Foods' website.

Members of the rewards program will receive deals such as 10 percent off their first purchase, a 15 percent off coupon for any department, and product giveaways, Grub Street reported. Frequent shoppers will receive more rewards.