Think Whole Foods is a Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought

by on July 21, 2015 · 4 comments

in Economy, History

Faith Gardner / Daily Kos

Whole Foods Market store

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably been shocked at the prices. But a recent investigation shows that not only are its products overpriced, it’s also dishonest—and its shady practices when it comes to weighing and mislabeling may be illegal.

The investigation looked at products that are weighed and labeled and found a “systematic problem” whereby customers were routinely overcharged for things like nuts, snack foods, poultry and other grocery products.

Eight packages of chicken tenders—priced at $9.99 per pound—were inaccurately priced and labeled to the tune of a $4.13 overcharge to the customer per package, a store profit of $33.04 for the set.

DCA says one package was overpriced as much as $4.85. “Additionally, 89 percent of the packages tested did not meet the federal standard for the maximum amount that an individual package can deviate from the actual weight, which is set by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

Should we be surprised?

Last year, the company was fined nearly $800,000 in California for not deducting tare weight, selling less than the weight on products sold by the pound and other violations.

Not to be outdone by our neighbors to the West, “our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers, which DCA and New Yorkers will not tolerate,” according to DCA Commissioner Julie Menin.

I guess this kind of dishonesty is just par for the course when your CEO is a libertarian who thinks Obamacare is fascism and climate change is A-OK.

No announcement yet from the DCA on how big a fine Whole Foods will be slapped with. Let’s hope it’s significant.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rich July 21, 2015 at 10:02 am

OP–This is a pretty bigoted smear on Libertarians, who advocate honest transactions.

For more on world Libertarianism, see the Libertarian International Organization @


tylerdonna July 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm

I do not support over-charging but I do love having Whole Foods in San Diego and love shopping there and feel that it is to some extent what encouraged other markets to provide organics and other healthier food choices so wanted to comment just to show some love to Whole Foods.


Rufus July 22, 2015 at 6:30 am

A little fairness and accurate reporting is in order.

“Whole Wallet” may be an expensive, hipster version of People’s Co-Op, but you can’t paint Whole Foods as a libertarian hotbed when it’s not.

Walter Robb, the other co-CEO of Whole Foods, is a Democrat and has donated to Obama, Fienstein, Hillary Clinton and the DNC among others.

If you are going to write an objective article, at least be honest and truthful.


Frank J July 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

I just spent some time in Portland Oregon. A newer local chain up there is ‘New Seasons’ market and they are great competition for Whole Foods. All businesses up there are thriving with their higher minimum wage, and New Seasons was my go to with similar products across the board at fairer prices.


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