June 24, 2015

Whole Foods supermarkets have been routinely overcharging customers by overstating the weight of prepackaged meat, dairy and baked goods, New York City's consumer chief said Wednesday

Whole Foods supermarkets have been routinely overcharging customers by overstating the weight of prepackaged meat, dairy and baked goods, New York City's consumer chief said Wednesday.
The price on a package of coconut shrimp at the upscale market was too high by $14.84, said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin. A package of chicken tenders was overpriced by $4.85, and a vegetable platter by $6.15, the department said.
"These overcharges are incredibly troubling," Menin said, alleging that they continued even after Whole Foods was informed of the city investigation, which began in the fall. The investigation checked the eight Whole Foods markets then open in the city. A ninth has since opened. In all, the Austin, Texas-based chain has 422 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
"We have been meeting with Whole Foods for months," the commissioner said, "but we repeatedly found problems that were incredibly pervasive."
In emailed statements, Whole Foods said, "We disagree with the DCA's overreaching allegations." It said the department had made "grossly excessive monetary demands" to settle the dispute, but it would not disclose the amount.
Because the city's investigation of Whole Foods is ongoing, penalties have not yet been assessed, Menin said. Fines for falsely labeling a package can be as much as $950 for the first violation and up to $1,700 for subsequent violations. The department said Whole Foods had thousands of potential violations.
Last year, Whole Foods agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties — and improve pricing accuracy — after an investigation into alleged pricing irregularities in California.
Whole Foods has long battled a reputation for high prices — some derisively call the store "Whole Paycheck" — and it recently announced plans for a new chain of smaller stores with lower prices.
The Consumer Affairs Department said it tested 80 different types of pre-packaged products and found mislabeled weights for each, with overcharges ranging from 80 cents for a package of pecan panko to the $14.84 markup on the shrimp.


  1. "Behind ever great fortune, there lies a crime."

    Corporation-based food logistics are interested in PROFIT, not legitimate produce.
    FARMERS MARKETS and LOCAL MEAT SHOPS are where it's at.
    Support your local food providers, instead of big corps like Whole Foods and Walmart.
    Your local food providers are more likely to not WANT toscrew you, because they will be living in your town!!

  3. Hum, lets look at this a little more closely. Whole Foods has been taking market-share from the big agri business companies who contribute to both political parties. The natural food industry has taken $4B just this year and climbing from those companies. What better way to hurt the natural food industry than smear it's biggest vendor?? Cui Bono??

  4. So lets see how and why this might be in the news. First and foremost it makes people think that they are being looked out for by none other then govt. Second it makes people think all the more reason we need more govt. Third it makes you feel safe and protected, it not just shopping, but all other aspects of life because someone is cracking down on the cheaters, when the real cheaters are probably using this as an example to keep or gain your trust. The company will most likely get a slap on the wrist, with a fine that sounds large, but in reality to what you and I pay for a victimless traffic ticket or parking ticket is minor in pct. comparison .

  5. Like all retail, grocery buying is going through major changes. What I can't grow I'm now getting from Azure Standard, an innovative Oregon-based online business that gets food from farm to consumer in a more direct manner and at a price that beats the pants off traditional supermarkets. In a few minutes I'll pick up my current order from their (free) delivery truck at an I-5 off ramp where there will be 15 to 20 other families there to pick up their orders. My purchases from local supermarkets is now at rock-bottom.