Whole Foods, which has been roiled with accusations that it grossly overcharged customers in its New York City locations, recently tried selling asparagus stalks in water for $6 a bottle. Yes, you read that right.
Images of the product on sale at a Whole Foods store in Brentwood, Calif. surfaced on social media earlier this week, inviting widespread ridicule. Today, the company responded to the controversy, pulling asparagus water from the store and calling the whole ordeal a mistake.
“We actually don’t sell asparagus water in our stores,” Whole Foods spokeswoman Liz Burkhart told USA Today. “It was meant to be water with the essence of vegetables and/or mushrooms, which is typically made over a long period of time soaking in water. It was made incorrectly and has since been removed.”
#AsparagusWaterGate arrives as the latest embarrassing moment in what has been a challenging summer for the natural and organic grocery giant. Last month company executives issued a public apology after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs revealed several instances of overcharging on pre-packaged foods in New York stores; that was followed by a disappointing third quarter earnings report. Whole Foods’ share price is down by more than 10 percent for the year.