Pret-a-Reporter

Whole Foods L.A. Explains "Asparagus Water" Controversy: It Was Supposed to Be "Bone Broth"

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A Brentwood store passed off bottles of water containing raw stalks of the veggie for $5.99.

Attention, body-conscious Angelenos: A new health drink has recently stormed the market. But if you're looking for Whole Foods' "asparagus water," you're already out of luck: The grocery chain has yanked the controversial product.

The Brentwood store has been lining its shelves in recent days with the stuff — bottles of water, each containing three raw asparagus stems — priced at $5.99 a pop. The strange offering was spotted and snapped by Los Angeles magazine associate editor Marielle Wakim and shared on Instagram.

Eater then contacted the store to ask about the product, producing "some bewilderment," the food site writes. "The operator at first denied the product existed. Eventually she transferred the call to a gentleman in the produce department ... He explained that the product was new. 'We've had them on the shelf for the last few days.' "

Contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, a representative for Whole Foods' Los Angeles region explains: "There's been some miscommunication around this product. It was meant to be water with the essence of vegetables and/or mushrooms to be used as broth (similar to a bone broth), which are typically made over a long period of time soaking in water."

"The product was made incorrectly and has since been removed from the one store, Brentwood, where it was carried," the rep continues. "We would love your help clarifying that this product is not available and was removed from the Brentwood store as soon as this issue was brought to our attention."

The Austin, Texas-based company is currently in the midst of a rebranding campaign — an attempt to move away from its image as an overpriced grocer that caters exclusively to organic-obsessed urbanites and the "whole paycheck" jokes that come along with it. 

But in July of this year, the company was forced to apologize after an investigation by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that 89 percent of Whole Foods' prepackaged foods were sold to consumers at the wrong price.

 

Somewhere in L.A., Whole Foods executives are laughing at all of us.

A photo posted by Marielle Wakim (@marielle.m.n.o.p) on

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