Whole Foods Tries, and Fails, to Get Down With the People

A Whole Foods shopper seeks perfect produce.
A Whole Foods shopper seeks perfect produce. Photo: Getty Images

We know it, you know it, every customer from Austin to the Bowery knows it: Whole Foods is the official food source of the haute bourgeoisie, the official residence of yuppie food. But, like Mike Dukakis perching atop his tank, blue-state America’s go-to grocery is trying to resist. And failing. Just consider the twin articles that came out in this morning’s Daily News and Sun. In the first, Whole Foods tries to combat its “whole paycheck” image through a series of guided “value tours” that lead bargain hunters for thrifty finds amidst the Anson Mills grits, grass-fed beef, and blue-corn tortilla chips. Good enough, but turn to the Sun, and what do you find? The rollout of an experimental “rock-sugar bar,” with crystals including turbinado, coffee sugar, mint sugar (“large blue crystals that resemble dusty sapphires”), and many others fulfilling the chain’s “core values…to satisfy and delight our customers,” according to Whole Food executive Kara Rubin. That’s exactly what we want out of a grocery store.

Whole Foods Tries to Shake ‘Whole Paycheck’ Image With Free Value Tours [NYDN]
A Sweet Rock Experiment [NYS]