Let’s talk about Whole Foods’ crazy prices

If you’ve ever shopped at a Whole Foods, you’ve no doubt heard the “Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck” joke. You know, you spend your WHOLE paycheck to shop at Whole Foods? Get it? (#Sorrynotsorry.)

But seriously folks: if you’re splurging on a lunchtime salad bar binge you’ve made peace with those high prices. The reason to spend more money is to GET more quality. You go for the indulgence. You’re prepped for the splurge.

As it turns out, though, another possible reason Whole Foods is expensive is because they might be overcharging their customers. Not overcharging like “Grapes shouldn’t cost THAT much,” overcharging like the grocery store has possibly been illegally charging more than the labeled prices.

As NBC News reports,  New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) revealed this week that their ongoing investigation has found that Whole Foods is guilty of overcharging their customers for prepackaged food.

“The overcharges ranged from [80 cents] for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp,” the DCA said in a statement.

Did you just make a weird choking sound in the back of your throat? Solidarity, sister, I just did that, too. $14.84 is a LOT to overcharge, those coconut shrimp better have been Michelin-star quality coconut shrimp to justify that kind of secret price bump.

Just in case you’re wondering if this is normal-ish behavior for a store like Whole Foods, the DCA assures us it most certainly is not.

“Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers,” DCA Commissioner Julie Menin declared in a statement.

The DCA has informed the public that all 80 of the package types they tested had mislabeled weights and a solid 89% of the tested packages exceeded the federal standard for the maximum amount a product can deviate from the real weight.

Whole Foods is not taking this report lying down. The store claims that the DCA has not “provided evidence to back up their demands” but have instead “taken this to the media to coerce us.”

So while Whole Foods and the DCA are getting this mess sorted out, let’s just acknowledge that whether or not we actually are getting overcharged at our fave fancy market, we definitely drop bank every time we walk through that Whole Foods checkout line. Spend the money you want to spend where you want to spend it, just be aware that if you’re shopping at WF, you might be overspending even more than you thought you were. And if you’re cool with that, cool, cool, and if not, there are plenty of other grocery stores in the sea. That salad bar, tho.

(Image via iStock)

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