Whole Foods Backpedals Over Ramadan, But Stops Short of Canceling It


Whole Foods would like everybody to know that, contrary to what its internal company email says, it is not capitulating to a small but loudmouthed band of racist xenophobes who demanded the grocery store not promote Ramadan.

Earlier this week, The Houston Press‘s Eating Our Words blog obtained an email the company sent to its stores across the U.S. that said, in part, “We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered ‘Celebrating or promoting’ Ramadan.” The memo was apparently sent in response to pressure from right-wing bloggers, who attacked the chain’s Ramadan marketing campaign, which included the promotion of a Halal product line.

This, of course, created a veritable shitstorm for Whole Foods, which wasted no time in getting itself on Twitter to state that it’s “still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month.” In a statement sent to Eating Our Words, the company claimed it “never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs at all.” The memo was apparently sent to one of its “12 different operating regions” and was not representative of Whole Foods HQ, which is “excited to be offering high quality halal products.” Whether Muslims will be excited to patronize certain regional Whole Foods locations is, of course, a different story.