The Reason People Were Furious About Whole Foods' Asparagus Water

Whole Foods is rather popular as a shopping destination. According to Mental Floss, the brand was first founded in Austin, Texas by two entrepreneurs, John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, back in 1978. They bought a house they could use as a workspace, turning the first floor into a sales area. They found themselves homing from work because they had been evicted from their apartment, forcing them to sleep on the third floor of their store, which doubled as an office. The company has come really far since its inception. It now has more than 500 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and is billed as the biggest natural foods grocery chain in the world (via Vault)

Whole Foods shoppers can browse through an array of organic, vegan, and gluten-free products, among other options. It all seems perfect for health-conscious consumers. However, despite its solid reputation, the brand hasn't managed to escape controversies. Back in 2015, an uproar involving asparagus water was particularly interesting. Here's what you need to know about the unusual product that received plenty of criticism.

The product was seen as way overpriced

The controversy started when an Instagram user put up a post with a picture of bottled water with asparagus spears inside them. How much did these bottles cost, you ask? A whopping $5.99. This, of course, didn't go down well with shoppers, who took issue with the product immediately. A commenter on the post wrote, "It's probably not even 16oz of water." Well, Whole Foods knew this wasn't a good look for the brand and ended up taking the bottles off its shelves.

In a statement that was issued to CBS News, the company claimed the product wasn't manufactured correctly. "We actually don't sell asparagus water in our was meant to be water with the essence of vegetables and/or mushrooms (similar to bone broth), which is typically made over a long period of time soaking in water," a media relations specialist from Whole Foods explained. Phew. A Twitter user probably summed up a lot of people's feelings about the product by writing, "I may be restless but at least I'm not buy-a-$6-bottle-of-whole-foods-asparagus-water restless."