BRENTWOOD—Whole Foods representatives have responded to harsh criticism of their ‘Asparagus Water’ by claiming that “the product was made incorrectly.”
The product in question was a bottle of water with three stalks of raw asparagus floating inside. A 16-ounce bottle of this aptly named ‘Asparagus Water’ cost $5.99.
Moments after the image of a shelf of this asparagus water hit the internet, a storm of criticism emerged.
Vox writer Sarah Kliff tweeted, “Go home Whole Foods, you’re drunk.”
“Asparagus water, ASPARAGUS WATER!!! Explain yourself Whole Foods??? They’ll be selling invisible clothes made of the finest silk in the land soon,” Paul Wilson, bass player for Snow Patrol, wrote on Instagram.
Lead writer for Inside the Pylon, Mark Schofield, was even more emphatic. “If any of you ever catch me buying a $6 bottle of “asparagus water” at Whole Foods – or anywhere – you are free to punch me on sight,” he tweeted.
Marielle Wakim, associate editor at Los Angeles Magazine, started the social media frenzy when she posted a picture of the product on her Instagram with the caption “Somewhere in L.A., Whole Foods executives are laughing at all of us.”
There was some confusion in Whole Foods management about the product. When reached for comment, an unnamed employee in the Brentwood Whole Foods produce department (where the item in question was photographed) told Eater, “We’ve had them on the shelf for the last few days. … It’s to drink. The nutrients from the asparagus do transfer into the water.”
In a statement distributed to news sources that had initially commented on the furor, Senior Media Relations Specialist Liz Burkhart said, “It was meant to be water with the essence of vegetables and/or mushrooms to be used as a broth (similar to a bone broth), which are typically made over a long period of time soaking in water.”
The product has since been removed from shelves at the Brentwood store. As of print, no one has publically admitted to buying the water while it was still available.