Whole Foods Market, the expensive grocery haven of yuppies and psuedo-earthy types (okay, and some real earthy types too), always acknowledges customers who celebrate Christmas, Passover, Hanukkah and Ramadan. The latter will not be getting its own special shout-out from the retailer this year after they faced a tiny backlash from anti-Muslim groups. Le sigh.
The company’s blog featured a post last week introducing Saffron Road, its new brand of Halal frozen foods, titled “What is This Halal About?”; shortly thereafter, an internal email obtained by the Houston Press reveals that the company “generated some negative feedback from a small segment of vocal and angry consumers and bloggers, including this particularly loony woman.
The email states “It is probably best that we don’t specifically call out or ‘promote’ Ramadan,” reads a portion of that email. “We should not highlight Ramadan in signage in our stores as that could be considered ‘Celebrating or promoting’ Ramadan.”
In the past, Whole Foods has spotlighted its Halal selection using the crescent moon symbol of Islam (which isn’t quite the same as having signage and seasonal food items that specifically promote Easter, Christmas and the Jewish High Holidays). The Saffron Road promotion would have made the retailer the first US supermarket chain to promote Ramadan, a fact the company touted less than two weeks ago.