^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Whole Foods vs. Ramadan: The Original Email

Since our post yesterday on Whole Foods's reluctance to promote Ramadan this year after a few customer and blogger complaints, the story unexpectedly went viral.

Saffron Roads CEO Adnan Durrani called the post "a tempest in a teapot" when interviewed by CNN. And NPR reported: "Looking to set the record straight, the Whole Foods grocery chain says it is 'still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month.'"

That's roughly the same thing that Whole Foods has been saying across the Internet for the past 12 hours or so, and the same thing that Whole Foods PR representative Kate Lowery left in our comments section yesterday.

But it's also the same language that was in the original email, sans a few pertinent points. Nevertheless, Kate Lowery emailed the Houston Press this morning with the following request: "Would you like to include the entire sentence from our Q&A to ensure your readers get the accurate truth? I'm happy to share our entire Q&A with you so you understand that we are promoting halal foods during the special time Ramadan, not specifically promoting Ramadan itself. Again, it's business as usual and we are continuing our promotion."

So at the risk of seeming as if we're attempting to distort what was originally said, two screenshots of the original email are posted below.

The italicized portion of the email was appended by one particular region, as we have now learned: the Southwest Region, which covers Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. But the remainder of the email was sent out from Whole Foods's corporate office to its marketing teams.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Again, it's easy to see that this started out as an entirely positive promotion that stumbled along the way. And it's not as if this is a marketing disaster of epic proportions: It could be much, much worse.

Instead, it's a cautionary tale about letting a small minority dictate your actions, and failing to have the courage of your prior convictions.


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.