Monday, December 28, 2015

Abigail Lootens / Katyusca Abreu
Department of Consumer Affairs  
(212) 436-0042

Department of Consumer Affairs Enters into Settlement Agreement with Whole Foods

Whole Foods to Pay $500,000 and Adhere to Strict Preventive and Corrective Standards to Protect New Yorkers from Being Overcharged

Agreement Settles Investigation into the Company’s Overcharging for Pre-Packaged Foods

NEW YORK, NY—Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin today announced a settlement agreement with Whole Foods. The agreement, which settles DCA’s investigation into the supermarket’s mislabeling of pre-packaged products, requires Whole Foods to:

  • pay $500,000;
  • conduct quarterly in-store audits of at least 50 products from 10 different departments at all New York City stores to help ensure products are accurately weighed and labeled, and to correct all inaccuracies;
  • in the event that DCA inspectors identify mislabeled pre-packaged foods at a Whole Foods Store, that store must immediately remove all mislabeled products and, within 15 days, Whole Foods must check the accuracy of that product’s pricing, as well as 20 additional products from the same department, at all New York City stores;
  • implement and enforce policies and procedures that require employees not estimate the weight of a package but rather individually weigh each package and only label the package with a label that is based on the weight of the actual contents; and,
  • conduct trainings for all New York City employees who are involved in weighing and labeling products.

“After discovering the troubling and repeated mislabeling of pre-packaged goods at Whole Foods last year, we are happy to have reached an agreement with Whole Foods that will help to ensure New Yorkers are better protected from overcharging,” said DCA Commissioner Julie Menin. “Whether it’s a bodega in the Bronx or a national grocery store in Manhattan, we believe every business needs to treat its customers fairly and, with this agreement, we hope Whole Foods will deliver on its promise to its customers to correct their mistakes. DCA will also continue its vigilance in making sure New Yorkers are protected every time they check out at the grocery.”

DCA regularly inspects all of the city’s supermarkets for labeling, scanner and scale accuracy, and pricing. This settlement agreement resolves DCA’s investigation of the labeling of pre-packaged products in the company’s New York City stores, which DCA originally announced in June 2015.

For tips on shopping at the supermarket (en español) or to file a complaint about a supermarket, visit or call 311.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses, inspects, and educates businesses, assists and informs consumers, mediates complaints, and offers free financial counseling and safe banking products. DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law, the Paid Sick Leave Law and other related business laws throughout New York City and licenses nearly 80,000 businesses in 55 different industries. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.