It was a dark and stormy morning at Consumerist HQ, when we received a troubling missive: One of our readers was outraged to find that Whole Food was charging $1 more for a coconut that comes with a straw than those without. We weren’t sure what we would find, but we knew we had to crack this case — one way or another.
Consumerist reader Chris emailed us a photo he took at an Oakland, CA, Whole Foods store that shows what he believed was an outrageous surcharge for a straw, noting that it was funny, “as it seems these are the same brand of straws that are free at the door.”
As it turns out, according to a Whole Foods spokesperson, the pricier coconuts on the right don’t cost more because of the straw, but because those coconuts have already been cracked open by Whole Foods employees and are ready-to-drink. Essentially, you’re paying $1 more for the labor, and not for the free straw.
If you buy the $3.99 coconuts, you’d better have a sharp object like a machete handy* if you want to drink from it immediately after leaving the store. We do not recommend carrying around a machete.
*Editor’s note: We were thisclose to using “The Whole Foods Coconut Mystery, or How to Save $1 By Carrying A Machete” as a headline, but decided against it in the end so as not to encourage machete-carrying.