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Old 01-23-2020, 10:10 AM
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Whole Foods discontinuing whole wheat pasta


Now that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods, I've noticed some changes in what they sell in the store (for example, there's a smaller cheese selection). The latest is, they have discontinued selling whole-wheat elbow pasta. I asked a stock person and they said it had been a big seller but it's being discontinued. Yesterday, the only whole-wheat pasta they had was penne, and it looks like they're trying to get rid of it. However, they DO have a huge range of gluten-free pasta made from everything under the sun -- chickpeas, beets, etc. Fine, sell the gluten-free pasta, people need it! But don't stop selling a basic item like whole-wheat pasta!
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:55 AM
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Your store may have decided to stop carrying it, but Whole Foods is still selling many varieties of whole wheat pasta. I see it online, both their in house brand and other brands, and it's still sold in my local store.

ETA: Oops, they still sell whole wheat penne, but I don't see elbows listed.

Last edited by Telemark; 01-23-2020 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:54 AM
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Since Amazon bought Whole Foods, I almost feel like I'm shopping at Walmart when I go there. People are restocking during shopping hours, which wasn't the case before the purchase. The meat case is still empty at 8:00 when they open, and I have to ask someone to go in the back and find me some burger or pork chops when I shop early. They've cut way back on many high-end items they used to carry, in every department, and subbed in a lot more medium-quality store brand stuff.

I still like Whole Foods, but there are a whole lot more reasons not to shop there anymore.

ETA: and the workers all look unhappy and ground-down nowadays, too.

Last edited by teela brown; 01-23-2020 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:05 PM
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To add to teela's post, the selection of grass-fed beef is almost non-existent now.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:09 PM
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To add to teela's post, the selection of grass-fed beef is almost non-existent now.
I wonder if that's a store thing, because I've got two WF near me and they both carry a good selection of grass fed and organic grass fed meats. Worth a chat with the store manager maybe?
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
Now that Amazon has purchased Whole Foods, I've noticed some changes in what they sell in the store (for example, there's a smaller cheese selection). The latest is, they have discontinued selling whole-wheat elbow pasta. I asked a stock person and they said it had been a big seller but it's being discontinued. Yesterday, the only whole-wheat pasta they had was penne, and it looks like they're trying to get rid of it. However, they DO have a huge range of gluten-free pasta made from everything under the sun -- chickpeas, beets, etc. Fine, sell the gluten-free pasta, people need it! But don't stop selling a basic item like whole-wheat pasta!
You can buy it from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Barilla-Whole...y%2C196&sr=1-1
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:32 PM
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THat link shows Barilla elbows, not the store brand 365 elbows. Our store does not have either.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
THat link shows Barilla elbows, not the store brand 365 elbows. Our store does not have either.
these?

https://www.amazon.com/365-Everyday-...s%2C201&sr=1-3
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:48 PM
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Oh, have you asked the store manager if you could special order them?
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:56 PM
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Don't want to rummage online for nutritional info right this minute - what is the carb:fiber:calorie count of each? See one main reason for whole wheat pasta is purportedly the coarser content, it purportedly has better fiber content than standard past from durham semolina. If the Fiber content of chickpea [just as a random grab] is just as good or better than the fiber content of whole wheat pasta, the theoretic glycemic index maintains the advantage of switching to chickpea over whole wheat. If it is an allergy or taste issue, what about one of the alternate gluten free pastas?

I am relatively neutral about my pasta as long as it is not overwhelmingly not to my taste, it serves as a sauce and cheese transport system. [Not sure which nongluten pasta it was, but I would recognize it if I saw it again - it smelled like musty sweat socks, I couldn't even make myself taste it. ]
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:12 PM
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No, those are not whole wheat.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
That's not whole wheat elbows.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:14 PM
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My point is not that I am unable to find whole-wheat elbows ANYWHERE, or that whole wheat is superior to chickpea, etc. My point is that it is a common staple food that Whole Foods is discontinuing.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
My point is that it is a common staple food that Whole Foods is discontinuing.
I can think of a couple of reasonable explanations for it, if the product is actually being discontinued:
1) Despite what the stockperson at your Whole Foods told you, the item isn't really a "a big seller" -- in other words, it may not be the "common staple food" that you believe it is
2) The item may have sold well at your Whole Foods location, but didn't sell well nationally
3) If Whole Foods buys that item from a third-party manufacturer (rather than having it produced solely for Whole Foods), that manufacturer may have discontinued making the item
4) The manufacturer may not have been able to reliably meet Whole Foods' orders, and Whole Foods chose to discontinue the item rather than have it be out of stock regularly
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
Don't want to rummage online for nutritional info right this minute - what is the carb:fiber:calorie count of each? See one main reason for whole wheat pasta is purportedly the coarser content, it purportedly has better fiber content than standard past from durham semolina. If the Fiber content of chickpea [just as a random grab] is just as good or better than the fiber content of whole wheat pasta, the theoretic glycemic index maintains the advantage of switching to chickpea over whole wheat. If it is an allergy or taste issue, what about one of the alternate gluten free pastas?

I am relatively neutral about my pasta as long as it is not overwhelmingly not to my taste, it serves as a sauce and cheese transport system. [Not sure which nongluten pasta it was, but I would recognize it if I saw it again - it smelled like musty sweat socks, I couldn't even make myself taste it. ]
Gluten is like a structural component. It's like a stretchy glue. Foods without gluten may not be as durable or may be harder to cook. That's typically the case with gluten free pasta. They have to add a lot of things to it so that it holds together, and those things can make it sticky. It's harder to boil since it wants to clump together and it may fuse into a blob if you let it sit too long when it's drained. It's not as forgiving as traditional gluten-based pastas. There is also a lot of variation in gluten-free pasta based on what they put in it and what process they use to make it. Normal pasta is all pretty much the same, but you may need to do a lot of experimenting with various gluten-free pastas to fine one that meets your needs.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:18 PM
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I wonder if that's a store thing, because I've got two WF near me and they both carry a good selection of grass fed and organic grass fed meats. Worth a chat with the store manager maybe?
Heck, Aldi's in my area carries grass-fed beef... I'd ask about that. EVERY store in my area carries it, I can't imagine Whole Foods giving up on it. It's not like I'm in some snazzy high-end city, either, I'm in the outer 'burbs bordering on farmland where the two main food groups are grease and white bread.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:23 AM
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My wife and I have been changing to a mostly plant and whole grain diet. Just this morning she remembered the first time we went into a Whole Foods - at least 20 years ago. It was beautiful (and EXPENSIVE!) with gorgeous piles of produce.

Today's Whole Foods bear no resemblance to that. Far more processed foods.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I can think of a couple of reasonable explanations for it, if the product is actually being discontinued:
1) Despite what the stockperson at your Whole Foods told you, the item isn't really a "a big seller" -- in other words, it may not be the "common staple food" that you believe it is
2) The item may have sold well at your Whole Foods location, but didn't sell well nationally
3) If Whole Foods buys that item from a third-party manufacturer (rather than having it produced solely for Whole Foods), that manufacturer may have discontinued making the item
4) The manufacturer may not have been able to reliably meet Whole Foods' orders, and Whole Foods chose to discontinue the item rather than have it be out of stock regularly
5) Newer products in the pasta aisle such as lentil, chick pea, and zucchini pastas are competing for the same market and driving out some more traditional (whole wheat) varieties.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:02 AM
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My wife and I have been changing to a mostly plant and whole grain diet. Just this morning she remembered the first time we went into a Whole Foods - at least 20 years ago. It was beautiful (and EXPENSIVE!) with gorgeous piles of produce.

Today's Whole Foods bear no resemblance to that. Far more processed foods.
I don't buy a lot at Whole Paycheck (a few special holiday items for the most part), but on a visit this past Xmas to the nearest location I saw loads of produce (unlike their other offerings, not much more expensive than at the Giant Predatory Bird and Kroger).

I didn't check for whole wheat pasta. We're mostly Barilla traditionalists.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 01-24-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
My wife and I have been changing to a mostly plant and whole grain diet. Just this morning she remembered the first time we went into a Whole Foods - at least 20 years ago. It was beautiful (and EXPENSIVE!) with gorgeous piles of produce.

Today's Whole Foods bear no resemblance to that. Far more processed foods.
I remember that too. The first time I went into a Whole Foods was also probably about 20 years ago, and it took my breath away. All those beautiful fruits and vegetables in a dazzling array, piled nearly to the ceiling. Enormous bins of exotic legumes and spices. Puts the old horn of plenty to shame! Now I find myself elbowing past fourteen pairs of Lululemon legs in the essential oils aisle to get to the vegan chipotle mayo I like, only to find they don't carry it anymore. The whole exercise leaves me feeling stressed out and somehow dirty. Now that mainstream grocery stores like Ralph's and Albertson's carry a wider range of vegan and "ethnic" foods, I usually just shop there.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:10 AM
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5) Newer products in the pasta aisle such as lentil, chick pea, and zucchini pastas are competing for the same market and driving out some more traditional (whole wheat) varieties.
Also likely true, though if the OP's whole-wheat elbow elbow was, indeed, a "big seller," it's less likely that that item would be one that would get de-listed.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:21 AM
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My Amazon-bought-Whole-Foods gripe: I used to prefer Whole Foods to other grocery stores because the shoppers there tended to be more polite. If I went to other local grocery stores, there were the obnoxious people stopping in the middle of an aisle, or blocking an aisle, or cutting you off, with no "excuse me" or apology. Whole Foods shoppers tended to be more conscientious of their surroundings. Once Amazon bought Whole Foods, the shoppers are still polite, but the people working for Amazon (I forget what they're called, but it's Amazon's home delivery service) are rushing around like assholes, darting in front of you and cutting you off and being generally unpleasant.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:04 PM
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ETA: and the workers all look unhappy and ground-down nowadays, too.
I've noticed this as well. I rarely shop there since the Amazon takeover.

The
  • apparent employee unhappiness
  • excessive proliferation of PRIME DISCOUNT! shelf tags
  • their dropping my favorite milk
  • their reduced cheese department
  • the mediocrity of my local store's hot bar (not Amazon's fault - that particular hot bar sucked before Amazon bought WF)
are all things that diminish my enjoyment of shopping there.

Combine all those with my simmering resentment over their acquisition of Bread & Circus* and their treatment of Johnnie's employees and I'm unlikely to shop there much.
I rarely think "I'll go to Whole Foods" anymore when I need something, so it's possible I'll stop shopping their altogether.

*I'm only half joking. I can't believe I'm old enough to be harboring a 25-year-old grudge. Don't get me started on Starbucks and Coffee Connection
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:42 PM
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Yep on the produce comments. Yes, they still have lots of produce, but bins which used to contain a wide variety of interesting vegies which were hard to find elsewhere, now contain: lettuce, carrots and celery.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:11 PM
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Gluten is like a structural component. It's like a stretchy glue. Foods without gluten may not be as durable or may be harder to cook. That's typically the case with gluten free pasta. They have to add a lot of things to it so that it holds together, and those things can make it sticky. It's harder to boil since it wants to clump together and it may fuse into a blob if you let it sit too long when it's drained. It's not as forgiving as traditional gluten-based pastas. There is also a lot of variation in gluten-free pasta based on what they put in it and what process they use to make it. Normal pasta is all pretty much the same, but you may need to do a lot of experimenting with various gluten-free pastas to fine one that meets your needs.
I am well aware of what gluten happens to be, I have had a nutritionists consult at least every 2 years since about 1988, and thankfully celiac/gluten intolerance is nothing I have ever had to worry about [well, only in the sense of overworking dough and making it tough ...]

I just didn't feel like rummaging around online for information that isn't really of any need right now. THere is a discussion of gluten at least once a year on the dope =)
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:36 PM
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I can think of a couple of reasonable explanations for it, if the product is actually being discontinued:
I can think of another. Shelf space is at a premium in grocery stores. There is always pressure in how much space, if any, is dedicated to a product. Whole wheat pasta IME is at pretty much every large grocery store I have been in for years. The major places I go to have store brands not just name brands. It is pretty cheap and I would assume has typical grocery store razor thin profit margins. Gluten free may have higher profit margins and typically is priced higher to begin with. It could well be possible that a relatively cheap low margin product doesn't make a lot of money for the store even if they sell a lot of it.

The store might be able to make more money per square inch of shelf space by discontinuing even a relatively popular product.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:54 PM
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I can think of another. Shelf space is at a premium in grocery stores. There is always pressure in how much space, if any, is dedicated to a product. Whole wheat pasta IME is at pretty much every large grocery store I have been in for years. The major places I go to have store brands not just name brands. It is pretty cheap and I would assume has typical grocery store razor thin profit margins. Gluten free may have higher profit margins and typically is priced higher to begin with. It could well be possible that a relatively cheap low margin product doesn't make a lot of money for the store even if they sell a lot of it.

The store might be able to make more money per square inch of shelf space by discontinuing even a relatively popular product.
That's a good point, too -- if whole-wheat pasta has become generally available at "regular" grocery stores, there may be less incentive for Whole Foods (which tends to specialize in the more niche-y stuff) to carry it. "Want whole wheat pasta? You can go to Kroger. We got your chickpea pasta now."
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:04 PM
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This might be related:
https://thetakeout.com/whole-foods-g...ves-1841262469
Quote:
Whole Foods says that its supplier of beans, grains, lentils, and rice has suddenly shuttered, and it might take the store months to find a new supplier.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:14 PM
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We all have different shopping tastes and therefore different gripes. The thing that got me is the sandwiches. The quality and quantity of items you have add to the sandwich has declined. For example brie used to be one of the cheese choices. And they had realy good friend chicken slices before.

I have asked a few employees how the Amazon takeover affected them and they all say that it is not nearly as nice to work there.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:19 PM
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Yep on the produce comments. Yes, they still have lots of produce, but bins which used to contain a wide variety of interesting vegies which were hard to find elsewhere, now contain: lettuce, carrots and celery.
That is dissappointing. I never shopped at Whole Foods much, but I sometimes would go there if I needed some specialty ingredient that I couldn't find elsewhere. It sounds like they're not as useful for that sort of thing anymore.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:09 PM
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To add to teela's post, the selection of grass-fed beef is almost non-existent now.
Yikes! Glad my co-op carries it. Yes, spendy but so much tastier!
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