If John Mackey didn't know who Gerald Ratner is a week ago, he probably does now: Whole Foods' American boss invited comparisons with Ratner, who once described his firm's jewellry as 'total crap', by saying that his organic superstore "sells junk". He didn't mean that there's brown sugar among the brown sugar, but was referring to the predominance of fatty delicacies at the Kensington store undermining his avowed mission to bring a "nutritious food revolution" to London. We'll cut him some slack on the sharp appraisal of his business, even if it does sound like a gear-shifting attempt to cloud the £35.9 million operating losses they recorded last year. Instead, Mackey promised a healthy eating campaign in the autumn, bringing in nutrition experts from the USA (currently a world leader in obesity) and banishing the smorgasbord of meringues, eclairs, macaroons and cream horns that currently greet grazing visitors. Whether this will help his company's bottom line is another matter: as the mothers who fed their children chips through the school gates show, Brits don't take too kindly to their presumed superiors lecturing them about what to eat.
Last Updated 06 August 2009