Sometimes in this life, fortune favors the bold. Whole Foods went all in on that philosophy and took a swing for the fences by applying to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rebrand their stores as, “The World’s Healthiest Grocery Store.”
The U.S. Patent Office wasn’t having any of that, though. The agency called shenanigans on Whole Foods and denied the request, calling their pet phrase “merely descriptive.” They also cited precedent, calling the slogan “puffing.” That’s where a business is just wallowing in “self-laudatory” behavior according to the organization. Basically, trademarking “world’s healthiest grocery store” is the same as trademarking “world’s best coffee” — it’s impossible to say for certain.
Obviously, “world’s healthiest” was going to be tough to prove for a grocer. They have kale, but they also have all those artisanal salamis. Are those healthy? You can get all the ingredients to fry up a double bacon cheeseburger at any Whole Foods. While mouth-watering and delicious, that meal isn’t going to beat a kale smoothie from rival Trader Joe’s on the health scale.
It’s worth mentioning that we live in a world where the benefits of organic versus non-organic ingredients are still contentious amongst the scientific community. So this time around, Whole Foods was a little too bold and (not too surprisingly) they got called out for it.
(Via Grub Street)