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Bethenny Frankel's Drink Dropped By Whole Foods

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arikarora View Drop Down

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    Posted: September 05 2011 at 6:55am
Bethenny Frankel made a fortune off of her low-calorie, "all natural" Skinnygirl margarita line, but Whole Foods isn't buying it anymore. As in, the retailer literally stopped purchasing the beverage this week and claims it's because the product isn't actually chemical-free.

The diet margarita contains "extremely low levels" of a food preservative called sodium benzoate, claims Beam Global, the company that bought the line of cooktails from the ex-reality star for a cool $120 million back in March.
And though there's just a teeny-tiny bit of it, the failure to disclose the chemical caused Whole Foods to yank the product from the shelves. A rep for the store said in a statement that the preservative "does not meet our quality standards."

So why is this trace preservative such a big deal? Well, for one, the Skinnygirl website claims the product has "all natural ingredients, no preservatives or artificial colors" and is the "margarita you can trust." And, sodium benzoate is a potentially carcinogenic preservative if mixed with Vitamin C.

But before anyone goes firing off a scary PSA about Skinnygirl products, note that sodium benzoate is a "very common" preservative and you'd have to devour "a huge amount of it" in order to hit toxic levels, according to the drink's rep. Worth mentioning: The same preservative is found in products like salad dressing and soft drinks. It's also a main ingredient in fireworks...
Despite the possible health risks, the former Real Housewives of New York City star defends the drinks and claims they're as close as you can get to a completely natural product.

"Skinnygirl cooktails were created to solve a problem: to create a line of guilt-free cooktails allowing women to drink the indulgent drinks they actually want to drink with as few ingredients as possible," she said (via E! Online) "I'm not making wheatgrass here.
If I could put an agave plant and some limes on a shelf I would. [The Skinnygirl Margarita] is as close to nature as possible, while still being a shelf-stable product."

The former reality star also says only a few Whole Foods stores carried the beverage and it was actually her decision to discontinue the business relationship with the retailer.

She added: "With all due respect to Whole Foods, we were in a dozen of their stores and have decided not to continue in these stores," the reality star said.
"They represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We are, in fact, the fastest growing spirits brand in the U.S. We were bound to piss someone off and everyone loves to try to tear down a success. This is a non-event. I haven't lost even a wink of sleep."
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