Fact check: Sign about ‘gendered language’ is from Australian student café, not U.S. grocery chain Whole Foods Market

Social media users have been sharing a sign online that asks customers not to use gendered language, suggesting that this sign was posted by U.S. supermarket chain Whole Foods Market. The sign, however, comes from Monash Wholefoods, which describes itself as a student-run vegan and vegetarian cafe in Australia, and is not related to the U.S. grocery chain.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen here and here . One post’s description reads: “Another reason not to shop at Whole Foods!”

The sign reads: “Wholefoods asks that you don’t use gendered language when talking to customers and servers. ‘Thanks brother’, ‘hello ladies,’ ‘hello sir’ are examples of gendered language and is harmful to trans and non-binary folk. Use non-gendered language instead. Them/they people/person folks.”

The sign was posted on the Facebook page of the student cafe Monash Wholefoods here on Sept. 5, 2016. The café is located on the Monash University campus in Clayton, Australia (here).

The cafe confirmed to Reuters this was their sign, first posted in 2016.

Whole Foods Market confirmed to Reuters via email that the sign was not posted in any of its stores.

Fact checker Snopes debunked the claim in 2016, here .


False. The sign was posted by a campus restaurant located in Australia, not Whole Foods Market.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

Update Feb. 25, 2021: Adding statement from Monash Wholefoods to paragraph four.