Whole Foods Market(R) Takes Crack at 'Cheesy' Guinness World Record(TM); First-Ever Attempt Makes Cheese History

Stores Successfully Cracked Open Hundreds of Wheels of Aged Parmigiano

Reggiano(R); Set the Record Straight with 'Crack Heard Around the World'


Apr 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Whole Foods Market

    AUSTIN, Texas, April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whole Foods Market
 (Nasdaq:   WFMI), the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket,
 announced today that Guinness World Records has confirmed the Company has
 set a record for "Most Parmigiano Reggiano Wheels Cracked Simultaneously"
 to honor the tradition and celebration of the beloved cheese. The
 successful record achievement was attempted at hundreds of the Company's
 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and was a first-ever attempt.
     "This company-wide event represented Whole Foods Market's passion for
 Parmigiano Reggiano and it was a fabulous celebration of a true
 hand-crafted work of art," said Cathy Strange, Global Cheese Buyer for
 Whole Foods Market. "It was a sight to behold as our cheesemongers 'broke
 open happiness' and shared this crown jewel of cheeses with our guests. We
 are thrilled that Whole Foods Market has made its mark in the Guinness Book
 of World Records."
     Saturday, April 12th at 3 p.m. EDT was the official start time for the
 "cracking open" event. Whole Foods Market cheesemongers across the Company
 demonstrated the traditional method of breaking into 24-month-aged wheels
 of Parmigiano Reggiano using the five official knives from Italy's
 Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano. Nearly 300 wheels were opened
 at 3 p.m. EDT with official recordings coming in from 176 stores.
     "Guinness World Records is pleased to be a part of this exciting day,"
 said Laura Plunkett, Marketing Director for Guinness World Records Book.
 "Getting all of the stores together to set the record for the 'Most
 Parmigiano Wheels Cracked Simultaneously' is no easy feat. We applaud Whole
 Foods Market's success."
     Shoppers turned out in droves to witness the Company's attempt, and
 stores did not disappoint. For many, it was not enough to simply
 demonstrate the traditional method of breaking into 24-month-aged wheels of
 Parmigiano Reggiano in which the entire process of carving into and
 portioning each 85-pound wheel can take up to a half an hour. Some stores
 had fun with the occasion and held competitive "crack offs" to see how fast
 they could properly open up a wheel and some Team Members performed the
 task in under two minutes. Other locations offered wine and culinary
 pairings such as honey-drizzled pears, truffled eggs, and Chianti with dark
 fruit aromas that made mouths water. All enjoyed samples of the rich cheese
 that is aged two full years to bring out the desirable "pleasant fireworks"
 or unique, crunchy protein crystals.
     Further information, event photos, and a video with a Whole Foods
 Market Team Member demonstrating the art of cracking open a wheel of
 Parmigiano Reggiano can be found at
     About Whole Foods Market
     Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market
 (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com) is the world's leading natural and
 organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic
 grocer. In fiscal year 2007, the company had sales of $6.6 billion and
 currently has more than 270 stores in the United States, Canada, and the
 United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People,
 Whole Planet"(TM) captures the company's mission to find success in
 customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness,
 enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental
 improvement. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild(TM), and Harry's Farmers
 Market(R) are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats(R)
 and Capers Community Market(TM) are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc.
 Whole Foods Market employs more than 53,000 Team Members and has been
 ranked for 11 consecutive years as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work
 For" in America by FORTUNE magazine.
     About Guinness World Records
     Guinness World Records is the universally recognized authority on
 record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness
 World Records book is published in more than 100 countries and 20 languages
 and is one of the highest-selling books under copyright of all time with
 more than 3 million copies sold annually across the globe. Guinness World
 Records celebrated its 50th anniversary edition in 2004, a year after the
 sale of its 100 millionth copy. The Guinness World Records website
 (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com) receives more than 11 million
 visitors a year. Guinness World Records is published by HIT Entertainment
 Limited, a fully integrated global studio with divisions in the U.K., U.S.,
 Canada and Japan, including broadcast production and distribution, video
 and audio sales, consumer products licensing and marketing.
     Contact: Ashley Hawkins, Whole Foods Market
     (512) 542-0381 ashley.hawkins@wholefoods.com

SOURCE Whole Foods Market