Bethenny Frankel’s Cocktail Line Pulled From Stores

Bethenny Frankel, Real Housewives regular and entrepreneur, is also the creator and founder of the abhorrently-named “Skinnygirl” line of cocktails.

Odious not just because they conjure up images of starving and consuming alcohol instead, Frankel’s Skinnygirl line has been- according to high-end supermarket Whole Foods- yanked from shelves due to a questionable preservative used in the beverages. Frankel touts her product as pre-mixed drinks you “can trust,” and says the cocktail mixers have “no preservatives” and “all natural ingredients.” But Whole Foods disagrees, leading to dueling statements from the entities.

The market released a statement after their decision not to continue carrying Skinnygirl brand items, indicating that the inclusion of sodium benzoate- an ingredient that, along with citrus, can create benzene- makes Frankel’s line a no-go for their shelves:

“This product had been offered in 16 of Whole Foods Market’s 310 stores. After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it.”

However, Skinnygirl and Frankel provide an alternate telling of events. The reality show doyenne claims her brand actually decided to ditch Whole Foods, not the other way around:

“With all due respect to Whole Foods, we were in a dozen of their stores and have decided not to continue in these stores. They represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We are, in fact, the fastest growing spirits brand in the US. Skinnygirl cocktails were created to solve a problem: to create a line of guilt free cocktails allowing women to drink the indulgent drinks they actually want to drink with as few ingredients as possible.”

Sodium benzoate- or E211- is certainly common, but many consumers choose to avoid it because of the harmful possible side effects, including some aging-related. Will you still purchase Skinnygirl products? Do you avoid sodium benzoate?