If You're Shopping At Erewhon For Ice, You Deserve To Be Ripped Off

The people of the internet don't need a good reason to get mad, but if one brand is the champion of creating justifiable online outrage, it's Erewhon. For those less inclined to punish themselves with internet outrage, Erewhon is an LA grocery chain seemingly solely created for the purpose of generating viral moments. And to hammer that home, the store is back in the spotlight for a particularly galling example of its famously outrageous prices: a $32 bag of ice from Penny Pound.

Honestly, "bag" is very generous, because that price will get you eight ice spheres. Eight. The ice is hand-cut, comes from specially purified water, and supposedly melts slower and tastes better than normal, peasant ice, but it is still ice that costs $32. That makes Erewhon's $14 Balenciaga juice sound downright reasonable by comparison.

The reality is that Erewhon is not a place to buy groceries, despite dressing up as a grocery store. It is a company trying to take the simple chore of buying food to nourish yourself and turn it into an act of conspicuous consumption — a place where you will pay twice as much for the same Rao's pasta sauce you can get at a normal store because the shelves look good on Instagram. Nobody who buys this ice will know (or care) about its quality, they will only buy it because they can. And if you shop at a place like that, you deserve to be separated from your money.

Erewhon's $32 bag of ice is a summary of the store's appeal

The ice first found fame in a TikTok video from @comeupqueen, which has been viewed millions of times in just a few days. There is no context other than the creator's complete confusion over why this ice costs $32, which seems like the appropriate response. The viral video has since spread to places like Reddit, and amid jokes of letting the ice melt, commenters on Tiktok are asking questions like: "Is this just a money laundering scheme?" Or, more succinctly: "Why?"

Another video from TikTok user @lizziedushaj actually puts the ice to use, and while they do look very nice, her review boils down to: "Tastes like water." The top comment puts everything rather clearly, saying, "This is the equivalent of getting premium air in your tires." The video does have over 9 million views, however, so $32 bags of ice are certainly getting LA's trendiest gourmet grocer all the press it wants.

More accurate than any of the jokes, one commenter on the original video says, "Oh they're just playing in our faces now." Meanwhile, another person over on Reddit notes, "What a way to rip off rich people." Erewhon is a place where people show off how much money they have to waste, and the store is so unapologetic about that fact that it's willing to openly sell a $138 tote bag to carry your $32 bag of ice. If you fall for that, it's all on you.