Here’s Why You Should Be Skeptical of the Whole Foods Price Drop

Since merging with Amazon, the store has promised lower prices, but has it followed through?

Shoppers come and go from Whole Foods Market grocery storeAP/REX/Shutterstock
AP/REX/Shutterstock

In case you missed it, this summer Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods. Cue a collective jump of joy from the grocery shoppers of America. With this $13.7 billion dollar deal came the promise of lower prices nationwide, and the broad possibilities of what a company as large as Amazon might do for a niche grocery chain. Now, with the purchase official, we’re wondering if this is true. Did Amazon really make Whole Foods—with its traditionally steeply priced organic selection—affordable?

Here’s What You Should Know

Amazon released a list of the foods it expected would get the biggest price drops, among them bananas, various butters, avocados, eggs and apples. As promised, these goods actually did drop in price (some more than others).

Bloomberg Technology took a look at Whole Food prices at a store in midtown Manhattan on Aug. 24—Amazon’s first day as owner—and on Aug. 28. (The discounts at the Manhattan store, it said, were comparable to other Whole Foods stores in San Francisco and Seattle.) Bloomberg found that the best deal is Fuji apples, which were $3.49 per pound before the acquisition and only $1.99 after. This 43 percent price cut is one of the steepest, but there are also deals to be had when it comes to bananas (38 percent), Atlantic salmon and tilapia (33 percent), lean ground beef (29 percent) and Hass avocados (29 percent).

Other notable price drops include rotisserie chicken, gala apples, baby kale, baby lettuce, almond butter and organic butter. Some products are cheaper only by small margins, like organic large brown eggs, which were only 30 cents more expensive before the acquisition. You can thank Amazon for saving you a few dollars on produce, protein and butter.

Too bad Whole Foods doesn’t sell everything for $3 like this site.

The Whole Truth

Most of us, however, are shopping for more than just the staples on that list. Any products not mentioned above have retained their pre-Amazon price. Unless you’re only shopping for ingredients for a few basics, it looks like Whole Foods still isn’t your most affordable option.

The Verdict

Whole Foods, it appears, has definitely become more affordable, but it still can’t compare to bargain stores like Aldi, Walmart or even Trader Joe’s. Take advantage of some sales, though, and scout out the best prices yourself by visiting your local Whole Foods store (there’s a location map here for anyone unfamiliar with the chain).

Looking to save even more money at the grocery store? We’ve got some tips for you.

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