Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Whole Deal™ & Price Comparisons

By Paige Brady, July 24, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Today, In addition to our featured customer tip, we wanted to share some links to what other media folks are saying about Whole Foods Market's pricing. Personally, we really liked this article in the Rocky Mountain News: "Natural Foods Grocer Offers Real Steals to Widen Appeal." They do a price comparison between us and Sunflower Market, Safeway and King Soopers on items like ground beef, milk, eggs, etc. Guess who won?! Noshtopia did another price comparison on mostly organic staples and redOrbit ran a price comparison piece from the Albuquerque Journal called "Think Whole Foods is for Those With Fat Pocketbooks? Think Again." Okay, I love that title. The only time my pocketbook is fat is when I stuff it full of one dollar bills! So, have you done any price comparisons yourself? What did you find? Post a comment here and let us know. And keep posting your savings tips on The Whole Deal™. Tip of the week comes from Mary, who will receive a $25 gift card, and she says:
I love coupons and saving money as well. I feel sad when coupons are expiring without being used. So I started exchanging with friends or at work. We now have a pot where everybody puts unwanted coupons. Once a week (Friday), we open the box and everybody can take what is useful for them. It helps to save by buying only stuff that we need and still get coupons to save. It helps all as everybody has different needs.
Category: Value - Whole Deal

 

19 Comments

Comments

William Liu says ...
Here in Honolulu, Hawaii, we have a lot of smaller heath food stores and most of which I find somewhat expensive. When I was in Walnut Creek, California visiting close relatives, I saw your market and products for the first time and I walked out VERY impressed. The amount of organic produce being sold and the amount stocked was incredible and I recall that your prices were very reasonable as well. Not only that, but the service was exceptionally friendly and informative. So Thank you for that wonderful experience and for expanding to the Hawaiian islands.
07/24/2008 2:05:20 PM CDT
Kristin says ...
First of all thank you so much for coming to Reno! I think the prices at Whole Foods are great! True some things in sections like the supplements section are a little pricey, but fair considering how hard it is to come by great products like that! I found the prices on dry goods and other things like pet foods very competitive with other mainstream grocers! The difference is that your products are so much more healthy for us!
07/28/2008 7:36:48 PM CDT
Chantal Fortune says ...
When it comes to 'Whole Steals'.... That might be just a bit of a stretch at my local store (Toronto, ON). But I am a regular customer who really appreciates the Whole Foods commitment to organic, fair trade, local etc., and am ready to pay a bit extra for that. I think in many areas of the store, the prices have become much more competitive in recent years, especially through the 365 lines which are much more extensive here than they used to be. If there was one product I would say you have price problem on, its Organic butter. Unfortunately, you don't sell the 365 Organic butter in Canada (at least in Toronto); at $9.00 a pound, its a bit steep. I can find organic butter at other stores (their private label) for about $1.00 to $1.50 less per pound. Best value has to be on the salad packs, dressings, and the natural pork which to me are at comparable prices to any other grocer, but better quality.
07/25/2008 9:44:27 PM CDT
Loretta says ...
For a while I thought that Whole Foods was a pricey store until I did a little comparison shopping of my own. The produce was same or less than my local supermarket. Besides that the produce was much fresher. I like that Whole Foods supports a lot of local farms and businesses. It not only benefits our physical health but the financial health of the community. Other products were also reasonably priced - you definitely get what you pay for at Whole Foods. I also liked that no matter what time of the day I go the shelves and produce areas are well stocked and all fruits and veggies are fresh. The smell alone makes you want to eat healthy. I only wish that there was a Whole Foods nearer to me. Thank you and keep up the good work. Loretta
07/29/2008 4:52:00 PM CDT
chef deanna says ...
I am an employee at whole foods market in Napa. I have learned more about food and nutrition from whole foods market than i have in my 30 plus year in the food service industry. I shop at my store everyday. i will not buy meat or produce from any one else. since the beginning of my employment in November 2007 I have lost 20 lbs and I'm living and eating healthier.my energy level is amazing now that i eat clean, untainted foods. The prices of our 365 organic line are about the same as the name brand stuff you find at other retailer, the difference being, theirs is not organic and probably full of preservitives and artificail colors and flavor. i've done everything from fast food to fine dining and grocery retail over the past 30 years, it is a pleasure to finally work in an establishment where i can give our customers honest answers about the quailty of our food. i love the fact that i never have to make excuses for our products. i have personally prepared foods for our cold case, hot bar and deli and i can proudly say that we do everything in house from scratch with the best ingredients. nothing is pre packaged or pre-made. no other grocery retailer can say that! thanks to WFM for making me a part of the family Chef Deanna Satterwhite Napa, CA
07/30/2008 11:56:09 AM CDT
everythingsteve.com says ...
Let's acknowledge the 800 pound elephant in the room. WFM has the unfortunate moniker of "Whole Paycheck" attached to it, and has for many years. It is largely although not totally undeserved. 1) Let's acknowledge that WFM is a premium food market and shopping experience. One will inevitably pay more for such an experience. 2) Let's acknowledge that WFM takes extreme measures to ensure the freshness and quality of its products. One will inevitably pay more for these products. Great. So how does one explain the myriad of private label 365 products that are beyond competively priced. I'm thinking about 365 brand EVOO in particular, or 365 brand marina sauce. The latter, at a mind boggling $1.99/bottle, is a staple in my house. 365 brand frozen pizzas are also very inexpensive. And what about the fact that the Rosie's organic boneless skinless breasts in my local CA WFM are less expensive than the Safeway brand organic boneless skinless chicken breast. A NY Times article I read recently had a skewed perspective from a customer who said one can only save money at a Whole Foods by eating rice and beans. Not true. Yes, one does need to see what's on sale and be judicious. Case in point, I wasn't willing to spend $12.99/pound (or was it $13.99/pound) for flank steak, but the round bone lamb chops, at $5.99/pound, were very competitively priced, and beautiful. WFM gets some of my shopping dollars...not most, and not all. But I will vigorously defend any inaccurate claims that WFM gouges its customers, and appreciate its efforts to convey the value it provides customers. This value has been noticeable long before the current economic situation began manifesting itself.
08/03/2008 9:37:50 PM CDT
Eguled says ...
This might be unpopular for me to say among fans of Whole Foods, but I had a recent shopping experience at Whole Foods that leads me to conclude that Whole Foods is gouging its customers on some items - and I'll back up that statement with evidence: * At Whole Foods: Udo's Choice 3-6-9 DHA Oil, size 8.5oz, costs $19.99 plus tax. * At a competitor, Udo's Choice 3-6-9 DHA Oil (the exact same product), size 17oz (double the amount of product!), costs $18.31 at regular price. With a readily available discount code that provides 8% off, the net price is $16.85. Even adding $4.99 flat rate shipping for the competitor's product, buying this item from Whole Foods is essentially paying DOUBLE for the same product! Don't get me wrong. I WANT to like Whole Foods. But I would love to hear Whole Foods address the high pricing of this item.
09/09/2008 11:12:31 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Eguled We initially did not approve your comment because, in general, we answer specific pricing questions offline by connecting the commenter with their local store. But since our blog entry was specifically about price competitiveness, we agree with you that we unfairly didn’t allow the comment. It’s here now and we are working with the store to post a reply. Thanks for writing.
09/12/2008 2:20:00 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Ingemar, Thanks for sharing your concerns with us about pricing on Green Foods Green Magma Plus. We do our best to be price competitive and we apologize that isn’t coming through to you right now. We want to share some general information here about our pricing, but your best bet to handle your specific issue is to talk to the Team Leader for the Whole Body team at the Whole Foods Market store where you shop. We are a decentralized company and much of our product buying and distribution is handled on a regional basis. Your local store’s Whole Body Team Leader will be best positioned to check into your specific price concerns. We try to give the best price we can everyday and our regional coordinators do a great deal of comparison shopping and industry research to ensure that we are offering competitive prices. So why do prices vary between retailers? It depends on a few things, including the overhead costs of the retailer (rent, labor costs and employee benefits are big ones – including number of employees staffing the store and the benefits and rates of pay those employees earn). Another big piece of the puzzle is cost of goods. That means how much the retailer pays to their vendors for the item you want to buy. Volume makes a difference. If we sell a lot of a certain product, then chances are our costs will be lower from the vendor and then our retail price can be lower too. Also, we may have a Brand A vitamins at better price than the same vitamins in Brand B because we sell more of Brand B and that volume helps lower their price. It often is helpful to check out other brands and it’s smart to ask our team members for guidance on the best deals in the store. Here’s a test you may want to try: instead of looking at one product that you purchase, look at the overall cost of about 20 items and compare those same 20 items to our competitors. We do this test all the time. On those products, some will probably be less at our stores and a few may be a bit higher. But on the overall 20 items, we aim to be competitively priced. Sometimes we get asked about price comparisons to online sites. We don’t try to match prices of online retailers like we do local competitors. Their expenses work off of a completely different model than ours – going for huge volume of sales with low overhead and loss leaders drawing in business. (A “loss leader” is a product that they lose money on in order to get you in to buy something else that they make money on. You’ll see this with bricks and mortar competitors too.) Online is certainly a way that people choose to go. We believe our stores offer other advantages. We are a physical store that you can walk into and actually look at and pick up the products, discuss them with our knowledgeable team members, try them out and even easily return them if not satisfied. Did we mention no shipping and handling? We hope this has provided a bit of the behind-the-scenes look at our pricing. Again, we encourage you to contact your local Whole Body Team Leader with your concerns about Green Foods Green Magma Plus. If our pricing is out of line with your local competitive market, we definitely want to know! We greatly appreciate your support of Whole Foods Market and encourage you to continue helping us be a better store with your comments and questions.
11/11/2008 10:09:37 AM CST
Ingemar says ...
On Oct 16,2008 I purchased a 5.3oz container of Green Foods Green Magma Plus from the Whole Foods Market in Santa Monica CA. I paid $23.59 for the container. At the time I thought the price was higher than I had been paying elsewhere and as I hadn’t purchased this product in several months I went ahead with the purchase. Today I found myself with some extra time on my hands so I went over some old receipts from prior purchases made elsewhere of the Green Foods Green Magma Plus, I found I had paid $7 to $10 less elsewhere. I then went online to see what internet vendors were charging for this same product. Here is a sampling of what I found: iherb.com $14.00 (shipping 1.99) imedmart.com $15.55 vitacost.com $13.90 amazon.com $13.90 swansonhealthproducts.com $13.99 As you can see all of these prices are substantially less than WholeFoods Market. I find this disheartening and disappointing. I shop WholeFoods at least once a week spending between $125 and $250 a trip and as I gear up for a 30 day raw foods diet trial I expected to shop at WholeFoods even more frequently. I understand why the produce and meats are higher at WholeFoods, you pay for quality, and I don’t have any qualms about paying more for higher quality. What does bother me is paying almost double for a vitamin supplement I can easily obtain elsewhere. I’m troubled by the results of my research into the price of this one supplement, which makes me now want to double check the prices on all supplements I’ve bought at WholeFoods along with staples such as Amy’s and frozen foods such as Kashi and Ethnic Gourmet. Sure I could have returned the product and received a refund however by the time I realized the huge difference in the price I had already use over half the bottle. I have already sent an email to corporate and to the Santa Monica store (basically the same information I provided here) via the contact feature on the Whole Foods website and haven’t received a response to my concern and it’s been over two weeks. At this point I don’t feel Whole Foods is concerned about losing business due to the prices of the supplements they sell
11/10/2008 8:04:10 PM CST
SHIRLEY PERRY says ...
I ENJOY SHOPPING AT WHOLE FOODS AND REALLY LIKE THE PRODUCTS THAT ARE THEIR OWN LABEL. HOWEVER, I DO FIND THAT PRODUCTS THAT CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT TRADER JOE'S ARE MUCH MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE AT TRADER JOE'S.
01/04/2009 1:55:09 PM CST
aqellezra says ...
my mother and i started shopping at whole foods in san maTEO EVERY SINCE I WAS 3 YEARS OLD!!! WE LOVE THAT ITS FAMILY ORIENTED. it is a beautiful experience to bring family together.
03/11/2011 12:45:40 PM CST
Newhus says ...
We live in both san Francisco and san Diego, but can only afford to shop at whole foods in the bay area because san Diego stores are at least 20-40% more for almost any item (our cart is mostly air when we leave a social whole foods, but overflowing in the bay area. We were just wondering why there is such a huge price difference between stores and regions.
06/07/2011 5:18:11 PM CDT
Ingrid Marsh says ...
How can I find out the price for goose per kilo? I have spent twenty minutes now trying to find out via your website. Without success.
11/23/2012 5:31:34 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@INGRID - Since our products vary between our stores and regions we do not provide an online database of prices. I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see if they carry goose and if so, what their price is. You can find a list of our store locations at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
11/23/2012 1:54:22 PM CST
Pepe' says ...
I was just wondering if it's possible to track the prices of Whole Foods Produce prices...
03/02/2013 11:13:10 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PEPE - Unfortunately, we do not have a way of tracking all of our Produce prices due to the fact that each store produce options can differ. Check with your local store if you need a produce price in particular.
03/04/2013 12:48:33 PM CST
Isabel Gonzalez says ...
I think whole foods fix the life to a lot people that does not how in life eat organic and healthy foods change bad habits and make you been healthy
04/19/2013 10:12:10 PM CDT
Selina says ...
To be honest, I find Whole Foods EXTREMELY pricey in Canada, especially when compared to other healthy food stores and Whole Foods USA. It makes me so sad because I LOVE Whole Foods but I can save 1-2 dollars on most items by shopping in the natural section of a competitor (not naming names). I love the atmosphere at Whole Foods and I wouldn't mind spending a little bit more to shop there because I really value the store, but I think the gap is just too big to do my weekly shopping. I only go to Whole Foods if there's something special that I can't find anywhere else. Its really saddening actually, I like them so much but I'm disappointed by the prices. :(
09/30/2014 8:36:23 PM CDT