Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

14 Things To Always Buy at Whole Foods Market

Choices count towards your physical and fiscal health, so we're here to help you navigate our aisles so you can find the best quality for the best price.

Ever wonder which items are always worth buying at a Whole Foods Market® store? We think everything is of course, but here’s our short list, including tips on how to save:

Beef. We require Global Animal Partnership 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Ratings, prohibit added hormones and demand no antibiotics, ever! Our butchers know the best deals and will wrap just the amount you need for recipes and sensible, affordable portions.

Look for value packs and lesser-known cuts.

Salmon. All of our wild-caught salmon is from certified sustainable fisheries or ranks high on third-party assessment rankings. Our farm-raised salmon has been third-party verified as Responsibly Farmed. We cut to order and offer great prices on frozen salmon year-round.

Eggs. Every whole egg we sell is cage-free, and you don't have to scramble all over town to find a good deal on eggs of this caliber. Our 365 Everyday Value® eggs are always competitively priced!

Shampoo & Conditioner. We’ve got high standards for all of those we offer and we’ve got even higher standards for our Premium Body Care® products. Our 365 Everyday Value® hair care products proudly wear the Premium seal so you get great prices on the highest quality every day.

Greens. We source as much organic and local produce as possible. Bunched greens and lettuces are a good bet for your budget and your health. We offer a wide variety; try what’s on sale!

Crackers. Our selection of crackers is the best in town if you’re looking for whole grain, organic, gluten free or gourmet. They’re often on sale and/or have coupons (clip or print them from The Whole Deal value guide). Ask about case discounts and check out our 30+ varieties of 365 Everyday Value® crackers, too.

Coffee & Chocolate. High quality and responsible choices are what set us apart for these. We don’t allow any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and you’ll see organic, Whole Trade® Guarantee and other environmental and social benefits on more beans and bars in our stores than at any other grocer. A few are always on sale and look for 365 Everyday Value®.

Yogurt & Cheese. All of our 365 Everyday Value® yogurts and cheeses, organic or not, are made from the milk of cows never given artificial growth hormones (rBGH/rBST). This is true for many of the other brands we offer, too. None contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and sales and coupons abound!

Bulk grains. Buying from bulk bins lets you get just the amount you need without paying for excess packaging (and its shipping). We sell a lot of bulk foods, so you can trust they’ve not been sitting and going stale, and where else can you find so many whole-grain and organic choices?

Dinner & Dessert. It’s not easy to find a meal without wondering what went into it. From indulgent to healthy, our prepared foods and bakery goods follow the same strict Quality Standards as the rest of the foods in our store, including no artificial ingredients and no hydrogenated fats. Make wise selections in smart portions and compare the whole package to eating out at a restaurant.

Gift Cards. Giving gift cards gives them just what they want — practical groceries or something special — no waste!

Wine. We’ve got some real steals! Have you discovered our chuck-bucking Three Wishes in light-weight glass bottles yet? And check out the Sure Deals in The Whole Deal.

Cleaners. Our Eco-Scale™ Rating System lets you choose how “green” you wanna go, balancing value with values.

Flowers. We’ve got more choices for Whole Trade® flowers than you can shake a long-stem rose at. Keep your eyes open; flowers go on sale, too.

Don't forget, no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats are allowed in our stores, so you can always shop with peace of mind no matter what’s in your basket. Plus, with the current issue of The Whole Deal value guide in hand, you'll have $46+ in coupons, more than a dozen Sure Deals, 9 new budget recipes and a dinner planner making it easier to buy what you want and save.

Your turn! What's on your list of must-buys at our stores and why?

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

54 comments

Comments

Julie says …

Must haves from Whole Foods when I travel to finally get to one, is BREAD!!!!! The Cleveland Whole Foods has the BEST Whole Foods bakery I have ever found. I have been to Chicago; Indianapolis; Ann Arbor, MI; Jacksonville FL; and Cleveland, OH Whole Foods. The Cleveland Whole Foods coffee & bakery departments are THE BEST I've found. Absolutely love the BREAD!!

Virginia is for Vegans says …

Easy meal starters like 365 canned refried beans and 365 pasta sauce are absolute musts in my pantry! I love that they are good right out of the jar. It's the little things that make such a difference in your stores. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ed says …

The term Fisheries isnt used in the same context as farming. Commercial fisheries process the "catch", like an intermediary between the fisherman and the market. You can find all the information on fisheries and how they handle the different types of wild seafood out on google.

PH says …

Wow, people are going to boycott something because they don't know what a term means... A "fishery" is not a synonym for "fish farm" - check out wikipedia if you're confused about the meaning. It *can* be a fish farm, but it can also be a wild-caught operation.

Hilda says …

Folks, after reading the definitions of wild vs. fresh salmon, I feel much better. I am sorry that some of you missed that salmon sale. I bought some anyway and it was some of the best salmon I ever ate. I might have been skeptical, too, but I believe that the people at Whole Foods would not intentionally try to pass something off as other than it really is. I am sure if they knew that the "oxymoron" (as someone called it) would create problems, they probably would have only printed that it was fresh and not farmed. People make mistakes, right.

Beverly Miller says …

The list of 14 is fine with me. However, I am mystified by the sentence that has both the words wild-caught and fisheries in it. Seems like an oxymoron to me. How does one catch wild salmon from a fish farm? I will ask staff at the store in my area sometime. In the meantime, I will skip the big salmon sale coming up.

Scott Mitchell says …

You salmon commenter's have it all wrong. The fishery is a generic term that covers all commercially caught 'wild' fish. In Alaska we have halibut fisheries, salmon fisheries, herring fisheries, etc. There are either wild-caught fish or farmed fish...they can't be both. Wild is the only way to go in my opinion.

Micki says …

Call me crazy, but, I thought they were talking about 2 different types of Salmon they sell...wild-caught, and farmed-raised. hmmm. :o)

p says …

For those with questions about fisheries vs farm-raised, i looked it up... it is confusing but it is a common term. Fishery does not necessarily been farm-raised. So you can have wild-caught and fishery in the same sentence and it is correct usage, and indeed wild-caught fish. How you ask? Fishery can refer to a group of fisherman fishing for the same type of fish. So, for example, all the Alaska salmon fisherman in a certain area off the coast of Alaska could count as the "alaska salmon fishery". Here is the fishery page from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishery In addtion, since the Whole Foods Salmon Sale Page says it is Wild-Caught Alaska Sockeye Salmon, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, here is the MSC page on the Alaska Sockeye Salmon fishery (a group of about 200 fishermen): http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/alaska-salmon/meet-the-fishers Hope that helps those looking to make a decision. And no, I don't work for Whole Foods. But like all of you, I am a concerned consumer, who likes knowing where my food is coming from and what went into it before it got to me. Now the question - is this FRESH wild-caught alaska sockeye salmon or FROZEN? i'll post this on the salmon page also, in case some of you go there.

MomOfhealth says …

My son loves your peanut butter!

says …

Hey Beverly and Rose Anne- The Guru was saying 1 of her 14 is Salmon- She is actually talking about both wild caught, from sustainable fisheries (yes, fisheries are products caught in the wild) and Farm raised- two totally different products. It's okay if you are avoiding farm raised for whatever reason, but you will miss on on a great deal on the Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon if you avoid that! Plus, if you're avoiding farm raised you should check out the WFM Farm Raised Seafood standards- Over the past 25 years they have worked with many farms in getting them to change the way fish is raised. Here's the page- http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/pdfs/WholeFoodsMarket_FarmedSalmonStandards.pdf And go ahead and enjoy the 1 day Salmon sale!

Paula mullavey says …

Must buys: grass fed, locally raised ground beef and any other beef or pork I may buy. Fish. While grains-quinoa, green and especially red lentils. Most fruits and veggies-apples, berries, peppers, and all greens.gourmet cheeses, breads. Pane bread is closest I can find to real Italian bread. Oh, also, candles! (will try hair products next!)

Gwen White says …

In my shopping at Whole Foods, I know of other items not on your list that are very competitively priced organic or not, i.e., wine, pizza, bananas, romaine salad bags, packaged deli meat slices, bulk popcorn--to name a few right off the top of my head. The best part for me is that these items are organic & still reasonably priced. I absolutely love Whole Foods, and really appreciate the multi-faceted & diverse ideal. You set a high standard that should be industry-wide. Hopefully, others will begin to imitate your ambitious model.

Kevin says …

I think what they were trying to get at is that there are they have two sources of salmon: sustainably wild-caught and responsibly farm-raised. The wild-caught is the one that's on sale Friday. I won't be missing it! :)

mary vils says …

I heard you sell the t shirt "Plant Powered" the Rip Esselystn wears in his Engine 2 video on his website. where can i order one? Thanks, Mary

says …

@Mary Since each store does things a little differently the best way to get the most accurate information regarding the availability of the "Plant Powered" tshirts is to reach out to your community Whole Foods Market directly. You can identify the contact information for your store below and a Team Member there will be happy to chat with you about the tshirts. Also, I've included a link taking you directly to the Engine 2 Contact info. Perhaps you can order the tshirts directly from them. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores http://store.engine2diet.com/contact/

grace says …

I agree that the beef that whole foods sells is 'tops.' My children can taste the difference and I 'know' the difference, so it feels like a win/win.

Charles D. Tarlton says …

I love Whole Foods!

Rose Anne Kushner says …

I am also thinking the same thing, how can you get wild caught from fisheries!! I will also be skipping the sale!

Kristin says …

Those 14 things compromise everything! Not so helpful really....

Carlie says …

A fishery is not a fish farm. It is an area where fisherman catch the salmon. Sustainable fisheries work within conservation regulations to ensure escapement to sustain the fish population ( not fishing to deplete an area). I am not associated with Whole Foods in any way except that I sometimes shop there for my family. My husband is a set-net sockeye salmon fisherman from Alaska and he explained what the term "fisheries" means in this context. I must know dozens of ways to cook salmon...it is soooo yummy and good for you!

Todd says …

@Beverly Miller A fishery and a fish-farm are two different things!

Linda Bullock says …

I always head over to the deli and get my "fix" of Smoked Mozzerella Salad and Sonoma Chicken Salad. Then I mosey over to the bakery to get the Cherry Crisp, Mixed Berry Scones and Pecan Pie Cookies. Freshly ground peanut butter is another choice.

Paige says …

Does buying local mean you purchase from local growers in city where the stores are located.. We have in Jacksonville, Florida area some of the best ORGANIC Produce and Fruit growers.. I purchase directly from them.. Would love to see these "local" products in my local Whole Foods were I go to purchase my meats, seafood some veggies and fruits.. Thanks for refusing to back Monsanto and their use of poisons and refusing to go along with the GE altered foods.

says …

@Paige Whole Foods Market makes a priority to work with local Farmers. However, due to a number of variables it is not always possible for us to work with local growers. I encourage you to reach out to the Jacksonville store to learn which products are sourced locally from those great suppliers you mentioned. I've included their contact information below. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/jacksonville/

Kim says …

I work at a restaurant that serves "wild-caught" salmon from a fishery. The fishery catches wild young fish into a pen and then later harvests them. They're raised partially on fishfeed at that point. They aren't treated with antibiotics, but they are treated for parasites and I think their food does have pink dye in it. ( The fish farm can still label their product 'green, all natural, and wild-caught'. They are the highest rated salmon in Europe [Scotland]) I can't speak for WF, but I'd guess maybe that's what they meant? Maybe an employee can clear this question up for us...

says …

@Kim The salmon for sale during the one-day sale were wild-caught off the cost of Alaska.

Watermelon says …

My must haves: in Produce: Organic Girl Caesar Salad Mix, in Grocery: Sunspire Chocolate Coconut Bar, in Bakery: Foccacia Rolls, in Prepared Foods: Sundried Tomato Pesto, in Whole Body, the Giovanni line for skincare and haircare, in Specialty Caprichio de Cabra a goat cheese from Spain, and so many other choices!!

Amy says …

Hands down the best deal at whole foods is the bulk spices - most inexpensive anywhere and they are organic. No need to keep buying a jar - just wash and refill with exactly the amount that stays fresh in your kitchen...

Kitty H says …

Ok I am still confused, you mean to say some of the fish is wild? If they are caught and then put into big water pens or something, then that is not wild! I don't really care which it is but you could be clearer, my question is, how are they killed? I know how beef and chickens are killed but not fish. And I saw an article on Yahoo, that named things to skip at WF and most of the things you have listed are on there. But thanks anyway and I see now that the end you say the fish are wild.

Debbie T says …

I'm hoping that is a typo about the wild salmon. I won't be buying any either if that is true.

Cheri Alexy says …

I am very disappointed to learn about the products I am buying from Whole Foods coming from China. I have read the response, but will take the time to read my labels now and buy only organic from this country, preferably locally grown. I know I am paying more at Whole Foods, but thought it was worth it. I will just be a smarter consumer now.

Bill says …

Fisheries does not mean farm raised! No need to be mystified. It can be...but it can also be an area for fishing. If it says "wild-caught" then the term fishery must be referring to an area designated for sustainable fishing. At $7.99 a pound, I wish there were a Whole Foods here. Google makes us smart!

Estelle says …

I have full and complete confidence in all the fish I buy at Whole Foods. A good number of yrs ago I purchased salmon supposedly fresh, and 'on sale' from another supermarket. I made it that night and it tasted like cardboard. Fortunately, I live aprox 15 min. from a Whole Foods store. I went there the very next day, purchased the same variety of salmon. The difference was enormous! I have not bought ANY fish from any other store since!

Brian says …

I think the real oxymoron here is using "Whole Foods" and "value" in the same sentence!!!

JD says …

Calm down, people. A fishery is just a general umbrella term for "place fish come from", and could be a captive hatchery or a wild fishing ground. I appreciate the effort you're making to get the best quality and most sustainable fish, but it's important to research things that you do not understand rather than jump to conclusions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishery

Sarah says …

The salmon comment is just confusing. Fisheries can also be defined as a fishing ground or area where fish are caught.

Martha says …

I find Whole Foods compromises on its value proposition in every aisle. A perfect example: The Back to Nature brand uses GMO grains in its non-organic products, yet Whole Foods carries these products. Worse yet, Back to Nature promotes GMOs and their safety on its website. Sorry Whole Foods, but I seek stores that walk the talk and that would not be you.

Liz says …

Along with shampoo and conditioners, I tried Organiques facial wash at Whole Foods. It's incredible and I won't buy anything else now... I am trying to go totally non-chemical with body care and I'm so glad I found this. Thanks, WF!

Nancy says …

Wow! People can sure get riled up over fish. But I totally get that everyone just wants to be sure about what they are getting. Whole Foods IS my must have. I'm working to improve my family's diet. Whole Foods is helping me do that.

michael says …

Whole Foods has the best bakery around. God i love that place.

Aileen says …

I have been to a fishery in Washington State and worked at a fish farm. Farms are just that farms where fish are grown. Fisheries are wild parts of nature that the fish normally would run and are counted and kind of kept track of and they only allow so many to be taken to keep the numbers in check. At least thats what I got from the fishery I visited. Hope this helps with the confusion.

Amy Gonzales says …

Do you sell bentonite clay powder? If so how much does it cost?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@AMY - Our products differ between locations so check with your local store to see what they have in stock!

Peter says …

Where can I find Bellis Perennis (English Daisy) to buy in Whole Foods Market? My wife needs to drink it as a homeoepathy tea. Thanks.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PETER - Our products vary between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have this in stock!

Christine Henderson says …

I'm looking for organic and safe hair colors, something without peroxide, formaldehyde, alcohol or any chemicals; maybe organic Henna products for hair coloring.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CHRISTINE - Since our products differ, check with your local store to see what exactly they have in stock that would meet this list!

Anne Coyle says …

I can't wait for your store in Albany to open!!

Carrie says …

Hope you are planning to include Beekman 1802 (nearby Sharon Springs, NY) Mortgage Lifter products in your store. 25% of the profits from the sale of these products goes to help small farmers all over the U.S. They have a variety of other wonderful products as well, such as soaps, creamed honeys, cheeses - all would be wonderful additions to your store!

Pages