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Whole Foods Pricing


Deldino
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I have always found really good prices at Whole Foods. I buy a lot of items in bulk, I buy thier 365 brand products, and I stay away from the expensive stuff (pre-prepared foods, brand names, etc...). If you shop smart, you can buy great, organic, tasty foods with the added bonus of great customer service. They've made a lifelong customer of me!

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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I have always found really good prices at Whole Foods.  I buy a lot of items in bulk, I buy thier 365 brand products, and I stay away from the expensive stuff (pre-prepared foods, brand names, etc...).  If you shop smart, you can buy great, organic, tasty foods with the added bonus of great customer service.  They've made a lifelong customer of me!

Me too!!

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Bulk section - some decent deals on flours, but not on nuts/dried fruit.

Dairy - very little markup compared to other grocers

365 brand - competitive but not cheaper than TJs for the same products

Wine - a decent sale now and then, but never cheaper than local discount stores

This is a miniscule subset of the store, though. Here is how the rest of the store breaks down:

Rest of the Grocery department - whole paycheck

Cheese - whole paycheck

Frozen - whole paycheck

Health and Beauty - whole paycheck

Meat - whole paycheck

Seafood - whole paycheck

Prepared Foods - whole paycheck

Bakery - whole paycheck

Produce - whole paycheck

Coffee - whole paycheck

A supermarket should be more than a small handful of good deals. Good deals that you have to spend a few hours in the store in order to track them down.

Whole Food's bread and butter is the customer who buys into the false belief that expensive equals better. By attempting to market themselves as being competitively priced, they're not only throwing advertising dollars down the drain but they're potentially confusing/alienating their core customer base. They can run ads until they're blue in the face but nobody with half a brain would ever go to Whole Foods seeking out deals. It's laughable.

The massive growth of Trader Joes is obviously causing some alarm for Whole Foods. And well it should. If Trader Joes continues to grow at this rate, in 5 years there will be no Whole Foods. When this occurs, I, for one, will not be shedding any tears.

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The massive growth of Trader Joes is obviously causing some alarm for Whole Foods. And well it should.  If Trader Joes continues to grow at this rate, in 5 years there will be no Whole Foods. When this occurs, I, for one, will not be shedding any tears.

I find it interesting that when I brought up months ago Trader Joes as a competitor to Whole Foods the notion was dismissed.

I think that Trader Joes has to do better in the quality of several of their items before they can really compete with Whole Foods. I bought several meat products from Trader Joes (Florham Park) this summer and was disappointed in the quality when compared to Whole Foods. One that comes to mind is flank steak. I will never buy flank Steak from Trader Joes again. I bought 4. The meat was tough and grainy. The worse was the flank steak I bought that I thought was 2 lbs, only to open up the packaging and find a 3/4 lb steak rolled inside of a 1 1/2 lb steak. That was completely unacceptable.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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I was in the TJ in Wayne a month ago and was unimprssed. Their produce looked picked over and old.

I purchased a few items like nuts and Fage yougurt and left..

What does everyone buy there that is so great? I don't buy a lot of frozen or processed foods...

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In my area of NYC, I find Whole Foods consistently LOWER priced than so many of the "bodega" type fancy food or organic places that have typically sprouted on every other block...

Sticking to groceries, for example, there's a place called Gracefully (on Ave. A) which, for many items is consistently 30% higher priced than WF. And I'm sure you'll find higher prices at D'agostino's (a well known market) as well.

As far as Trader Joe's, I think you're comparing apples and oranges. There is no fresh meat counter, fresh fish counter, huge selection of cheeses, coffee roaster, etc. at TJ. I don't think WF has a thing to worry about with the growth of TJ... espceially here in NYC. The NYU kids will be shopping at TJ (after all, the building is a dorm), but they'll also head over to WF for prepared foods for lunch. Plenty of room for both in NY.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Bulk section - some decent deals on flours, but not on nuts/dried fruit.

Dairy - very little markup compared to other grocers

365 brand - competitive but not cheaper than TJs for the same products

Wine - a decent sale now and then, but never cheaper than local discount stores

This is a miniscule subset of the store, though.  Here is how the rest of the store breaks down:

Rest of the Grocery department - whole paycheck

Cheese - whole paycheck

Frozen - whole paycheck

Health and Beauty - whole paycheck

Meat - whole paycheck

Seafood - whole paycheck

Prepared Foods - whole paycheck

Bakery - whole paycheck

Produce - whole paycheck

Coffee - whole paycheck

A supermarket should be more than a small handful of good deals. Good deals that you have to spend a few hours in the store in order to track them down.

Whole Food's bread and butter is the customer who buys into the false belief that expensive equals better. By attempting to market themselves as being competitively priced, they're not only throwing advertising dollars down the drain but they're potentially confusing/alienating their core customer base. They can run ads until they're blue in the face but nobody with half a brain would ever go to Whole Foods seeking out deals. It's laughable.

The massive growth of Trader Joes is obviously causing some alarm for Whole Foods. And well it should.  If Trader Joes continues to grow at this rate, in 5 years there will be no Whole Foods. When this occurs, I, for one, will not be shedding any tears.

I like to buy certain items organic, such as milk, canned tomato, broth, whole wheat pasta, etc. and WHOLE FOODS is across the board less expensive than a A&P or the like for the SAME items. I am not saying they are inexpensive, I am saying for someone who wants to buy those items they are less expensive at Whole Foods. I will shop at a farm, Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's. I do not define myself by the store I shop in. I am just pointing out for those items they are less expensive at Whole Foods.

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Whole(in my pocket) Foods. I still haven't bought into the hype. Maybe someday if I ever own a Volvo and take tennis lessons.

Edited by richl2214 (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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Whole(in my pocket) Foods.  I still haven't bought into the hype.  Maybe someday if I ever own a Volvo and take tennis lessons.

How and what is the hype, when a store offers high-quality goods for sale along with pretty damn good customer service. Something one deosn't always find in these environs. And they don't exactly stand outside and force you into the store.

Also, I take the subway or walk and have never picked up a tennis racket (though I do like watching Sharapova). Stickball bat, perhaps, but not in many a year.

Are there lots of disgruntled ex-employees here or what?

Come in to the city and shop at one of our fine markets (Gristede's, Fine Fare, D'ag's, Food Emporium, etc.) - you can learn all about pricing and service at the feet of the masters.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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THe most effective way to express your displeasure with WF is to just not spend your own dollars there.

A supermarket should be more than a small handful of good deals
You just described most grocery stores, they only have the few things on their weekly fliers on sale. And you have to be careful of those 10 for $$ promotions, they can be more expensive. My local upscale market is thriving for a reason, personal customer service. I don't shop there to impress myself, I shop there because they have things Albertsons doesn't and will not have.

Where a person choses to spend their food dollars is not an indicator of them having half a brain, it is them exercising their choice in a competitive free market society.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Whole(in my pocket) Foods.  I still haven't bought into the hype.  Maybe someday if I ever own a Volvo and take tennis lessons.

I own a ford taurus and my husband drives a used truck - we live check to check for the most part so I don't fit into your opinion of a whole foods customer but there I am every week along with going to Trader Joes and other stores for items I want to purchase. So where's the hype there?? So I like to shop at a store that is clean and well layed out with pleasant people working there and the bonus is they have the items "I" want to purchase at a better price then the other stores.

Edited by Deldino (log)
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THe most effective way to express your displeasure with WF is to just not spend your own dollars there. 
A supermarket should be more than a small handful of good deals
You just described most grocery stores, they only have the few things on their weekly fliers on sale. And you have to be careful of those 10 for $$ promotions, they can be more expensive. My local upscale market is thriving for a reason, personal customer service. I don't shop there to impress myself, I shop there because they have things Albertsons doesn't and will not have.

Where a person choses to spend their food dollars is not an indicator of them having half a brain, it is them exercising their choice in a competitive free market society.

I agree - and I don't think the store you shop in defines you as a person.

Edited by Deldino (log)
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THe most effective way to express your displeasure with WF is to just not spend your own dollars there. 
A supermarket should be more than a small handful of good deals
You just described most grocery stores, they only have the few things on their weekly fliers on sale. And you have to be careful of those 10 for $$ promotions, they can be more expensive. My local upscale market is thriving for a reason, personal customer service. I don't shop there to impress myself, I shop there because they have things Albertsons doesn't and will not have.

Where a person choses to spend their food dollars is not an indicator of them having half a brain, it is them exercising their choice in a competitive free market society.

I agree - and I don't think the store you shop in defines you as a person.

nor does the type of car you drive, your choice of sport, or the restaurants you frequent. i'm amazed such a sentiment would be expressed here.

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I continue to be amazed that WF continues to be compared with Trader Joe's on this board. Not only are they after a different customer with a different mindset, but I can hardly think of 5 items that are sold in both stores!

TJs is a state of mind, a place that is quirky and unique. WF is a quasi- health food store that rose to small supermarket size. TJs is price driven, WF surely is not.

But perhaps I am not seeing something here. Could the folks making these comparisons please tell me what items are sold in the same form in both stores?

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I continue to be amazed that WF continues to be compared with Trader Joe's on this board.  Not only are they after a different customer with a different mindset, but I can hardly think of 5 items that are sold in both stores! 

TJs is a state of mind, a place that is quirky and unique.  WF is a quasi- health food store that rose to small supermarket size.  TJs is price driven, WF surely is not.

But perhaps I am not seeing something here.  Could the folks making these comparisons please tell me what items are sold in the same form in both stores?

Both carry an extended stock of general organic goods. Fruits, vegetables, meats, cereal, oils, vinegars, etc.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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I continue to be amazed that WF continues to be compared with Trader Joe's on this board.  Not only are they after a different customer with a different mindset, but I can hardly think of 5 items that are sold in both stores! 

TJs is a state of mind, a place that is quirky and unique.  WF is a quasi- health food store that rose to small supermarket size.  TJs is price driven, WF surely is not.

But perhaps I am not seeing something here.  Could the folks making these comparisons please tell me what items are sold in the same form in both stores?

As I said above, apples and oranges.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Seriously, that comment was a joke. I love reading this board daily but I do think it can be too tight at times. Relax, chew, discuss, deep breath. :biggrin:

Edited by richl2214 (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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I continue to be amazed that WF continues to be compared with Trader Joe's on this board. Not only are they after a different customer with a different mindset, but I can hardly think of 5 items that are sold in both stores!

TJs is a state of mind, a place that is quirky and unique. WF is a quasi- health food store that rose to small supermarket size. TJs is price driven, WF surely is not.

But perhaps I am not seeing something here. Could the folks making these comparisons please tell me what items are sold in the same form in both stores?

[/quote

Plugra butter, Total yogurt, 1dz organic eggs, Terra Chips, half gallon organic milk. Compare the prices.

I shop at TJ's and WF. Both stores have products that vary from region to region. In California WF has excellent, local organic vegetables, in Chicago, I bought the most amazing brisket. In NYC it has tired vegetables and high prices.

TJs has Niman Ranch beef and pork in CA, not here. They also have a larger selection in CA. So it really depends where you live. Both are useful for different things. You can't go into either store with a shopping list, although, more so WF.

That said, TJ's has items that are such high quality at lower cost. To mention a few: Their jams from Canada, Niman Ranch BBQ ribs, their frozen petit pois.

Bottom line: I used to drive to NJ to go to Tjs, I can't be bothered to go to WF, not in NYC, anyway.

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Plugra butter, Total yogurt, 1dz organic eggs, Terra Chips, half gallon organic milk. Compare the prices

But we're talking about stores with upwards of 10,000 products; and we've only found 5 that are sold in both stores?? That's what I'm talking about!! These stores are 2 totally different experiences with totally (mostly) different products.

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Plugra butter, Total yogurt, 1dz organic eggs, Terra Chips, half gallon organic milk. Compare the prices

But we're talking about stores with upwards of 10,000 products; and we've only found 5 that are sold in both stores?? That's what I'm talking about!! These stores are 2 totally different experiences with totally (mostly) different products.

You are right they are two different stores. I happen to like shopping at both of them. But I do buy more at Whole Foods than TJ's.

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Plugra butter, Total yogurt, 1dz organic eggs, Terra Chips, half gallon organic milk. Compare the prices

But we're talking about stores with upwards of 10,000 products; and we've only found 5 that are sold in both stores?? That's what I'm talking about!! These stores are 2 totally different experiences with totally (mostly) different products.

Do you want me to spend my entire morning thinking about two products that both stores have? The point is that the two stores are about comparing apples and oranges. TJs is about value. Whole Foods is not.

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Whole Food's bread and butter is the customer who buys into the false belief that expensive equals better.

There's probably something in that. Also, while there obviously isn't a causal connection between expensive & better, sometimes you do get what you pay for.

If anyone can find me consistently good chicken breasts, preferably non-factory-farm, somewhere other than Whole Foods, I'm open to suggestions. I used to go over to another town for the Bell & Evans at the Stop & Shop, but they weren't always in stock. I would settle for Stop & Shop's own brand of "naturally raised chicken," pretty clearly designed to compete with WF's. While they were cheaper, they were always tough, which explains why the Bell & Evans would sell out even at a higher price. It all became not worth the trip.

I could cite similar instances with seafood & certain produce items.

Switching gears, I think people keep comparing TJ & WF because they both have a certain foodie appeal. They are based on different concepts & offer different sets of goods, but they both purport to have a certain emphasis on quality & flavor that is going to appeal to customer bases that overlap significantly.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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In my neighborhood in New York, Whole Foods is considerably cheaper for staple products like juices and milk. It's only when you reach the produce that things get out of whack. I hate myself for shopping there (business practices, insane lines, poor floor plan) but when my alternative is Gristide's or Associated for grocery items, it's Whole Foods every time.

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