Whole Foods grocery prices just got cheaper. Amazon and Whole Foods announced that the supermarket chain is cutting prices on hundreds of grocery items, starting today.
Whole Foods, which was bought by Amazon in 2017, says that the new round of cheaper groceries will go into effect on Wednesday, April 3, with “an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season produce, including greens, tomatoes, tropical fruits, and more.” The average price decrease will be 20%, Whole Foods says, and among the freshly discounted items are large yellow mangoes selling for $1 each and organic bunched rainbow chard for $1.99.
When Amazon bought Whole Foods, analysts anticipated that the upscale, expensive grocery chain would lower prices to help it grow beyond its “Whole Paycheck” reputation. Sure enough, Whole Foods customers saw some cheaper prices under Amazon ownership: After the deal closed, prices were cut indefinitely on dozens of Whole Foods products, including organic avocados, apples, and bananas.
Amazon has also introduced special Whole Foods discounts for Amazon Prime subscribers, who get exclusive deals just for members, and who get an extra 10% off on Whole Foods sale items.
If you are not an Amazon Prime member, there’s extra reason to consider signing up now: Starting today, Amazon will give you $10 off a $20 purchase at Whole Foods if you are a new Prime subscriber. You can get the offer by registering for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial now through the end of April at amazon.com/WholeFoods10. (After the 30-day trial, you will be billed for Amazon Prime at a rate of either $12.99 per month or $119 per year. Be sure to cancel Prime before the free trial is over if you do not want to become a paying subscriber.)
Does any of this truly mean that Whole Foods has cheap prices now? Not necessarily. Loyalists love Whole Foods for its high quality standards and its commitment to sustainability. And while Whole Foods prices can be very competitive on select items when they are on sale, you won’t find cheap prices across the board in stores.
One study conducted after Amazon officially took over ownership of Whole Foods showed that the vast majority of items sold in stores did not receive price cuts. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Whole Foods increased prices on many products, including ice cream, soap, cookies, olives, and more, in order to keep up with increased costs from supplies and transportation.
So the new price “cuts” at Whole Foods could be relative — possibly just bringing them back to where they were a few months ago, before price hikes.