August 28, 2017

"Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices as Much as 43% on First Day."

Bloomberg reports.

The item that's 43% cheaper is the very thing I bought last Friday: Organic Fuji apples. From $3.49 a pound to $1.99 a pound.

93 comments:

brylun said...

Maybe Bezos can send food to Venezuela.

chuck said...

Walmart sells Fuji apples, $4.92 for a five pound bag.

MadisonMan said...

I don't shop much at Whole Foods. But I do like their Tonic Water, I look forward to a price cut from the current $2.99/sixpack.

Michael K said...

We have a Whole Foods just down the street. I go there for sushi. That's it.

There's a Safeway across the street but its prices are not much better. Their wine prices are very good, though.

Fry's is a couple of miles away and that is where my wife does the weekly shopping.

We miss Stater Brothers, which California only. The last good thing about California besides the weather.

jwl said...

Never been to a Whole Foods but I had impression that it was Veblen Good retailer, it will be interesting to see what happens when prices are dropped and it becomes less exclusive.

Titus said...

There is a Whole Foods 2 blocks from me. I seriously don't look at the prices or my receipt. I have no idea how much the food cost.

mockturtle said...

I bought non-organic Fuju apples for 69c/lb. The term 'organic' is ridiculous, anyway. I understand the meaning as it is used but we all know that all living things are, in fact, 'organic' rather than inorganic.

Bay Area Guy said...

Cheap organic shit for everyone!

As long as the beer, Spam and Doritos are reasonably priced, I'll be happy...

(JUST KIDDING!)

Bruce Hayden said...

"There's a Safeway across the street but its prices are not much better. Their wine prices are very good, though.

Fry's is a couple of miles away and that is where my wife does the weekly shopping."

Agreed. Actually, I think that it is Krogers generally, r at least in the west. Definitely preferred their King Soopers and City Markets in CO over Safeway too. In PHX, Safeway is closer than either of the Fry's, but don't get there more than every couple of months. Safeway supposedly used to have better produce, but have been forbidden to buy such there after every Avocado out of a half dozen, from three different batches, that I bought there last year were rotten. Much better luck at the Walmart around the corner, or at one of the Fry's. Plus, the food at either tends to be cheaper.

Another thing that I really like about Krogers/Fry's are their pharmacies. Very consistently, they work harder at satisfying us. They will preorder medicines, have daily, not biweekly, deliveries, and don't require the paper script to order them in. Worst, of course, is Walgreens. But Safeway isn't that much better.

Expat(ish) said...

Number one organic grocer in the united states: Wal*Mart. By a mile.

@Mockturtle: in my family when we see "organic" it causes comments like:
-> Stay away from concrete apples!
-> Ferric apples break your teeth!

The GMO comments are pretty funny too.

Iconoclasts, the lot of them!

-XC

Howard said...

Librul capitalism lowering prices so even deplorables can afford organic food.

Michael K said...

"Another thing that I really like about Krogers/Fry's are their pharmacies"

Pharmacy benefit plan requires CVS but Walgreens is cheaper for some things even if not covered.

My wife has heavy pharmacy bills.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to that, that it has been a long time since I managed to do weekly shopping trips. Here, in MT, there are days when I am at the grocery store 2-3 times in one day. In AZ, it is the Walmart I hit most days. In CO, it was the neighborhood King Soopers and City Market. Not that we couldn't plan that far ahead. Or, at least I could. But I am outvoted. Last night, it was premium paper plates. Night before, it was salad dressing and sliced cheese. Etc. maybe we will make it today - we have family coming in tomorrow to visit. We shall see. Big shopping trip was scheduled for Fri, and it is already Mon.

Balfegor said...

One of the reasons I like Whole Foods for fruit is that I am extremely superficial about my fruit. I don't like it bruised or with little pockmarks. When I shop at Safeway or Harris Teeter here, I have to scrutinize the fruit carefully, because 80%+ of the fruit on offer is blemished. Whole Foods, although it is expensive, has a much, much lower bruise rate on its fruit. This may or may not be unique to the DC/Northern VA shops I go to, but it is my experience. Also, berries are typically better (I distinguish berries because, in fact, my experience is that Harris Teeter Fuji and Honeycrisp apples are slightly tastier than Whole Foods apples.)

Anyhow, I worry that lowering the price on fruit will mean that Whole Foods ends up offering bruised and pockmarked fruit like all the other supermarkets around here.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The item that's 43% cheaper is the very thing I bought last Friday: Organic Fuji apples. From $3.49 a pound to $1.99 a pound.

Ah! But were they Gluten Free Organic Fuji apples?

Bruce Hayden said...

@Dr K:

Ditto for my partner. She has BC/BS of MT, that seems fairly agnostic as to pharmacies. The amount we save goes a long way to paying the premiums. Just noticed that my Part D is through a CVS company. Don't have one close here, of course. If they won't cover things well outside their pharmacies, I expect that I will change for next year.

Virgil Hilts said...

A couple of years ago, my wife sent me to Whole Foods to pick up about eight pounds of tenderloin for a family gathering. I have been afraid to go back ever since.

buwaya said...

"One of the reasons I like Whole Foods for fruit is that I am extremely superficial about my fruit."

Grew up with third-world public markets. These are educational, and quickly exterminate all fussiness. The fruit tastes much better than US supermarket stuff also.

exiledonmainstreet said...

" Whole Foods, although it is expensive, has a much, much lower bruise rate on its fruit"

Whole Foods in Milwaukee made a very wise decision about their location. They are on the ground floor of a building that has a medical clinic above. When you get off the elevator from the physician's offices the WF produce department is right in front of you.

How many people, who have just gone through their yearly physical and been scolded or warned about their current weight and eating habits, get off the elevator feeling glum, look up and see - all the stuff the doctor says they should eat! And then they go in with fresh resolve and virtuously fill the cart with kale and tomatoes and zucchini and leaf lettuce, saying to themselves it's all going to change now....

buwaya said...

I wonder what Bezos intends here.
The huge cuts show that Whole Foods had incredible profit margins.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Ah! But were they Gluten Free Organic Fuji apples?"

I was at Subway this morning for breakfast. Clerk there referred me to where they post the calories for their breads. Most are in the 210-240 range for 6" subs. A couple lower. But their Gluten Free bread was roughly 340. The large numbers of overweight who frequent that place should learn to do what I do - eat without the bread. I have "omlets" in the morning (breakfast subs w/o the bread, folded over like an omelet) or salads at night - esp when we haven't made it grocery shopping for awhile.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"The fruit tastes much better than US supermarket stuff also."

What? Ya mean if it is allowed to ripen on the tree instead of picked green and gassed in the warehouse? Thumping peaches you can pound nails with.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Expat(ish) said...
Number one organic grocer in the united states: Wal*Mart. By a mile."

I shop at Walmart for some household goods, but the few times I checked out their fresh produce, it looked godawful. Maybe it's just the one closest to me.

mockturtle said...

And most pesticides used today are, in fact, 'organic' compounds. When I tell this to people they look skeptical. [Is chemistry taught in high school any more?]

Balfegor said...

Re: buwaya:

Grew up with third-world public markets. These are educational, and quickly exterminate all fussiness. The fruit tastes much better than US supermarket stuff also.

My standard of comparison is Japanese supermarkets, which make US supermarkets look like the third world. Also, tender and easily bruised fruits like peaches are carefully packaged with those little foam sleeves. They better be, really, given how expensive they are.

mockturtle said...

Or if a product advertises itself a having only 'natural' ingredients, I think of arsenic and cyanide.

mockturtle said...

My standard of comparison is Japanese supermarkets, which make US supermarkets look like the third world. Also, tender and easily bruised fruits like peaches are carefully packaged with those little foam sleeves. They better be, really, given how expensive they are.

Japan does so many things right, IMO.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bruce Hayden said...

Safeway supposedly used to have better produce, but have been forbidden to buy such there after every Avocado out of a half dozen, from three different batches, that I bought there last year were rotten. Much better luck at the Walmart around the corner, or at one of the Fry's. Plus, the food at either tends to be cheaper.

You want to go to Sprouts for produce in AZ, they're a bit of a niche store, but they beat all the chains on produce quality.

Michael K said...

"You want to go to Sprouts for produce in AZ, they're a bit of a niche store, but they beat all the chains on produce quality."

There's one not far. I might try it.

3MartiniLunch said...

Blogger Balfegor said...
One of the reasons I like Whole Foods for fruit is that I am extremely superficial about my fruit. I don't like it bruised or with little pockmarks.

Me too, but then the checkout person tosses it onto the counter anyway, so all my effort is defeated.

Good God, I've become my grandfather.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michael K said...

There's one not far. I might try it.

They target the retiree couple niche around here. Everything is packaged in smaller portions that you'd get at Safeway or Wal-mart. They're a bit more expensive than the chain stores, though.

BTW, have you been to AJ's Fine Foods? They're like pre-Bezos Whole Foods, but without the Marxism.

tcrosse said...

You want to go to Sprouts for produce in AZ, they're a bit of a niche store, but they beat all the chains on produce quality.

I second that, in NV.

Michael K said...

"BTW, have you been to AJ's Fine Foods? They're like pre-Bezos Whole Foods, but without the Marxism."

No, I don't have a Ferrari so I don't shop there.

It is fun to visit and I live a bout a mile away.

Freeman Hunt said...

Wow. Might have to run by there today.

Paul J said...

Oh, for Christ's sake! The Althousentariat become a caricature of themselves when the topic turns to pharmacies/grocery stores.

Old fogeys!

tim in vermont said...

I'll spend whatever I have to to get the food I like, but Whole Foods doesn't seem to be the place. I would rather spend money on gas and drive to the best farm stands or farmer's markets.

I am thinking next year of following the tomato crop north. Get an Airstream or something.

tim in vermont said...

Peaches, go to a farm stand in Maryland or Southern Pennsylvania. Cannot be beat.

David said...

"There is a Whole Foods 2 blocks from me. I seriously don't look at the prices or my receipt. I have no idea how much the food cost."

Noted.

Reason 4 to the 8th power why Trump won the election.

David said...

"Peaches, go to a farm stand in Maryland or Southern Pennsylvania."

Amazingly enough in Wisconsin too. It's a small crop but delicious.

bagoh20 said...

I've always disagreed with the adage that "you get what you pay for." Going cheap is often a mistake, and although paying more usually increases the chance of getting quality, it only guarantees a high price. So paying less prevents you from getting the worse possible outcome: high price and low quality.

David said...

"Peaches, go to a farm stand in Maryland or Southern Pennsylvania."

Amazingly enough in Wisconsin too. It's a small crop but delicious.

Caligula said...

Well, obviously something that once sold for $3.98 and is now selling for $2.27 is a better value than something that's always been sold elsewhere for $1.49.

Even if it's the same thing.

Because, think of all the money you're saving by buying it!

Kate said...

I'm with @jwl, above. Will Whole Foods remain in business when the elite start rubbing shoulders in the store with the hoi polloi? And how in the world will upper crust, middle aged singlers troll the aisles for romance anymore?

rcocean said...

If my local Whole foods have dropped their prices I didn't notice. Used to go there for lunch during work but hot bar and deli prices have sky rocketed while the quality has gone down.

IMO, except the fruit/vegetables and a few other items, you might as well go to Safeway.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

You guys must have a different Fry's. Out here it's an electronics megastore. Not a veggie in sight. Though there are acres of junk food lined up along the checkout lines.

rcocean said...

Sometimes you "get what you pay for" and sometimes you're just getting ripped off.

Compared to Safeway, Whole Foods will charge extra for things milk, hamburger, rice, spaghetti, potatoes and onions (non-organic).

I doubt you're getting "Extra" quality.

Angel-Dyne said...

Paul J: Oh, for Christ's sake! The Althousentariat become a caricature of themselves when the topic turns to pharmacies/grocery stores.

Old fogeys!


Lol. It's funny 'cause it's true.

On our recent Eclipse Road Trip I found myself at a roadside Perkins, eating one of the reduced-portion breakfasts from their "over 55" menu (which was still more food than I could eat), listening to the pair in the booth behind us discussing their cataract surgeries.

"Fuck it," I thought, "a whole new meaning for 'senior moment'".

rcocean said...

I love Sushi and poke but I can only eat so much uncooked fish without worrying about the health consequences.

But then I'm a wuss.

rcocean said...

"Lol. It's funny 'cause it's true."

I don't know if its an old thing. Some people are foodies, some are frugal shoppers, and some of us can care about what we eat and other things.

It does annoy some young people when you go on and on about food or crab about how much things cost "now days". I remember when i was just out of college and i got stuck at table with two older co-workers who talked endlessly about bread and how "bread alone could make a meal". i wanted to kill myself, it was so dull. Now, I could have that conversation and enjoy it.

chickelit said...

It's called halving it all.

Sydney said...

I've only been to Whole Foods once. Thought it was over-rated. If he brought the prices down, he only brought them down to what they should be. We have locally owned whole-type foods groceries around here that offer better foods than what I saw at Whole Foods for much less. (Which is probably why I had to be in another town to visit a Whole Foods)

pacwest said...

"As long as the beer, Spam and Doritos are reasonably priced, I'll be happy..."

And don't forget donuts. Mother Nature's most perfect food.

SukieTawdry said...

How much were cheese curds?

Michael K said...

"Will Whole Foods remain in business when the elite start rubbing shoulders in the store with the hoi polloi? "

The customers I see in Tucson look like hippie types trying to look prosperous.

"You guys must have a different Fry's. Out here it's an electronics megastore."

I think they are one family,. If I remember correctly, the kids started the electronics stores.

Titus said...

My Indian Hubby gives me a $100.00 whole foods gift card every month.

I seriously don't look at prices much at restaurants either. But when I clothing shop I look a the price tags.

tits.

Angel-Dyne said...

Sydney: We have locally owned whole-type foods groceries around here that offer better foods than what I saw at Whole Foods for much less. (Which is probably why I had to be in another town to visit a Whole Foods)

We do, too (we refer to them generically as SWPL-marts), which I do shop at for certain things. With Bezos running Whole Foods, though, I wonder if it's just a matter of time before they are all absorbed by the relentless Amazon borg.

Titus said...

My mom, on the other hand, uses her Pig Points from Piggly Wiggly, to get 10 cents off a gallon of gas, and she has coupons for everything-even restaurants. But I am not embarrassed when she pulls out her coupons at restaurants in Wisconsin. Now if she did it in Cambridge or Boston I would be mortified, and the staff out here would be downright bitchy. In Wisconsin, the wait staff would be like okey dokey we can use that coupon alrighty then.

They call Piggly Wiggly The Pig.

Titus said...

I believe Cambridge has the largest number of Whole Foods per capital in the U.S. We have 4 and 1 on the border of Cambridge in Somerville and our population is like 105,000.

tim in vermont said...

I might go to Wisconsin for cherries. The best Vodka I ever tasted was made from cherries in a small batch distillery in Door County. It might be worth the drive for a case.

EDH said...

The Whole Foods staff, at least those with some grounding in economics, must view this as a bad omen.

Rabel said...

Bezos knows how to sell. He also knows how to manipulate the media. He also knows how to manipulate the public.

Angel-Dyne said...

Titus: My Indian Hubby gives me a $100.00 whole foods gift card every month.

A whole hundred bucks, eh? Hahaha. Either he's a tight-wad, or you're not the fabulously successful cosmopolites you claim you are. Pretty chintzy, even by non-fabulous "suburban flyover rich" standards.

tim in vermont said...

Cambridge is a city where you can pay 17 bucks, or maybe 20, for a smallish tumbler of Maker's Mark. But at least they get the large ice cube part right, generally.

Angel-Dyne said...

EDH: The Whole Foods staff, at least those with some grounding in economics, must view this as a bad omen.

Yeah, I was thinking of that, too. "I'm boned" must be running through their heads on continuous loop right about now, poor bastards.

sodal ye said...

Blogger Michael K said..
There's a Safeway across the street but its prices are not much better. Their wine prices are very good, though.
...
Wow, wine in Safeway! And beer in gas stations! Unbelievable.

In Canada we're not trusted with such easy access to alcohol. The above is unthinkable.

Balfegor said...

Re: Titus:

I seriously don't look at prices much at restaurants either. But when I clothing shop I look a the price tags.

When I clothing shop I ask my tailor to tell me how much it's going to cost.

So there.

Kirk Parker said...

mockturtle,

"Japan does so many things right, IMO."


.... AND ... they're dying out.

tim in vermont said...

I am like the Spacey character in Kapek. I am just on this planet for the produce.

rcocean said...

AND ... they're dying out.

Yeah, you got 120 million Japanese in a a place the size of California. and in 30 years they'll have 110 million. God, it'll be like a ghost town.

OTOH California in 50 years might have 100 million, and God that will great won't it? Think of the $$$ - think of the diversity - think of how great that will be!

Michael K said...

"I believe Cambridge has the largest number of Whole Foods per capital in the U.S."

I imagine your pertussis and measles epidemics must be impressive.,

In California Whole Foods markets and non-vaccination of children plot almost exactly the same on a map.

Earnest Prole said...

Whole Foods was a big deal until Walmart went organic. To compete against Walmart, Amazon bought the Whole Foods name and slapped it on its existing operations. Suddenly shopping at "Whole Foods" costs half as much. Isn't capitalism great?

mockturtle said...

Sodal ye says: In Canada we're not trusted with such easy access to alcohol. The above is unthinkable.

The Canadians I know manage to find it in spite of the difficulty. ;-)

mockturtle said...

Titus reports: My mom, on the other hand, uses her Pig Points from Piggly Wiggly

They still have Piggly Wiggly? I remember those from my childhood but had no idea they were still in business.

glenn said...

You know what this means? Brad and Muffie are going to have to find a different upscale grocery store in which to signal their virtue. The tipping point? Their Whole Foods tote bag gets sneered at by some guy in an S-500.

KathyP said...

I don't shop Whole Foods very often anymore, but I always did like the shopping "experience," including wine and prepared food bars. They also make their own Italian sausage. It's very good. Their other meats, poultry are decently priced when on sale. WF has a good selection of wines not always found at big markets/stores. Unfortunately, the State of Ohio ultimately controls the pricing on wine so no great bargains there. I'll be back this week. I'm curious and am Amazon Prime member (who isn't these days?).

Michael K said...

I wonder if their sushi prices will go down too?

ndspinelli said...

Can Bezos get rid of the condescending, smug, liberal assholes that work @ Whole Foods. Wait, Bezos is one himself. Never mind.

Comanche Voter said...

Zoo time at my local Whole Foods today. Lots of yellow "sale" stickers.

Fritz said...

Closest Whole Foods are in Annapolis or Alexandria VA, about 1 hour away. That's fine with me. We have lots of good farm stands for fruits and veggies and Nicks for meat within 10 minutes.

Anthony said...

I don't know if the plan will work in their favor or not. My impression is that the WF people pay more because it separates them from the hoi polloi.

exiledonmainstreet said...

They still have Piggly Wiggly? I remember those from my childhood but had no idea they were still in business.

8/28/17, 3:51 PM

They're still around in Wisconsin. None that close to me however.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The thing I mainly use WF for is the bulk foods. I bake very rarely so I don't want to buy a 5 lb. bag of flour when I only need a tablespoon or so for a recipe. So I go to WF and measure out a little.

I wish I could do that with fresh herbs. Even those packets they sell in grocery stores are too much. I always end up finding brown bunches of thyme or rosemary in the back of my fridge a couple of months later. At least they don't make the fridge stink.

wildswan said...

Walmart brought food prices down - juice would be 2.50 there, 3.50 at Pick 'n Save and 4.99 at WF. It looks like food prices at WF are now lining up with supermarkets but not cheaper than Walmart. WF always handled fruit especially berries very carefully so they lasted. If they had supermarket prices but continued to handle fruit carefully - well, I'd be very tempted. At present I avoid the place since I merely have to go in to feel an overwhelming urge to shout "Donald Trump is the Greatest." I'm sure I'd be hunted down and die among the fair trade avocados. For, as my niece explained when asked about tolerance and COEXIST: "Oh, we're so far past that."

furious_a said...

Why are fruits and vegetables so much cheaper at Indian markets than Safeway or Kroger (DFW)? Small limes 20/$1.00 at "Sanjay Auper" vs. $0.69/each for medium and 3-for-$1.00 small?

furious_a said...

Whole Foods' CEO penned an opposition op-ed to Obamamcare in the WSJ and the Lwft launched a national boycott against WF for it.

Jay Elink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Smith said...

Chairman of the Packers business development was interviewed on a radio show and said they were trying to get a WF located there. WF said no because the Green Bay area does not have a high enough percentage of people with college degrees.

exiledonmainstreet said...

furious_a said...
Whole Foods' CEO penned an opposition op-ed to Obamamcare in the WSJ and the Lwft launched a national boycott against WF for it."

Which went absolutely nowhere.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Green Bay is a pretty blue collar town. The neighborhood Lambeau Field is in is nothing fancy.

SGT Ted said...

You folks in PHX area need to try shopping at Lee Lee's, the big Asian market there. Good prices on meat and fish, veggies not bad.

SGT Ted said...

You folks in PHX area need to try shopping at Lee Lee's, the big Asian market there. Good prices on meat and fish, veggies not bad.

tim in vermont said...

WF said no because the Green Bay area does not have a high enough percentage of people with college degrees.

It takes a college degree to finally understand that overpaying for food is a wise use of your money.

Titus said...

There are Piggly Wiggly's in Wisconsin. There is one in my hometown of Waunakee. You get a Pig Card and Pig Points which gives you like 10 cents of a gallon of gasoline.