Whole Foods has always been a high-end market selling organic products for a high-end price. In 2017 when Amazon announced their purchase of the grocery chain, they assured buyers the “Whole Paycheck” reputation would be a thing of the past. And it was; at least for a little while until prices started creeping back up and once again, Whole Foods claimed their previous title.

The rise in price was justified by introducing Amazon Prime Discounts which offered subscribers extra savings on specific items (which changed weekly) with the assumption that more Whole Foods shoppers would sign up for the service. It was expected that the extra savings would pull in current Amazon customers, but as prices steadily increased, and the discounts didn’t, Prime members looked elsewhere to buy their groceries. In order to get more traffic into the stores, Whole Foods intends to not only lower overall costs but extend price cuts to more than just Prime subscription holders. Produce will have the most impact with an average savings of 20%, and there will be extra incentives for people to sign up for Prime, giving $10 off a $20 purchase to new members.

Below is a comparison between Whole Foods and six of its key organic\supermarket competitors using data collected by CSG’s data team. Between the seven stores listed, Whole Foods ranks in the middle for the number of units and adjusted market share. However, when CSG did further analysis, it found the average cost per location/unit put Whole Foods directly under Kroger, the top company in sales, stores, and revenue per location for grocery food stores. Since the grocery chain is obviously doing well in sales, Whole Foods’ new goal is to increase foot traffic by decreasing prices and entice more of their new shoppers to sign up for Amazon Prime.


Sprouts Farmers Market, one of the direct organic market competitors listed in the chart above, not only has weekly sales available to all shoppers, but their products start at a lower cost than Whole Foods. Comparing several items from produce, dairy and the meat department, on average customers shopping at Whole Foods will pay 8.9% more for the same product as they would shopping at Sprouts. As more grocery chains branch out into the organic market Whole Foods will need to find a way to keep their prices in line with their competitors. Lowering costs for customers means Whole Foods’ suppliers will have to meet the demands and reduce their costs to stay competitive.