Whole Foods Prices Beat Kroger After Amazon's Price Cuts

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Whole Foods Market store front in Austin, TX
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PRICE CHECK

Ready to rush to Whole Foods now that Amazon has stepped in and started dropping prices? We stopped by on Day 1 of the e-commerce giant's takeover to find out what's cheaper at a Dayton, Ohio, Whole Foods store -- and compared the lower prices with similar items at Kroger, one of the nation's largest traditional grocers. Our price check shows Whole Foods becoming more competitive than the last time we compared the stores, when Kroger beat Whole Foods on more than half the items we surveyed. This time, on the 19 items we compared, Whole Foods beats or ties Kroger more than two-thirds of the time.

Still, take Whole Foods' price drops with a grain of salt: A research firm's analysis of the chain's prices shows that most have stayed the same, and some have even risen to balance out the new discounts. Depending on the contents of your cart, you may not see major savings after all.

Bunch of bananas
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BANANAS

Whole Foods has lowered the price on its Whole Trade, ethically harvested bananas from 59 cents to 49 cents a pound, a 17 percent drop. At Kroger, you'll pay 54 cents a pound for conventionally harvested bananas.

Winner: Whole Foods


Tomatoes on the vine
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TOMATOES ON THE VINE

If you love fresh tomatoes on the vine, you'll be happy to see that they're 33 percent cheaper at Whole Foods, where the price has dropped from $2.99 to $1.99 a pound. Still, Kroger is actually a better bet, charging only $1.69 a pound.

Winner: Kroger


Avocado cut in half
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AVOCADOS

Time for some guacamole? You'll now pay about 25 percent less at Whole Foods for Hass avocados, which are currently $1.49 instead of $2 each. At Kroger, you'll still pay $2 each.

Winner: Whole Foods


Three Gala apples
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ORGANIC FUJI AND GALA APPLES

These lunchbox standbys used to be $2.99 a pound at Whole Foods; now you'll find them for $1.99, a price drop of more than 33 percent. Go ahead and grab several -- they're pricier at Kroger, where you'll pay $2.49 a pound.

Winner: Whole Foods


Fresh brown eggs
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ORGANIC LARGE BROWN EGGS

Whole Foods has dropped the price of organic cage-free large brown eggs more than 8 percent from $3.49 to $3.19 a dozen. That's a nice price compared to Kroger, which charges $3.79 for Sauder's organic eggs.

Winner: Whole Foods


Glass of fresh almond milk next to almonds
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ORGANIC UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK (REFRIGERATED)

If you like almond milk but prefer the refrigerated version to shelf-stable, Whole Foods now sells 64 ounces for $5.49, down from $6.99. Despite Whole Foods' 21 percent price drop, Kroger still offers a far better price on the same size carton of its Simple Truth brand: $3.49.

Winner: Kroger


Oats in a bowl and spoon
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ORGANIC QUICK ROLLED OATS

If you need to have organic instant oats to get going in the morning, Whole Foods has dropped its price 25 percent from $1.99 a pound to $1.49. But they're still cheaper at Kroger, where you'll only pay 99 cents a pound.

Winner: Kroger


Stack of walnut pieces and halves
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WALNUTS (HALVES AND PIECES)

Walnut fans will find a nice 22 percent price drop at Whole Foods, where a 16-ounce bag of halves and pieces now costs $6.99, down from $8.99. At Kroger, you'll pay $6.49, but that's for only 9 ounces.

Winner: Whole Foods


Stick of organic butter
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ORGANIC BUTTER

Whole Foods has dropped the price on its organic butter, both salted and unsalted, from $4.99 to $4.49 a pound. That puts it in a dead heat with Kroger, which also prices its Simple Truth organic butter at $4.49 a pound.

Winner: Tie


Clear plastic bottle of water
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BOTTLED WATER

If you're grabbing your bottled water at Whole Foods, you're probably overpaying. But now, it's not by as much: A 24-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles is $3.49, down more than 12 percent from $3.99. Still, you can get the same size package of Kroger brand water for $2.49.

Winner: Kroger


Pile of chocolate chips
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ORGANIC CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Bakers rejoice: You'll only be paying $4.99 for a pound of organic chocolate chips at Whole Foods now, down from an eye-popping $9.99 a pound – a 50 percent price break. That works out to about 31 cents an ounce. At Kroger, you'll pay $3.59 for 10 ounces of Simple Truth organic chocolate chips, or 36 cents an ounce.

Winner: Whole Foods


Two jars of spaghetti sauce
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ORGANIC PASTA SAUCE

Pasta lovers will be happy to see a cheaper price for Whole Foods' organic pasta sauce, though the price drop is modest at a bit under 7 percent. All of its store-brand varieties are now $2.79 for 25 ounces, down from $2.99. But that's still not cheap enough to beat Kroger, which asks just $2.29 for the same size jar of Simple Truth pasta sauce.

Winner: Kroger


Carton of milk next to a glass of milk
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ORGANIC ALMOND MILK (SHELF-STABLE)

Stocking the pantry with dairy-free almond milk? Whole Foods has dropped the price for a 32-ounce carton 9 percent from $2.19 to $1.99. Kroger still has an edge, though, charging $1.79 for the same size carton of its Simple Truth brand.

Winner: Kroger


Box of original General Mills brand Cheerios
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CHEERIOS (REGULAR AND HONEY NUT)

Traditionally, Whole Foods has been much pricier than competitors on cereal, but that might be changing. You can now grab a 12-ounce box of Cheerios for $2.99, down 25 percent from $3.99. At Kroger, the same box costs $3.29.

Winner: Whole Foods


Bowl of almond butter
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ALMOND BUTTER

If you prefer almond butter to peanut butter, you're in luck: Whole Foods has dropped the price for a 16-ounce jar more than 12 percent from $7.99 to $6.99 -- that's for both crunchy and creamy varieties. At Kroger, you'll pay $7.19 for creamy and $7.49 for crunchy, and you'll only get 12 ounces.

Winner: Whole Foods


Raw ground beef
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GROUND BEEF

Look for some Amazon-fueled price drops at the Whole Foods meat counter, too. You'll pay $6.99 a pound for 85 percent lean, organic grass-fed ground beef, down more than 12 percent from $7.99. That's cheaper than Kroger, which sells it for $7.49 a pound. Whole Foods has also dropped the price on its non-organic ground beef from $5.49 to $4.99. That also beats Kroger's price of $5.49.

Winner: Whole Foods


Raw ribeye steak
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BONELESS RIBEYE STEAK

If a juicy ribeye is on your list of occasional splurges, Whole Foods has lowered the price on its U.S.-raised boneless ribeye steak nearly 18 percent from $16.99 to $13.99 a pound. Kroger's similar Simple Truth ribeye steak is $14.99 a pound.

Winner: Whole Foods


Raw fresh, young whole chicken
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FRESH YOUNG WHOLE CHICKEN

Prefer poultry? Whole Foods' non-organic fresh, young whole chickens are now $1.99 a pound, down 13 percent from $2.29. Kroger sells natural but non-organic Simple Truth chickens for the same price.

Winner: Tie


Rotisserie chicken
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ORGANIC ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

There's nothing better than a rotisserie chicken for an easy, tasty meal on a busy weeknight. Whole Foods has dropped the price on its organic chickens 23 percent from $12.99 to $9.99 each. That ties it with Kroger, which wants $9.99 for its Simple Truth organic rotisserie chickens.

Winner: Tie


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