Whole Foods Prices Beat Kroger When Amazon Took Over. What About Now?


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Whole Foods store and Kroger store sign
Photo credit: krblokhin/istockphoto / WendellandCarolyn/istockphoto


Amazon's 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods caused a lot of buzz, especially among shoppers hopeful that the e-commerce giant would dramatically lower prices to compete with conventional grocers. A Cheapism price check shortly after the takeover showed promise, with Whole Foods tying or beating a nearby Kroger on more than two-thirds of the items we surveyed. But with the news that Whole Foods' prices are rising again, we returned to the same Dayton, Ohio, stores for another price comparison.

Although most items on our list were unaffected by the reported price increases at Whole Foods, Kroger and other traditional grocery stories have been aggressively expanding and discounting their "natural" and organic offerings. While there are still items here and there that are cheaper at Whole Foods, this time, the results have flipped, with Kroger beating or tying Whole Foods' prices on 15 out of 19 items.

bananas at Kroger
Photo credit: Sigrid W./yelp.com


Winner: Tie
When we last shopped, Whole Foods had lowered the price on its Whole Trade ethically harvested bananas from 59 cents to 49 cents a pound. Now Kroger, too, has also dropped its price on bananas, also to 49 cents a pound. Prefer organic? Both chains price them at 69 cents a pound.

tomatoes on the vine at Kroger
Photo credit: California C./yelp.com


Winner: Kroger
For fresh tomatoes on the vine, Whole Foods dropped the price to $1.99 a pound from $2.99 after Amazon stepped in. Still, Kroger is a better bet, charging only $1.49 a pound.

brought avocado from Kroger with hand holding at home
Photo credit: Coco J./yelp.com


Winner: Kroger
Craving some guacamole? Whole Foods charges $1.49 each for Hass avocados, down from $2 before the Amazon acquisition. But Kroger has dropped its price on similar-size avocados to $1.25 from $2 since our previous shopping trip.

apples at Kroger
Photo credit: William M./yelp.com


Winner: Tie
These lunchbox standbys used to be $2.99 a pound at Whole Foods; now you'll find them for $1.99. And while they used to be pricier at Kroger, the price there has dropped to $1.99 a pound from $2.49.

Whole Foods Organic Large Brown Eggs
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Tie
Whole Foods lowered the price of organic cage-free large brown eggs to $3.19 a dozen after the Amazon takeover, but on our recent shopping trip, the price had risen to $3.99. Kroger charges the same amount for its Simple Truth organic brown eggs.

Simple Truth Organic 100% Whole Grain Rolled Oats
Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Kroger
Need to have oatmeal to get going in the morning? Whole Foods charges $2.99 for an 18-ounce container of organic quick oats. But they're still cheaper at Kroger, where you'll pay $2.69.

365 Everyday Value, Walnuts Halves & Pieces
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Whole Foods
Walnut fans will be better off at Whole Foods, where a 16-ounce bag of halves and pieces costs $6.99. At Kroger, the same amount is $7.99. If you want organic, they're $7.99 for 10 ounces at Whole Foods and $8.99 for 10 ounces at Kroger.

365 Everyday Value, Organic Butter Salted
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Whole Foods
The price of Whole Foods' organic butter has zoomed up to $5.29 a pound from $4.49 since we last shopped. But it's still cheaper than Kroger's Simple Truth organic butter, which is $5.99 a pound.

hand holding Kroger purified water in car
Photo credit: Chris T./yelp.com


Winner: Kroger
If you're grabbing bottled water at Whole Foods, you're probably overpaying. A 24-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles is $3.49. You can get the same size package of Kroger-brand water for $2.69.

Simple Truth Organic Chocolate Chips Semi Sweet
Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Kroger
The Whole Foods is our area is no longer stocking store-brand organic chocolate chips, which were priced at $4.49 on our last shopping trip. Now, the only option is the Equal Exchange brand, which is $6.49 for 10 ounces. That's a lot steeper than Kroger's Simple Truth organic chocolate chips, which are $3.59 for 10 ounces.

Simple Truth Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Kroger
Whole Foods is still charging $2.79 for 25-ounce jars of its store-brand organic pasta sauces. That's not cheap enough to beat Kroger, which asks just $2.29 for the same size jar of Simple Truth pasta sauce.

Simple Truth Organic Almond Milk
Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Kroger
Stocking the pantry with dairy-free almond milk? Whole Foods charges $1.99 for a 32-ounce carton. Kroger still has an edge, though, charging $1.79 for the same size carton of its Simple Truth brand.

365 Everyday Value, Organic Almondmilk Unsweetened
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Whole Foods
If you like almond milk but prefer the refrigerated version, Whole Foods sells 64 ounces for $2.99. Kroger's price is slightly higher for the same size container: $3.19.

Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Tie
Historically, Whole Foods has been much pricier than competitors for most cereals, but Cheerios isn't one of them. Its price has risen slightly since we last shopped, from $2.99 to $3.19 for a 12-ounce box. But Kroger also charges $3.19 for the same box.

365 Everyday Value, Almond Butter Creamy
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Whole Foods
If you prefer almond butter to peanut butter, Whole Foods charges $6.99 for a 16-ounce jar (crunchy or creamy). At Kroger, you'll pay $6.29 for 12 ounces. That makes the per-ounce cost at Kroger 52 cents, while at Whole Foods, it's 44 cents.

Nature's Rancher, Beef Ground 85/15 Organic Grass Fed Step 4
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Winner: Tie
Amazon had dropped prices at the Whole Foods meat counter last time we shopped. The store is still charging $6.99 a pound for 85 percent lean, organic, grass-fed ground beef. Kroger is now matching that, however, having dropped its price from $7.49 to $6.99.

Simple Truth Organic Grass Fed Beef Ribeye Steak
Photo credit: Courtesy of kroger.com


Winner: Kroger
For the occasional splurge on a juicy ribeye, Whole Foods is charging $18.99 a pound. You can save $1 a pound shopping at Kroger, which charges $17.99 for its organic Simple Truth steaks.

raw chicken in butchers paper
Photo credit: LauriPatterson/istockphoto


Winner: Tie
Prefer poultry? Whole Foods' (non-organic) fresh, young whole chickens are $1.99 a pound. Kroger sells them under its Simple Truth brand for the same price.

person shops in Whole Foods Market in the Brooklyn
Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Staff/Getty Images


Winner: Tie
Nothing beats a rotisserie chicken for an easy, tasty meal on a busy weeknight. Whole Foods dropped the price on its organic chickens substantially after Amazon's takeover, from $12.99 to $9.99. That ties it with Kroger, which charges $9.99 for its Simple Truth organic rotisserie chickens.

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