Thrive Market says it can save members up to 50% off retail prices on the 6,000+ products that it sells, but is it really cheaper than Whole Foods Market?
I signed up for a Thrive Market membership during the COVID-19 lockdown and have been ordering from the online service regularly. According to my account, I saved nearly $400 during my first four months.
What Is Thrive Market and Is It Worth It?
Thrive Market is not a full-service online grocery store, but it does sell a lot of organic food, beauty and household products that you’ll find at stores like Whole Foods Market and The Fresh Market.
In addition to non-perishable food items, Thrive Market offers a limited selection of frozen meat, seafood and meal bundles.
Thrive Market vs. Whole Foods Price Comparison
To determine whether Thrive Market is worth the $59.95 annual membership fee, I decided to conduct a price comparison with Whole Foods Market. Here’s what I found:
Thrive Market is 18% cheaper than Whole Foods Market, according to a comparison of 25 popular food and household products from major brands. Thrive Market had the lowest price for 20 out of the 25 items surveyed. The total cost of the 25 items was $41.47 more at Whole Food Market compared to Thrive Market.
The price comparison was conducted on September 1, 2020. Prices were taken from Thrive Market’s website and Whole Foods Market via Amazon.com.
I recorded the lowest advertised price, which included Thrive Market sales and Amazon Prime discounts at Whole Foods Market.
|Product||Thrive Market||Whole Foods Market|
|Justin's Classic Almond Butter, 16 oz jar||$7.34||$8.99|
|Purely Elizabeth, Organic Ancient Grain Granola, Original, 12 oz||$5.99||$4.49|
|Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee, 3.53 oz jar||$8.99||$9.99|
|Pacific Foods Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, 32 fl oz carton||$3.79||$4.79|
|Banza Chickpea Pasta, Penne, 8 oz box||$3.49||$3.99|
|Toms of Maine Wicked Fresh Mouthwash, Cool Mountain Mint, 16 oz bottle||$4.29||$4.99|
|Hu Kitchen, Cracker Sea Salt Grain Free Vegan, 4.25 oz||$5.29||$5.99|
|Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Soap, Free & Clear, 25 fl oz||$3.29||$3.00|
|Clif Bar Builder's Bars, Chocolate Peanut Butter, 12 bars (2.4 oz each)||$16.99||$21.48|
|Birch Benders Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix, 16 oz pouch||$4.99||$5.99|
|Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, 16 oz bag||$10.29||$18.49|
|Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs, Free & Clear, 45 loads||$12.49||$14.99|
|Fourth & Heart Grass Fed Himalayan Salted Ghee, 9 oz jar||$11.49||$12.99|
|Simply Organic Black Medium Grind Pepper, 2.31 oz container||$4.79||$6.99|
|Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap, Peppermint, 32 fl oz bottle||$12.99||$11.51|
|Bon Ami, Cleanser, 14 oz||$1.29||$1.59|
|Nuun, Immunity Orange Citrus, 1.9 oz||$5.49||$6.99|
|Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel, Vanilla Coconut, 13.05 oz tub||$30.99||$39.99|
|Artisana Organics Raw Tahini Sesame Seed Butter, 14 oz||$5.59||$11.99|
|Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac, 10.6 oz box||$4.49||$5.39|
|Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers, 4.25 oz box||$4.49||$3.59|
|Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth, 16.9 oz carton||$5.24||$6.99|
|Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 32 oz bottle||$17.49||$16.19|
|Amy's Vegetable Barley Soup, 14.5 oz. can||$2.54||$3.19|
|Schmidt's Deodorant Stick, Bergamot & Lime, 3.25 oz stick||$7.99||$8.99|
The results of this price comparison confirm that Thrive Market is less expensive than Whole Foods Market, but I recommend that you compare prices on the products that you regularly buy to be certain.
To make this comparison fair, I looked at name-brand items of the same size and quantity. Exact matches only.
I mention that because both Thrive Market and Whole Foods Market have excellent generic brands. Some of my favorite Thrive Market items are from its private label — and they’re more affordable.
Favorite Thrive Market Generics
- Almond butter
- Ground coffee
- Red lentil pasta
- All-purpose cleaner
- Laundry detergent
Least Favorite Thrive Market Generics
- Paper towels
- Bath tissue
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Hand wash
An unexpected way that I’ve been able to offset Thrive Market’s annual fee is by taking advantage of its freebies.
If you plan your Thrive Market shopping around its email alerts, you can score extra discounts and complimentary items. My favorite was a 10-pack of Kind protein bars — all free.
There are frequent sales and discounts that kick in if you spend $49 or more, which also unlocks free shipping.
I placed eight orders with Thrive Market during my first four months with the service. I’ll keep using it to stock up on pantry staples, but I’ll continue to follow my 10-step grocery savings strategy for fresh foods.
If you have a personal Thrive Market review or want to share feedback about my comparison, leave a comment below!