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Trader Joe’s latest move will make you say ‘Whole what?’


SheKnows Editorial

Trader Joe’s has always seemed like a lower-cost option than Whole Foods, but it looks like TJs may have just lowered its prices even more, and wow — it’s a big difference now.

Although just a month ago Business Insider found that the retailers’ store brands cost nearly the same (except when it comes to organics), Deutsche Bank analysts recently price-checked 77 items and found that Trader Joe’s is 26 percent cheaper than Whole Foods overall.

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The analysts’ shopping cart was $240 at Trader Joe’s and $303 at Whole Foods. That’s a difference that really adds up. Think of how much trail mix, Joe-Joes and cookie butter you could get with that leftover cash! (Assuming that, like me, everyone uses Trader Joe’s as basically the world’s biggest adult candy/snack store).

In previous checks, the price difference between the two stores wasn’t so large. This has led some analysts to believe that now that Trader Joe’s has expanded to more than 500 stores, it has been able cut its prices.

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Perishable goods were 30 percent cheaper and nonperishable goods 24 percent cheaper at Trader Joe’s than at Whole Foods.

But what really surprised me was the disparity between private label items. Whole Foods’ 365 store brand was a full 15 percent more expensive than Trader Joe’s store brand in the recent price check. As someone who pretty much always sticks to the store brand, that’s good to know — after all, what’s the point of spending 15 percent more on basics like canned beans when they’re the same quality and made with the same ingredients?

The last time Trader Joe’s slashed prices, Whole Foods followed suit. No word on what its plans are yet, but my fingers are crossed that my city will be getting one of its new, lower-cost 365 by Whole Foods Market stores.

Until then, Whole Foods may be more expensive, but unless Trader Joe’s starts selling purple sweet potatoes, I’m willing to make two trips to satisfy all my grocery needs.

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