Whole Foods. Whole paycheck.
It’s a nickname the high-end grocer undoubtedly would love to shed.
There’s no question that, overall, you will pay a premium to fill your cart in the aisles of Whole Foods. However, millions of us are willing to fork over the extra dollars because we think we’re getting a higher quality and better tasting product.
But does WFM really have the best tasting organic produce in the market? With a little help from Jummy Olabanji and Larry Smith, I put price and flavor to the test on ‘Good Morning Washington’.
Are you ready for a surprise?
Whole Foods actually had cheaper prices than the traditional grocery store, Giant, for three of the five items purchased.
Whole Foods vs. Giant: Cost
WFM Price / Giant Price
Honeycrisp Apples: $4.99 lb / $4.49 lb
Fresh Cut Pineapple: $4.49 lb / $5.99 lb
Baby Carrots (1 lb bag): $1.69 / $1.99
Navel Oranges: $1.25 each / $1.50 each
Red Seedless Grapes: $4.99 lb / $2.99 lb
For the purpose of this experiment only organic produce was used, but you can almost always save money by going with the conventional varieties. For example, both stores offered conventional apples for $3.99 per pound while Giant offered 10 conventional oranges for $10.
Whole Foods vs. Giant: Flavor
When it comes to flavor you may be surprised again.
While WFM charged less in some cases, Giant actually tied ‘America’s Healthiest Grocery Store’ in this blind taste test.
Honeycrisp Apples: Tie
Fresh Cut Pineapple: Whole Foods
Baby Carrots (1 lb bag): Whole Foods
Navel Oranges: Giant
Red Seedless Grapes: Giant
In the case of the apples, both stores used the same supplier — Rainier Fruit Company. Although the apples from WFM were a little smaller, it’s not really surprising there was a tie in this category given the connection.
WFM only slightly edged out Giant when it came to the carrots and that may have been because of presentation. The Nature’s Promise carrots (Giant’s all-natural line) were dry and appeared a little white on the outside.
The roles were reversed for the red seedless grapes as Giant’s appeared large, fresh and juicy while WFM offered something that looked like it was only a couple days away from becoming raisins.
When it came to oranges, Giant was the big winner as well.
The pineapple was tested off camera with WFM scoring extremely high marks. Not only was their pineapple $1.50 per pound cheaper, the taste blew Giant right out of the water.
Rule of thumb: Shop around. You may save money buy stocking up on produce at Whole Foods, but in some instances you’ll be sacrificing flavor. Then again, the same can be said for Giant. And if you do all of your shopping at the latter you will very likely have a little more left over in your bank account.