Here’s How Little Amazon Is Saving You When You Shop at Whole Foods

A customer shops for avocados at a Whole Foods Market, in New York Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.
A customer shops for avocados at a Whole Foods Market in New York on Aug. 28, 2017. A new report from Gordon Haskett shows Whole Foods prices have dropped overall by just 1.2% since the Amazon takeover. Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

When Amazon took over Whole Foods in August, the two companies announced lower prices on essentials at Whole Foods locations.

It was exciting news for those who assumed they couldn’t do their routine shopping at “Whole Paycheck.” A press release from Amazon said that lower prices were on the way for bananas, avocados, eggs, salmon and tilapia, kale and baby lettuce, ground beef, almond butter and more.

But a new report from researchers at Gordon Haskett says that Whole Foods prices have dropped overall by just 1.2% since the Amazon takeover.

Whole Foods Prices Actually Went Up for These Items

Gordon Haskett tracked prices at a Whole Foods in Princeton, New Jersey, for five weeks after the Amazon takeover. Beverage prices went down about 2.8%, bakery goods dropped 6.8%, and produce prices decreased by 0.5%. But the price increases in the store almost negate those price drops.

The Washington Post outlined the price increases the firm found: Frozen food prices were up 7% during the tracking period, snack prices went up 5.3%, and dairy and yogurt products were priced 2.8% higher than they were in late August.

Meanwhile, Tesley Advisory Group examined prices at a Whole Foods in New York City and found that the store’s prices were still higher than at Walmart and Kroger, according to Bloomberg.

Customer Curiosity vs. Loyalty

For many customers, the price increases and decreases are probably barely noticeable. We’re so busy keeping track of sales, promotions and coupons that price changes of a few cents won’t make most of us to abandon a product.

Meanwhile, data from Foursquare Labs showed a 25% increase in Whole Foods customer traffic since the buyout, according to Bloomberg. Maybe those shoppers had long lists of items they needed; maybe it was just a matter of curiosity.

Beyond curiosity, grocery staples are a huge area for competition right now.

Target announced lower prices on its home essentials last month, and Walmart has started to allow customers to pay with Electronic Benefit Transfer cards when they pick up their online orders at the store. Any new eyeballs a store can get on its prices and promotions could result in long-term customer loyalty — at least, until the next competitor in the grocery wars comes along.

Whole Foods may still have a long way to go before its Whole Paycheck nickname fades.

We reached out to Whole Foods for comment on Gordon Haskett’s findings and will update this post if we hear back

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.