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Which Is Cheaper: Whole Foods or Fresh Market?

Both whole foods and Fresh market are popular grocery chains. As consumers we are always running after value. So, naturally, you might be wondering, which is cheaper – Whole Foods or Fresh market? 

The Fresh Market is cheaper than Whole Foods. Its low transportation cost and own-brand products make grocery shopping cheaper here. Also, it often tries to maintain a competitive edge over its competitors, therefore, Fresh Market sells products at a lower price to keep a hold of its customers.

Now, Fresh market is cheaper. But that doesn’t not make it the best place to do your shopping. Price is just one of the many factors that you should consider before choosing a grocery store. In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at how Fresh Market keeps their prices so low, the pros and cons of shopping there and why Whole Foods is a much better option to do your daily shopping.

What Factors Make Fresh Market Cheaper than Whole Foods?

Whole Foods is considered to be an overpriced grocery by many customers. Comparatively, shopping at Fresh Market is cheaper than that of Whole Foods. The factors that make the Fresh Market cheaper than the Whole Foods are-

• Items from local farmers

• Private label brand

• Competitive edge

Items from Local Farmers

The items available in the Fresh Market are comparatively cheaper in price because they mostly buy their items from local farmers. The retailer saves its expenses by purchasing items from local farmers. 

You can buy items from the Fresh Market at a reasonable price as you do not need to pay for their transportation cost. They do not add their transportation cost while labeling the prices because bringing items from a near distance does not cost them an arm and a leg. So, the retailer does not need to overprice the items to make their moderate amount of profit.

Private Label Brand

Fresh Market has taken the initiative of launching its private label to help the customers to reduce the grocery shopping bills.  You can save up to 3 percent on your weekly grocery shopping bills by choosing to buy Fresh Market’s own brand.  However, you need to be careful of whether they manufacture on their own or they morph other brands’ packaging.

As they manufacture their own products so they can minimize their manufacturing costs by excluding the use of artificial flavors and sweeteners. Therefore, they do not need to purchase from across the world. As their manufacturing cost is minimized they do not overprice their brand to make their profit. 

It is proved by research conducted by Retail Economic that if you switch to Fresh Market’s private label brand then you can lower your grocery shopping expenses. The private label brand of the Fresh Market is one of the main reasons that makes your grocery shopping cheaper at that store.

Competitive Edge

To sustain a business, maintaining a competitive edge is necessary. Without maintaining a competitive edge it is not possible for Fresh Market to gain positive reviews and customers.

Fresh Market tries to keep the hold of its customers so it often sells items at lower prices. At times, Fresh Market sells items at lower prices at the cost of its own loss just to maintain a competitive edge over its competitors.

Pros and Cons of Shopping at Fresh Market

Many customers tend to shop from Fresh Market as it is cheaper than its competitors. But you should not underestimate the disadvantages of shopping at Fresh Market. Here are some pros and cons that should give you a basic idea of what to expect when shopping at Fresh Market.


• Items stays fresh as they are brought from local farmers

• Cheaper prices

• Systematically arranged isles

• Shopping experience is similar to the farmer markets


• Very few offers

• Offers last up to one day or a week

• Do not label non-GMO items

• No third-party certifier to ensure they sell organic or harmful GMO items

The cons should really concern you about your health. Before choosing where to buy you should keep these in mind.

Why Whole Foods Is A Better Option

The definite answer to your question, “Which is cheaper?” is Fresh Market. But that does not mean that you should prefer the cheaper one always. When it comes to these two you should prefer Whole Foods. The reasons for choosing Whole Foods over Fresh Market are briefly explained here-

Certified Organic Foods

You should prefer Whole Foods because they sell certified organic foods. They have a third-party certifier to ensure that Whole Foods sells organic items. Organic items are better for you than GMO food items. 

You should avoid buying organic foods from Fresh Market. Because there is no third-party certifier to ensure whether the items there are organic or genetically modified.

However, you can trust Whole Foods with its non-GMO labeling. BecauseWhole Foods is one of the leading retailers that sells up to 3,000 non-GMO labeled items. And there is no one ahead of them in terms of selling verified non-GMO products. 

Better Customer Services

Whole Foods’ owner Amazon creates a balance between customers' needs and lower prices without compromising the customer services. Grocery shopping becomes much easier when you have the access to good customer services. Whole Foods provides better customer services than Fresh Market.  So, to get the best customer services choose Whole Foods.

Whole Foods customer services even can help you in lowering your bills. If you do not want a whole item then you can ask the employees to cut down the item to the portion you need. If the item can be cut down then you can definitely buy the portion only you need. But if you want to buy a half banana or half an orange then it is not possible. 

Whole Foods follows their “try before you buy” policy so that you do not regret spending your money after buying something. If you are unsure of whether you would like a particular flavor or not then ask their staff to open any product for you to sample. This policy will help to prevent you from wasting money on something you would not like.

Their customer services also help you in lowering your bills by telling you about the sales and offers that are not widely advertised. So, you should not miss out on Whole Foods’s customer services.

Better Offers

Amazon is coming up with many Whole Foods offers ever since Amazon has bought Whole Foods. They offer discounts on items for a week and at times for even months. Whereas Fresh Market's saving offers last up to one day to a week. 

If you own manufacturer's coupons then you will get to save some of your money at Whole Foods. At Whole Foods, you can get up to a 10% discount on buying multiple units of wine, soda, and snacks. You can store them until their expiration date. Meantime, because of buying in large quantities, you get to buy them at a cheaper rate.

Even online Whole Foods shopping provides you an offer too. If you are an Amazon Prime member and want to reduce the delivery charge of online grocery shopping then do shop from Amazon Fresh. Only for Whole Foods online grocery shopping, Amazon Fresh offers free delivery to the Amazon Prime members. 

You Can Save Money

I cannot deny the fact that shopping at Whole Foods is a bit expensive. But it is not impossible for you to save money at Whole Foods.

You can bag some cash from your deposit cost if you refund the glass milk jugs to the Whole Foods retailer. Even Whole Foods allows you to bring your own bags to carry the purchased items. Whole Foods provide paper bags but in case you want to save some bucks then you can take your own bag there. They will not restrict you from bringing your own bag.

Also, Whole Foods’s own 365 brand helps you in saving money in other big brands as well. The 365 brand is cheaper and better in quality than the renowned big brands. Therefore, some of the big brands sell their products at a lower cost to Whole Foods to maintain a competitive edge over the 365 brand.

When Whole Foods gets to buy big brands at a lower price, it tends to sell the big brands at a lower cost as well to the customers. Big brands only cut down their price at Whole Foods only because of its 365 brand. So, if you want to save some money while purchasing big brands then go to Whole Foods.

Whole Foods helps to save some money on your dog’s treat as well.  Because you can ask them to sell the leftover fish bones and shells to make homemade stock for your dogs. Your dogs will definitely love the bones as their treat. Processed dog treats are way more expensive than these.

Extra Features

Whole Foods has some extra features to it as well that add value to your grocery shopping experience. But Fresh Market does not offer such extra features.

Whole Foods has some hangout corners as well. It will help you in saving transportation costs. Because after grocery shopping if you want to relax by yourself or with your friends then you do not need to spend the cost of transportation to go to a restaurant. Because you can just relax at a brew bar and plant-based burger joints at Whole Foods.

Everyone likes to shop without any disturbance. Especially, if you have kids, you might know how moody kids can get while you take them out for grocery shopping.  So, if you want to shop easily with your kids without any nuisance then you should prefer Whole Foods.

Whole Foods introduced a "Kids Club" corner to keep your kids busy munching on snacks while you shop. Oh no, do not worry, they offer free and healthy yet tasty snacks at that section. So, why shouldn't you choose Whole Foods when they take care of your ease and bill reduction too?

Whole Foods is expensive, it is true but nothing good on earth you can get at a lower price. Whole Foods is a better choice to maintain your good health. Before asking “which is cheaper: whole foods or fresh market?’’ you should ask “which is better for my health?’’ But if you do not have breathing room in your budget then choose Fresh Market. 

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Author Ferdi
Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol has been working for a grocery store for the last few years and he knows all the ins and outs of running a grocery store. He's also got great tips about what you need to know as a customer, from getting the most out of your money to knowing where everything is in the store! Ferdi loves sharing his passion with others via his blog on how to have an awesome shopping experience at your local grocery store.
About Ferdi Vol
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