Did Amazon really just make Whole Foods cheaper?

Here's what we found during a quick visit to one store Monday morning.
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You might’ve heard that Amazon is cutting prices at Whole Foods, which it just bought in a multibillion-dollar takeover. 

The two companies announced the price-slashing as part of Amazon’s vision to make Whole Foods’ “high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.”

Starting Monday, the grocery chain began offering lower prices “on a selection of best-selling grocery staples” as a “down payment on that vision,” a news release said.

But considering that Whole Foods has a reputation for being expensive (as evidenced by its nickname, “Whole Paycheck”), will this down payment be big enough for the average consumer?

What to expect

As the companies said, the price cuts target “grocery staples,” so don’t go to your nearest Whole Foods expecting fancy items to be cheap.

But you can find deals on the basics like meat, eggs, and fish in the deli, butcher, and dairy departments. Just look for the little orange signs advertising Whole Foods’ lower prices – and its new relationship with Amazon:

Now for the actual price cuts. As you can probably guess from the example above, smaller, less expensive items are about a buck off, while larger, costlier items are about three dollars off, at least based on our visit to the downtown Minneapolis Whole Foods on Monday.

For example, this Atlantic salmon fillet is now $9.99, marked down from $12.99:

So if you’re in the market for some high-quality basics, the discounts are moderately significant.

For a highly detailed breakdown of the items now on sale, check out this analysis by CNBC.

Other changes

From what Amazon has made public about the takeover, this seems to be the first step in a much larger process of changing the way Whole Foods does business.

Regarding the price cuts, company officials said there’s “more to come.” There are a lot of infrastructure changes in the pipeline, too.

Amazon said the two companies will work together to “integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system” – in other words, Prime members will be getting special deals other consumers won’t, similar to how the membership already works on Amazon.com.

Otherwise, the companies will “invent in additional areas over time … to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.”

GoMN reached out to Whole Foods for more details – including how the changes will affect employees – but was told the company doesn’t have “any additional information we can share at this time.”

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