The joke about a trip to Whole Foods eating up your whole paycheck is so ubiquitous it has become cliché, but the fact remains that products from the popular grocery chain do cost a bundle. We all know it takes a certain amount of markup to process, store and ship foods to the local store’s shelves, as well as paying the employees who run each location. But are all inflated prices created equal? A recent study by Credit Suisse has combed through the aisles to find out which foods are actually a bargain.
Analysts shopped at Whole Foods and other supermarkets in Chicago, IL, Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY to compare costs. Here’s the best and worst of their findings:
Whole Foods’ produce sells for 14% higher than other stores. Dry goods are 12% higher and frozen foods are 10% more expensive.
Dairy, meat, poultry and seafood all come in at only 2% above other supermarkets, which is great because you’ll need protein for all of the scoffing you’ll do thinking about how much money you’ve been wasting on fruits and vegetables.
Quartz has some further analysis of Credit Suisse’s findings, including questions as to whether or not the survey was an accurate representation of price gaps nationwide, considering that in some specific cases customers have found items like fish to be twice as expensive at Whole Foods than their local market.
Credit Suisse also concluded that the shopping experience at Whole Foods is better, and that may account for the store’s popularity and diehard devotees (like those who waited an hour to get into the new one that opened in Williamsburg) But with the rollout of the chain’s cheaper 365 locations, it’s clear that customers and corporate alike are acutely aware that, for better or worse, part of the Whole Foods