Everyone did a little double-take when the news came out: Amazon was buying status grocery chain Whole Foods. In late August 2017, shoppers rejoiced when they learned this meant a bunch of prices at the famously costly store would drop, some significantly. Unfortunately, the grand experiment has come to an end. As Quartz puts it, "Even Amazon can't make Whole Foods a cheap place to shop."
The Wall Street Journal reports that Whole Foods has released a 550-item list of price increases. On average, the increase comes out to about 66 cents per item, but some stock, like Dr. Bronner's soaps, will see much bigger leaps. Other consumables on the list include crackers, cookies, olives, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. An earlier price hike related to contract expirations affects about 50 items.
It hasn't been an entirely smooth ride for Amazon even before this. In January 2018, shoppers reported widespread bare shelves at previously well-stock Whole Foods locations, thanks to efficiency protocols. Amazon has also been increasing prices on other services consumers have come to rely on, like its Prime service.
Whether Whole Foods represents enough market share nationwide to drastically alter consumer or industry behavior is up in the air, but if you're looking for ways to save on groceries and still shop well, you're never alone. Some shoppers have come to rely on online ordering, while others are looking at their grocery-shopping habits and finding ways to conserve funds. Some of that requires understanding labels and what's just marketing. Any grocery store can eat up a paycheck, but being smart about shopping is eminently portable.