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Whole Foods prices: What goes down, must come up

When Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 the big draw for consumers was the immediate decrease in prices in-store. Slowly but surely some of those prices are starting to creep back up.  wholefoods

According to The Wall Street Journal, as supplier costs have gone up, so too have Whole Foods prices, ranging from 10 cents to several dollars, depending on the product.

“At Whole Foods, a basket of 40 select items purchased from their stores cost $191 last month, according to the Telsey Advisory Group, up more than 3 percent from what the same basket of goods cost last fall,” according to WSJ, which further reported that soaps, detergent, oils and nut butters have some of the highest increases. The average increase was 66 cents.

A December email obtained by WSJ listed about 550 price increases on an array of products, which included crackers, olives and cookies. The email further said that additional price increases occurred in February following the expiration of annual contracts to sell about 700 goods at low prices. “Those contracts won’t be renewed, the chain said, and the increases add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in additional revenue,” reported WSJ.

A Whole Foods spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that some of the grocer’s suppliers have raised prices due to higher material, labor and freight costs. Whole Foods has passed along part of those increased costs and absorbed the rest, the spokeswoman said. The chain stopped selling nearly half of 700 products with expiring contracts and instituted new deals on 100 more, she said. Prices increased on about 50 of the 700 items, she said, adding that Whole Foods is now putting more items on sale, based on customer purchasing habits.