Students Still Avoid Whole Foods

Natalie Chinn
Since Amazon bought Whole Foods on Aug. 28, prices have significantly lowered. If you’re a student with an Amazon Prime membership you may be in luck for future changes to come.

Amazon has officially owned Whole Foods for almost a month, and shoppers have started to notice the results of the $13.7 billion purchase. Following the transfer of ownership on Aug. 28, Amazon immediately enacted a change in Whole Foods’ prices. Produce, such as bananas, organic avocados, organic baby food and organic Gala and Fuji apples was marked down significantly. The cost of Fuji apples decreased by a notable 43 percent, and they are now $1.99 per pound instead of $3.49 per pound. Salmon, tilapia, ground beef, eggs and butter are also now offered at a lower price.

Amazon Prime replaced Whole Foods’ loyalty program, granting all Prime members lower grocery prices. Members can also now enjoy Whole Foods products on Amazon.com and Prime Now, which is a same-day delivery service. Furthermore, the grocery store now features Amazon Lockers, where customers can retrieve or return items bought on Amazon. com. Although the lockers can only be found in select stores, this addition is especially convenient for Prime members. With a clear goal of reducing the cost of quality foods, Amazon has already brought significant change to Whole Foods.

LS sophomore Sam Bernstein, a frequenter of Trader Joe’s, has taken note of the decrease in prices, especially for apples and bananas in Whole Foods.

“To be honest I’m really surprised,” Bernstein said. “The prices at Whole Foods are impressive and seem similar to Trader Joe’s prices.”

Steinhardt sophomore Andrea Yee is partial to Trader Joe’s, despite the markdowns. Yee noticed that even with the new prices, butter at Whole Foods is still two dollars more than at Trader Joe’s.

“For Whole Foods, I only go if I see a sale and it’s actually good,” Yee said. “I think everything’s still expensive. I can’t afford it.”

At the end of the day, NYU students don’t seem to be fazed by Whole Foods’ transformation and have not altered their grocery shopping routines. For them, it’s all about convenience. LS sophomore Bridget Scott shops at Whole Foods, but only because it’s on her way home. Although Scott was impressed by the new cost of avocados, she would have shopped at Whole Foods regardless, she said, simply due to the convenience.

Similarly, Bernstein’s loyalty lies with Trader Joe’s. However, he’s willing to give Whole Foods a shot, especially with the nightmarish lines at the Union Square Trader Joe’s.

“Typically, once I choose a grocery store, I stick to it,” Bernstein said. “I like knowing my way around the store and what times to go.”

A version of this article appeared in Monday, Oct. 23 print edition. Email Natalie Chinn at [email protected]

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