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Thread: Trader Joe's vs Whole Foods??? page

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    kiwigal's Avatar
    kiwigal is offline Senior Member
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    Trader Joe's vs Whole Foods???

    Primal Fuel
    I am mega confused. Why is Trader Joe's significantly cheaper than Whole Foods but both carry organic fruit, veggies, chicken????


    I know the fruit is fresher at Whole Foods, but I can pick through and look for the fresh stuff at Trader's which is not always fresh!!!


    Are there levels of organic LOL or am I missing something????



    Thanks for answering my random question!!!

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    statikcat's Avatar
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    Whole Foods has a higher consistency of quality food imo. Especially with fruit. TJ is quite cheaper though but less selection. Sometimes I go to both since they are a few blocks from each other where I live. I avoid their bundled fruits like apples, pears as too often half the bag is bad and you can't easily tell from the outside.

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    kiwigal's Avatar
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    So they are both Organic hence healthy, except Whole Foods has fresher food than Traders????

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    It used to be that Trader Joe's did not always carry the same items week-to-week. Something you really liked would disappear from the shelves never to be seen again. This still happens with some things. But that was one way they kept prices down in the past. Good deals on stuff that wouldn't always be there. Nowadays they are much larger so they can get good deals on things that will be around for a while because they can sell a lot of it. In other words, the prices are different based on normal retail pricing methods and not because there are special levels of organic (although Whole Foods kind of made up their own levels for some things.)
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    I looked at three links:

    Trader Joe's - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Aldi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/bu...anted=all&_r=0

    Though I skimmed, it looks like Trader Joe's is a privately held company and is owned by the same German trust that owns Aldi. Whole Foods is a publicly traded company.

    My very biased answer: Once a company goes public, no matter how good it was before, it becomes a whore that answers to stockholders. It takes a lot of extraneous bullshit to be the prettiest most expensive whore on the block and that overhead results in higher prices. In addition, Germans are better business people than Americans - or more to the point, their business models are usually smarter.
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    kiwigal's Avatar
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    OH you guys are sooo helpful!!!!!

    My hubby thought that there were levels of organic because there is with meat. Grass fed, but corn finished, 100% grass fed, pure grain fed etc.....

    So what I am getting from this is Traders is privately owned, so can therefore set their own prices??? The organic fruit is 100 percent organic but is not as fresh as Whole Foods.

    Thats an easy fix since I can pick through the fruit at Traders.

    Sorry the hubby is a die hard organic freak LOL and my grocery bill is going up at Whole Foods. I am trying to lower my weekly bill by buying grass fed meat and pasteur fed organic eggs at Whole Foods, and my fruit and veggies and nuts and coffee at Traders.


    You guys are freaking awesome!!!!!!

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    statikcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwigal View Post
    So they are both Organic hence healthy, except Whole Foods has fresher food than Traders????
    Yes in my experience. If you buy a bag of apples half of them might be rotten at TJ - has happened to me several times. Whole Foods has better quality control on fresh produce. Something being organic does not mean it is fresh, etc.

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    Ya, really different business models.

    Trader Joe's = save money on non-perishables like oil, vinegar, sauces, seasonings. Dairy items are also decent, but I find their meat and produce very meh.

    Whole Foods = good meat and produce, wide selection on everything else but it's all overpriced so I only grab what's unavailable elsewhere. Salad/deli bar is pretty sketchy.
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    diene's Avatar
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    Whole Foods has a much larger selection. The meat at Trader Joe's is prepackaged. You can ask the meat counter guys at Whole Foods to slice the meat for you, and they will do it for free. I ask them to slice my meat whenever I need it sliced to make jerky.

    Just because a company is publicly traded doesn't mean that they aren't able to "set their own prices."

    Whole Foods is more expensive because the quality of their products is higher. They sell the best tasting sweet potatoes, and everything is always fresh.

    Edited to add: Disclaimer--I have a huge crush on John Mackey so anything I say is biased. I also want to work for Whole Foods when I grow up. <3

    That said, in CA, TJ's is a great place to buy wine. They often have great bottles that are between $4 and $8.
    Last edited by diene; 06-21-2013 at 01:08 PM.

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    We actually pretty much only buy meat at Whole Foods. At least, at the one closest to our house, we can get cuts of grass-fed beef for $5.49/pound… while Trader Joes only has grass-fed ground beef at $6.99/pound. To buy a quarter cow here, you’re paying about $4.80 per finished pound. We also see chicken hearts, chicken liver, and chicken feet there at good prices, too. Two weeks ago, we bought all their chicken hearts—all ten packages of them!. They also have duck eggs, which we buy when we can’t make it to our local co-op (Whole Foods duck eggs aren’t pastured, I believe.)

    We like Joes for the cheep produce (especially bananas!), cheese, snacks, and frozen berries. They have the best price on kerrygold butter and almond butter around, too.

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