Hachi looks comfortable with her new home already.
I recently had a conversation with a co-worker in which I wound up defending Whole Foods as a reasonable place to shop when watching your budget. I insisted it was cheaper than QFC, if you shopped for quality nutrition, and not for price alone. I said this based entirely on a single brand of cereal I know to be a full $2 cheaper at Whole Foods than at QFC, however, and couldn’t back up my argument with facts.
But today, I can, and I’d like to share those facts with you.
Here’s how it worked. We shopped the three closest grocery stores: QFC on Broadway, Madison Market, and Whole Foods on Denny. We compared exact products. We did not take into account member discounts, specials or sales; the prices shown are the base price to the best of our knowledge. All pricing was done between February 7th and February 17th of 2009.
We chose 22 products that we purchase all the time, that we have already vetted as having a good quality for value ratio. Yes, we’re food snobs. Yes, we’re aware of the whole corporate-organic political situation: all we’re trying to do is eat whole, healthy foods with ingredients we can pronounce that haven’t been proven to cause cancer in small rodents. Your mileage may vary if these aren’t your preferred products.
I’ve highlighted the cheapest price for each product. Specifically, I’ve broken out a separate line for the cheddar because we were shocked at how much it cost at Madison Market, and I wanted to highlight just how much closer Mad Market would have been to Whole Foods if not for that one ridiculous price tag.
Results: Well, we began with the premise that QFC was more expensive when you’re shopping for organics and “naturals”, but we truly didn’t expect this kind of difference: that’s nearly a full $15 difference between Whole Foods and QFC. You could get a whole second block of cheddar (at Madison Market, no less!) for that.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to give it a try, or just play with our numbers, you can download the raw data here.