Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Are the New Whole Foods 365 Stores Worth the Trip?

A new Whole Foods 365 store opened in Santa Monica not too far from home.  I currently have a Whole Foods Market store two blocks away, so I wondered if  the new 365 store would prove to be a significantly better choice - enough to get me to drive 10-15 minutes

I had read that the new store format is aimed at getting millennial shoppers - who want good quality food at lower prices- into their doors… but I am no millennial!  So , I also wondered, would it be a better choice for me?  

Whole Food shoppers will recognize the main line of food being sold at these stores; the 365 Everyday Value®line. These products are whole Food’s “generic’ brand which promise to delivered strict quality standards at competitive prices.  They have a list of unacceptable ingredients for food which include (among many others) high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, methylparaben and nitrates/nitrites.  
The meats and poultry sold under the 365 Everyday Value must at a minimum: 

  •  Not receive antibiotics, ever. Sick animals must get treatment, but meat from antibiotic-treated animals cannot be sold to Whole Foods Market.
  • Added hormones are prohibited. While federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pigs, poultry, bison and goats, we don’t allow them in raising beef or lamb, either.
  • Their animal welfare standards must be met.
  • No crates, cages or tethers are permitted during the animal’s daily life. 
  • All ruminants, including beef cattle, bison, sheep and goats, must spend at least two-thirds of their life on pasture. Time in a feedlot cannot be more than one-third of the animal’s life.
  • Meat from cloned animals is not permitted at Whole Foods Market.

I usually buy the 365 brand anyway, and the promise of getting good quality organic foods at a better price had me interested and so, 2 days after opening, I headed over to check it out and compare.

looks more like a warehouse...

Right of the bat the store looks completely different from what I am used to my local Whole Foods looking - more of an open warehouse feel.  The produce section, had all the exact same fruits and veggies you would find at a ‘normal’ Whole Foods store.  

They have a slightly smaller prepared foods section; although they do offer similar options (Indian food, salad bar etc) and they also have a window where you can order what looked like really tasty tacos and Mexican food.

The rest of the store offers very similar products to Whole Foods stores -
mostly 365  brand- but other
brands are sold (all the way at the bottom) 
although slightly less options per product.  IE: instead of 8 different tomato sauce brand options there were 3 or 4.  They also had a great wine section which were not 365 brand and where I found an amazing Organic Medoc blend at a very reasonable price!

Missing?  Smaller gourmet and specialty items which I do sometimes try and fall in love with.

What I was mostly curious about was what checkout would look like.  Would it be cheaper to shop at the new 365 stores?   

At home, I compared 4 random items that I purchased that same week at both the 365 store and the Whole Foods store.

Driscoli Organic strawberries
Whole Foods Price: $3.99
365 price: $3.50

365 organic flour tortillas  
Whole Foods Price: $2.19
365 Price: $1.99

Organic Pluots
Whole Foods Price:  $3.99/lb
365 price: $2.50/lb

Cedar’s garlic hommus with hummus chips (snack pack ) 
Whole Foods Price:  $2.19
365 Price:  $1.99

Needless to say I was surprised that every single on of these 4 items cost less at the new 365 store than at the Whole Foods.  I will definitely make an effort to shop at 365 when I can.   

Currently there are five  365 stores opened in:
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Santa Monica, CA

And many scheduled to open around the country very soon
Concord, California 
Long Beach, California 
Los Alamitos, California
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
South Lake Tahoe, California
Temescal, California
Upland, California
Delray Beach, Florida
Decatur, Georgia
Bloomington, Indiana
Weehawken, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Toledo, Ohio
Houston, Texas 

Fairfax, Virginia

No comments :

Post a Comment