If you’re trying to be healthier you may want to set your grocery budget for a higher scale grocer, like Fresh Market or Whole Foods (two of the largest grocers focused on providing more local and organic merchandise). What is the difference between these two places? Is it atmosphere? Price?
Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods
In my personal opinion, when confronted with the decision “Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods” I say neither. To me both of these grocers overcharge for items that I can buy cheaper at another establishment or even directly from the local farmer’s market. There are a lot of people that prefer local, organic produce but want to get it from the store though, which is fine. So, how do the two upscale grocers compare to one another?
Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods Experience
First and foremost I should say that each and every Fresh Market and Whole Foods has a slightly different environment. Both are quite a bit different from a traditional grocery store though.
Whole Foods, for many people, is an easier transition from a traditional grocery store but Fresh Market offers a smaller, more intimate feel. Fresh Market also offers more local items than Whole Foods does. From reviews and personal experience, however, Whole Foods has the more welcoming staff members and overall “vibe.” But, let’s be honest, not many people shop at Fresh Market or Whole Foods for ambiance. How do the two stack up against each other where quality and price are concerned?
Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods Quality
The words quality and produce go hand-in-hand (or so you hope). Both Fresh Market and Whole Foods boast that the quality of the items sold in their stores are higher than others, which allows them to charge a bit more. When stacked up against each other though, Fresh Market is, well, fresher.
Why? Fresh Market has fresher produce because much of it is supplied by local farmers, which means the produce doesn’t have to travel as far from field to shelf to your table. Spokespeople for the company have even gone as far as to say that Fresh Market wants its customers to experience (not just taste) the food they buy.
Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods Price
Not only does Fresh Market have a little more to offer quality-wise it is also a bit cheaper. Generally people determine how expensive it is to shop somewhere by the price of milk. If this were the case, Whole Foods would be the cheaper place to shop out of the two. However, Fresh Market’s price is more in line with traditional grocers compared to Whole Foods.
Why? Again, this is probably because the bulk of Fresh Market’s produce is local, which makes it less expensive to transport and get on the shelves.
Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods ‘Extras’
Both supermarkets provide their customers with a good experience at their stores. In fact, depending on what branch you go to, you may find some intriguing “extras.” For example, a Whole Foods I went to in Arizona had a craft beer bar (that served food) in the store. The bar featured local brews only and rotated weekly. Likewise, the Whole Foods down the road offers cooking classes. So, if you are looking for a community hangout within your grocer, go to Whole Foods.
Fresh Market doesn’t have a bar or any cooking classes to offer but, in my opinion, it does offer the best value. Not only is Fresh Market cheaper and higher quality but it is also an overall better experience than Whole Foods. So, if you’re debating between Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods, the choice is yours but with higher quality and lower price it seems like a no-brainer.
Photo: Huffington Post