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Trader Joe's Is Actually Getting Cheaper

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With products like 19-cent bananas, decent knockoffs of big brand foods, and a big selection of affordable wines and beers, Trader Joe's already makes it insanely easy to shop without feeling like you're trading your rent money for groceries. And now, it appears the beloved grocery chain is becoming even more affordable by reportedly slashing prices in an effort to further undermine Whole Foods.

As explained in a report by Business Insider, analysts at Deutsche Bank checked the prices of 77 similar items at a New York Trader Joe's location and a nearby Whole Foods store and found that Trader Joe's was a whopping 26% cheaper -- $240 compared to $303. Most importantly, the analysts believe the price difference between the two grocery chains has actually widened since previous price checks, which suggests Trader Joe's has cut prices across its stores. Here are some of their specific findings:

  • Perishable foods were 30% cheaper at Trader Joe's
  • Non-perishable foods were 24% cheaper at Trader Joe's
  • Trader Joe's private-label products were 15% cheaper than Whole Foods' 365 brand products

 
However, there was no word on price cuts for cookie butter, but that stuff's worth every penny anyway. 

The researchers believe the apparent price cuts are aimed directly at Whole Foods, which on top of planning to reduce prices and offer more discounts at its namesake markets, is launching a new chain of cheaper grocery stores over the next few years to combat its reputation for being overpriced (although, that whole overcharging scandal and $6 "asparagus water" likely didn't help). Trader Joe's previously put pressure on Whole Foods by slashing prices on hundreds of items back in 2013 when it hit 300 stores, which leads the researchers to believe the company is doing the same now that it boasts about 500 stores, according to the report. 

In other words, it appears Trader Joe's is betting on lower prices to draw more customers, instead of in-store gimmicks like tattoo parlors. They're probably right. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and needs to go on a good grocery run soon. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.