As the fourth most popular grocery store in America (as of 2021), Whole Foods is perhaps the most popular health foods store in the US. With over 500 stores in North America and the United Kingdom, Whole Foods is big news.
But Sprouts is a growing competitor with over 300 stores in 19 US states. Most popular in California (where almost half of those stores are located), Sprouts offers many of the same perks as Whole Foods.
Both stores are oriented towards consumers who want to eat clean, healthy produce, and they carry lots of organic produce.
So, we wanted to find out which store is cheaper, Whole Foods or Sprouts? And the results were surprising.
Comparison Methodology: How We Compared Whole Foods and Sprouts
To compare Sprouts and Whole Foods, we created an ultimate price comparison with a comprehensive shopping list used at both stores.
We looked at various categories, from packaged snacks and drinks to organic produce. When comparing items, we looked at either the cheapest available options at both stores (which tended to be the in-house Sprouts or 365 by Whole Foods Market brands) or the same exact product.
This mixture of in-house and national brand products gives you the full picture of which store is really cheaper.
And at the end, we explore other differences between Sprouts and Whole Foods, like the quality of products, services offered, and public perception. Finally, we summarize which store is best for you, based on your unique shopping habits.
We completed this price comparison in July 2021 in the southwestern region of the US. That’s important to know because prices change all the time (even day to day!), and they vary per location.
Although this price comparison will give you a good idea of where to shop for the lowest prices, don’t expect to find the same exact deals you see here at your local stores.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods Price Comparison Summary
Here’s a summary of each category we examined in this ultimate price comparison between Sprouts and Whole Foods. The results are clear: Sprouts is cheaper than Whole Foods.
|Organic Produce||$27.08||$31.14||$4.06 (13.04%)|
|Non-Organic Produce||$27.83||$41.76||$13.93 (33.36%)|
|Dairy Products||$18.71||$22.75||$4.04 (17.76%)|
|Frozen Foods||$25.88||$26.67||$0.79 (2.96%)|
|Non-Perishable Groceries||$36.68||$40.15||$3.47 (8.64%)|
|Prepared Foods||$19.00||$22.41||$3.41 (15.22%)|
|Packaged Snacks||$17.87||$18.73||$0.86 (4.59%)|
|Total Cart Price||$260.17||$299.95||$39.78 (13.26%)|
We ended up saving about $40 total on a $300 shopping trip. Shopping at Sprouts instead of Whole Foods is like using a 14% off coupon on your entire Whole Foods order–which is a good enough reason to switch if you ask us!
From organic and non-organic produce to bottled drinks to freshly prepared food, Sprouts offered lower prices overall in every single category. But that doesn’t mean every single item was a better deal at Sprouts than Whole Foods.
For a deeper look into how Sprouts and Whole Foods compare, let’s dive into each section.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Organic Produce Price Comparison
First, we’re exploring the organic produce aisle. Since Sprouts and Whole Foods are both health foods stores, many of their customers come specifically for the selection of organic produce so they can avoid the dirty dozen fruits and veggies.
|1 lb Organic Baby Spinach||$4.99||$4.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Organic Spring Mix||$4.99||$4.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 Organic Romaine Heart||$1.33||$0.90||$0.43 (32.33%)|
|1 lb Baby Carrots||$1.40||$1.49||$0.09 (6.04%)|
|1 Organic English Cucumber||$0.89||$2.49||$1.60 (64.26%)|
|6 oz Organic Blueberries||$2.00||$3.00||$1.00 (33.33%)|
|1 lb Organic Kiwi||$4.99||$4.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|12 oz Organic Pitted Dates||$6.49||$8.29||$1.80 (21.71%)|
Sprouts defeated Whole Foods to win the award for lowest prices in the organic produce department. In fact, Whole Foods only offered a better deal on one item, and that was the organic romaine hearts.
Whole Foods and Sprouts did tie on three prices: spinach, spring mix, and kiwi. But other than that, Sprouts dominated this section.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Non-Organic Produce Price Comparison
Most people look to health foods markets like Whole Foods and Sprouts for the best quality organic produce, and while both stores have lots of options, one clearly has lower prices.
|6 Small Avocados||$3.45||$3.49||$0.04 (1.15%)|
|4 Cobs of Sweet Corn||$2.00||$5.99||$3.99 (66.61%)|
|1 Pineapple||$2.50||$3.99||$1.49 (37.34%)|
|1 lb Grape Tomatoes||$2.00||$3.99||$1.99 (49.87%)|
|1 lb Cauliflower||$2.57||$2.49||$0.08 (3.11%)|
|1 lb Button Mushrooms||$3.99||$4.99||$1.00 (20.04%)|
|1 lb Navel Oranges||$0.98||$1.99||$1.01 (50.75%)|
|3 lb Bananas||$1.47||$1.47||$0.00 (0%)|
|10 oz Strawberries||$1.90||$3.99||$2.09 (52.38%)|
|2 lb Peaches||$3.98||$5.38||$1.40 (26.02%)|
|1 lb Apricots||$2.99||$3.99||$1.00 (25.06%)|
Again, Sprouts demolished Whole Foods. This time, the stores tied on one item, the bananas. Whole Foods won a mere one item again, and it was only 8 cents.
If you’re shopping at a store like Whole Foods or Sprouts, our guess is that fresh produce makes up a large portion of your shopping list. And, it’s not worth it to run to Whole Foods just to save 8 cents on a head of cauliflower.
So, if you’re buying produce–organic or not–Sprouts is the store you want to shop at.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Dairy Products Price Comparison
The next aisle we’re going to look at contains dairy (and faux dairy) products. Most shoppers buy items like milk (or oat milk) and cheese regularly, so the savings in this category can add up.
|8.8 oz Salted Butter (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.92||$3.29||$1.37 (41.64%)|
|59 oz Organic Valley 2% Milk||$4.14||$3.13||$1.01 (24.4%)|
|5 oz Plain Cottage Cheese (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$0.50||$1.03||$0.53 (51.46%)|
|12 oz Shredded Lite Mozzarella Cheese (Market Corner vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.37||$4.72||$1.35 (28.6%)|
|8 oz Grated Parmesan Cheese (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.99||$5.59||$1.6 (28.62%)|
|64 oz Oatly Non-Dairy Oat Milk||$4.79||$4.99||$0.2 (4.01%)|
Yet again, Sprouts offers customers lower prices than Whole Foods. In the dairy category, we saved a total of $4 (almost 18%) on six items.
Whole Foods prices beat Sprouts on only one item, the Organic Valley 2% Milk–but there’s a catch.
The cheapest milk option at Whole Foods was Organic Valley–and we compared the Sprouts Organic Valley price since they offered it. But, Sprouts offered a cheaper alternative, Shamrock. You could pay $2.99 for 128 oz of milk, which is less money for twice as much.
So depending on how you look at it, Whole Foods really didn’t help us save any money on dairy products.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Meat Price Comparison
Now, let’s look at the meat and meat alternatives at Sprouts and Whole Foods.
|1 lb Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (The Butcher Shop at Sprouts Market vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$9.99||$7.99||$2.00 (20.02%)|
|16 oz Beyond Meat Plant-Based Beef||$10.49||$10.49||$0.00 (0%)|
|16 oz Uncured Beef Hot Dogs (Coleman vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$9.32||$6.99||$2.33 (25%)|
|32 oz 16/20 count Frozen Shell-On Shrimp (The Fish Market at Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$21.99||$26.99||$5.00 (18.53%)|
|1 lb Fresh Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon Fillet||$9.99||$10.99||$1.00 (9.1%)|
Even though Sprouts and Whole Foods tied in this category for the flat number of cheaper items (both won two items each and tied on one item), we saved about $2 by shopping at Sprouts instead of Whole Foods.
At Whole Foods, the hot dogs and chicken breasts were cheaper, but we saved more on the shrimp and salmon at Sprouts.
It’s important to acknowledge that Whole Foods might have cheaper meat options depending on your buying habits. If you eat a lot of chicken and hot dogs and never buy seafood, shopping at Whole Foods for these items could save you some money.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Frozen Foods Price Comparison
Although Sprouts and Whole Foods are most well-known for their selection of fresh foods, frozen foods are convenient, delicious, easy, and can be healthy! Here’s how Sprouts and Whole Foods prices on frozen foods compare.
|16 oz Riced Cauliflower (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.32||$3.99||$0.67 (16.79%)|
|16 oz Starlite Black Bean Taquitos||$6.99||$6.85||$0.14 (2%)|
|10 oz Sambazon Acai Bowl||$4.60||$7.36||$2.76 (37.5%)|
|1 lb Frozen Broccoli||$2.49||$1.69||$0.80 (32.13%)|
|10 oz Frozen Peaches (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.49||$2.79||$0.30 (10.75%)|
|1 Frozen Pizza (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$5.99||$3.99||$2.00 (33.39%)|
In this category, Sprouts was only slightly cheaper than Whole Foods–we saved just 79 cents. Three items were cheaper at Sprouts, and three items were cheaper at Whole Foods, so it nearly evened the savings out. With results like this, it’s safe to say that either store could have come on top in the frozen foods section.
Our normal recommendation would be to compare the prices of items you usually buy weekly to find out which store you’ll save the most money at. But since Sprouts is cheaper than Whole Foods in so many other categories, the meager savings in the frozen foods department might not be worth it unless you only eat frozen foods.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Non-Perishable Groceries Price Comparison
We all need to stock our pantries with essentials, so knowing which store offers cheaper non-perishable items is important for savvy shoppers.
|5 oz Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray||$3.55||$7.44||$3.89 (52.28%)|
|16.9 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Sprouts vs. Whole Foods Market)||$4.99||$6.50||$1.51 (23.23%)|
|2 lbs Organic Basmati Rice (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$6.98||$4.99||$1.99 (28.51%)|
|5 lbs Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (Bob’s Red Mill vs. Arrowhead Mills)||$7.99||$7.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|12 oz Peanut Butter Granola (KIND vs. Nature’s Path Organic)||$4.18||$4.99||$0.81 (16.23%)|
|12 oz Organic Almond Butter (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$8.99||$8.24||$0.75 (8.34%)|
Again, Sprouts reigns supreme as the store with lower prices. We saved $3.47 across six pantry items.
In this section, we saved the most money on the Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray, where Sprouts offered the same item at half the price as the one sold at Whole Foods. But, it’s important to know that Whole Foods did have lower prices on staple foods like rice and almond butter.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Fresh Prepared Foods Price Comparison
Sprouts and Whole Foods both offer freshly prepared foods, which are great for shoppers who need to save time. But now let’s find out which store will save you more money when you need to eat as soon as you get home from the store.
|12 oz Caesar Salad Kit (Taylor Farms vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.23||$6.47||$3.24 (50.08%)|
|5 oz Red’s Turkey Sausage Egg & Three Cheese Breakfast Burrito||$2.29||$4.39||$2.1 (47.84%)|
|20 oz Prepared Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Bread at Home vs. Whole Foods Market)||$7.49||$6.66||$0.83 (11.08%)|
|8 oz Ready-Made Cheese Ravioli (Pasta Prima vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$5.99||$4.89||$1.1 (18.36%)|
Again, the winner for the cheapest health foods store is Sprouts! We saved about 15% by choosing Sprouts over Whole Foods. Even though Whole Foods had cheaper broccoli cheddar soup and ravioli, Sprouts lower prices on salads and burritos tipped the scales in their favor.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Packaged Snacks Price Comparison
Although cutting back on packaged snacks is a great way to save money, these yummy and convenient foods are a weekly buy for many shoppers.
|1 lb Raw Almonds (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$5.92||$7.99||$2.07 (25.91%)|
|5.5 oz Pre-Popped Kettle Corn (Sprouts vs. Boom Chicka Pop)||$1.96||$2.36||$0.40 (16.95%)|
|32 oz White Corn Tortilla Chips (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$5.30||$4.09||$1.21 (22.83%)|
|6 oz Potato Chips (Sprouts vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.70||$1.50||$0.20 (11.76%)|
|3 oz Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar (Sprouts vs. Endangered Species)||$2.99||$2.79||$0.20 (6.69%)|
Once again, Sprouts reigns supreme–but only by 86 cents. Whole Foods offered lower prices on more items in the packaged snacks, but Sprouts still ended up being the cheaper store. That’s probably because the savings on the raw almonds were so steep.
When it comes to packaged snacks, you might save more by shopping at Whole Foods instead of Sprouts. Similar to our findings for the meat, fresh, and frozen foods aisles, it really depends on your shopping habits.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Beverages Price Comparison
Finally, let’s take a look at how the drinks at both stores compare. Is Whole Foods or Sprouts cheaper?
|32 oz Ready to Drink Cold Brew Coffee (Califia Farm vs. Chameleon Cold-Brew.)||$3.99||$8.99||$5.00 (55.62%)|
|12 12 oz Cans of La Croix Flavored Sparkling Water||$6.44||$4.29||$2.15 (33.39%)|
|750 ml Red Wine (Tisdale Vineyards vs. Bubo Wine Cellars)||$2.99||$7.99||$5.00 (62.58%)|
|12 oz Cold Pressed Orange Juice (Evolution vs. Whole Foods Market)||$2.43||$1.83||$0.60 (24.69%)|
|6 12 oz Cans of Beer (Dogfish Head Brewery Slightly Mightly Lo-Cal IPA vs. Wolf Pup Session IPA)||$9.49||$9.79||$0.30 (3.06%)|
Although Sprouts and Whole Foods nearly tied on the number of cheaper items, Sprouts was over 20% cheaper when it came to beverages. We saved the most on red wine and cold brew coffee, which together saved us a whopping $10 on just two items.
However, Whole Foods did offer a better deal on La Croix sparkling water. For the drinks category, Sprouts is the clear winner.
Sprouts vs. Whole Foods: Quality, Services, and Public Perception Comparison
Sprouts is clearly cheaper than Whole Foods, but prices aren’t the only thing that matter when choosing a grocery store. Here’s how the two stores compare when it comes to the shopping experience.
|Curbside Pickup||Sprouts offers curbside pickup, but it’s not free. Fees start at $1.99 and go up from there. If your order is under $35, there is an additional $2 charge. More charges may apply for certain pickup times, items, or order sizes.||Some Whole Foods locations offer free curbside pickup.|
|Grocery Delivery||Sprouts offers in-house delivery, starting at $3.99 for orders over $35 and $7.99 for orders under $35 plus a service fee. Exact prices vary by location. Sprouts also partners with Instacart for grocery delivery.||Since Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon in 2017, shoppers can purchase groceries from Whole Foods through Amazon Prime for delivery. The catch is that you must pay separately for a Prime membership, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year.|
|Return Policy||Sprouts will give any shopper a refund as long as they bring a receipt.||Whole Foods’ return policy requires customers to have a receipt and return items within 90 days of purchase. If you paid with a credit, debit, or gift card, they might be able to look up your receipt for you. Whole Foods also makes it easy to return items purchased through Amazon. You just need to bring the item into a Whole Foods location after starting Amazon’s return process online.|
|Variety||Sprouts gives shoppers lots of variety, including organic and specialty options.||Whole Foods offers lots of variety for shoppers. We’d say Sprouts and Whole Foods are generally on par with each other, but Sprouts offered cheaper store-brand items for several items where Whole Foods only had brand-name items.|
|Loyal Customers||Sprouts grocery stores are inspired by farmer’s markets, and their customer base consists of health enthusiasts. People who shop at Sprouts tend to love it, especially those in California where Sprouts began.||Shoppers tend to love Whole Foods products, including the 365 in-house brand goods, but the high prices tend to drive customers away.|
|Customer Service||Sprouts has an average grocery store rating on Trustpilot, but some consumers dislike cashier attitudes.||Whole Foods staff do not disappoint when it comes to customer service, but many customers report issues with the delivery service.|
FAQs About Sprouts and Whole Foods
Is Sprouts cheaper than Whole Foods?
Yes. Sprouts is cheaper is than Whole Foods. In our ultimate price comparison between Sprouts and Whole Foods, we discovered that Sprouts saved us about $40 or 13%. Learn more about how we compared these two health foods stores and where you should shop by reading Koopy.com’s price guide to Sprouts and Whole Foods.
Who has better prices, Whole Foods or Sprouts?
Sprouts has better prices. We made a price comparison between Whole Foods and Sprouts, and we found that Whole Foods and Sprouts both have better prices on select items, but overall, Sprouts offered lower prices on more things. Overall, we saved almost 14% by choosing to shop at Sprouts instead of Whole Foods. Check out Koopy.com’s ultimate price guide to Sprouts and Whole Foods to find out which store is better.
What is the difference between Whole Foods and Sprouts?
Whole Foods and Sprouts are both health foods stores with a focus on organic, fresh foods. They are very similar in terms of product quality, variety, and focus, but Sprouts offers lower prices to customers. Whole Foods has slightly better quality food, though. To learn more about which store is cheaper, check out our detailed price comparison.
Is it better to work for Whole Foods Market or Sprouts Farmers Market?
According to Glassdoor, Whole Foods Market is a better place to work than Sprouts Farmers Market. Whole Foods offers better career opportunities, compensation & benefits, work-life balance, management, and culture than Sprouts.
Final Thoughts: Sprouts vs. Whole Foods
Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, they’ve attempted to remove the “whole paycheck” reputation of outrageously high prices. And for some customers, it worked.
However, when you compare Whole Foods’ current prices to competitors like Sprouts, it’s clear that they still charge more than nearly any other grocery store around. Sprouts is definitely cheaper than Whole Foods. Just look at our total cart summary!
With that said, not every item at Sprouts is cheaper than the same or similar item at Sprouts. Whole Foods did offer lower prices on a few staple items like chicken breasts, rice, frozen broccoli, and La Croix.
If you’re on the fence about where you should shop, we recommend trying out your own price comparison by keeping the receipts of where you shop and switching stores every so often to compare prices on items you buy all the time.
But, if you want answers now, here’s a shopping guide.
Whole Foods may be a better buy if:
- You care about quality first and price second.
- You already have an Amazon Prime account.
- You have a Prime account and often buy grocery delivery.
- You often get grocery pickup.
Sprouts is probably better if:
- You want cheaper deals on health items like organic and specialty foods.
- You rarely get grocery delivery or pickup.
The location of these stores to your home may also play a large factor in which store is better for you to shop at. We wouldn’t recommend driving far out of your way just to shop at Sprouts instead of Whole Foods or Whole Foods instead of Sprouts.
Now that you know the differences between Whole Foods and Sprouts, it’s time to learn more money-saving tips and get great coupons on Koopy.com!