But what price do we have to pay for great quality? Whole Foods is notorious for cleaning out the bank accounts of its customers (hence the nickname, Whole Paycheck), and we wanted to know if Wegmans was in the same boat.
Price comparisons that only look at 10-20 items are taking too small of a sample size to provide accurate results. That’s why we compiled an ultimate shopping list with 80+ items to settle the score once and for all.
Comparison Methodology: How We Compared Wegmans and Whole Foods
As you know, we created an extensive grocery list to figure out how Wegmans compares to Whole Foods. We completed this price comparison in December 2021.
To analyze the facts, we offer you savings data across seven categories as well as the total savings across all categories. And the winner was clear–until it wasn’t (but more on that later).
To keep things fair, we looked at two stores in Fairfax, Virginia. It’s important to acknowledge that prices vary per region–and they can even vary per store and by the day.
So, keep in mind that the prices you see here may not accurately reflect the prices you can find at your local Whole Foods and Wegmans. These prices are merely meant to help give us a big picture look at which store is cheaper.
Before we dive in, I should mention that Wegmans only exist on the east coast of the US–so if you’re reading this from the west coast, you might want to check out a price comparison article that suits your needs better (like this comparison between Kroger and Walmart or this one that pits Sprouts against Whole Foods).
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods Price Comparison Summary
If you don’t have time to read through all the thrilling data we collected on Wegmans and Whole Foods prices, then here’s what you need to know. Wegmans was the clear winner when it came to lower prices–as long as you don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime.
|Fresh Produce||$27.46||$28.98||$1.52 (5.24%)|
|Organic Produce||$23.78||$24.91||$1.13 (4.54%)|
|Meat, Dairy, and Eggs||$73.96||$80.96||$7.00 (8.65%)|
|Vegan Alternatives||$37.91||$38.41||$0.50 (1.3%)|
|Pantry Items||$74.20||$77.18||$2.98 (3.86%)|
|Frozen Foods||$24.97||$30.32||$5.35 (17.65%)|
|Snacks and Drinks||$45.28||$52.68||$7.40 (14.05%)|
|Total Cart Price||$307.56||$333.44||$25.88 (7.76%)|
Whole Foods lost to Wegmans in every single category we looked at, from organic produce and vegan products to snacks and drinks.
Overall, we saved $25.88 by shopping at Wegmans instead of Whole Foods, which was just under 8% of the total bill. We saved the most money shopping for animal products, junk food, and beverages.
But, it’s essential to note that we looked at Whole Foods’ regular prices without an Amazon Prime membership discount.
Whole Foods offers a 10% discount on all items to Prime members. So, if you already pay for Amazon Prime, that membership tips the scales in favor of Whole Foods. It becomes 2% cheaper to shop at Whole Foods instead of Wegmans!
Keep reading for a more in-depth look at what we discovered.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Fresh Produce Price Comparison
Fresh produce is an important staple of any diet. And knowing where the cheaper fruits and veggies are sold is essential in this Whole Foods vs. Wegmans comparison.
|1 lb Broccoli Crowns||$1.69||$1.69||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 Seeded Cucumber||$0.67||$0.89||$0.22 (24.72%)|
|1 lb Green Bell Peppers||$1.99||$1.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Beefsteak Tomatoes||$2.49||$2.49||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Russet Potatoes||$0.99||$0.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|16 oz Whole White Mushrooms||$3.68||$3.99||$0.31 (7.77%)|
|2 lb Bananas||$0.98||$0.98||$0.00 (0%)|
|12 oz Raspberries||$5.99||$5.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|4 lb Bag of Avocados||$4.00||$3.99||$0.01(0.25%)|
|1 lb Honeycrisp Apples||$2.99||$2.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Red Seedless Grapes||$1.99||$2.99||$1.00 (33.44%)|
We “bought” a lot of fresh produce on this “shopping trip,” and we saved $1.52 by choosing Wegmans over Whole Foods.
Overall, there was only one item that was more expensive at Wegmans than Whole Foods–and it was only a penny more. If you’re curious, that item was a bag of avocados. Not even one avocado. A whole bag.
So, we can safely say that produce is generally cheaper at Wegmans than Whole Foods (at least in 2021 and early 2022)–but the difference isn’t all that much. 7 out of 11 items were the same price at both retailers.
Keep in mind that the cost of produce varies significantly depending on where you live. That’s because local sellers may have different prices that fluctuate, and other non-local produce incurs shipping costs depending on where the specific produce comes from.
And the results are much different when comparing organic produce prices between Wegmans and Whole Foods.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Organic Produce Price Comparison
Whether you choose to buy as much organic produce as possible or you shop according to the clean fifteen and the dirty dozen, knowing who sells cheaper organic produce could save you money.
|10 oz Organic Broccoli Florets (Packaged)||$2.70||$3.59||$0.89 (24.79%)|
|1 Organic Cucumber||$1.79||$1.59||$0.20 (11.17%)|
|1 Organic Pineapple||$3.99||$3.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 Head of Organic Romaine Lettuce||$2.99||$2.49||$0.50 (16.72%)|
|1 Pint of Organic Grape Tomatoes||$3.99||$3.49||$0.50 (12.53%)|
|1 lb Organic Carrots||$1.15||$0.99||$0.16 (13.91%)|
|16 oz Organic Baby Carrots||$1.49||$2.49||$1.00 (40.16%)|
|5 oz Organic Packaged Baby Spinach||$2.69||$2.29||$0.40 (14.87%)|
|8 oz Organic Whole Baby Bella Mushrooms||$2.99||$3.99||$1.00 (25.06%)|
When it came to organic produce, we found that Whole Foods offered lower prices on more items in the organic produce category than Wegmans–5 out of 8 to be exact.
Why? We think it’s because people who shop at Whole Foods are more likely to purchase organic produce than those who shop at Wegmans. We’re all aware that Whole Foods has a reputation–and that reputation means they’re probably able to reduce prices on organic produce by buying in bulk or cutting deals with suppliers since they know they’ll be able to sell it.
But Wegmans offered lower prices all around (for the items we looked at, at least).
While Whole Foods generally offered lower prices, they also offered a few items at significantly higher prices, like:
- Organic Broccoli
- Organic Baby Carrots
- Organic Mushrooms
We also noticed that Whole Foods tended to offer packaged items in smaller amounts. So, if we compared the per-item cost and ignored the per pound or per ounce cost, Whole Foods would appear to be cheaper.
Don’t be fooled by Whole Foods’ marketing tactics!
So, what’s the moral of the story? Do your research–because if you buy those things that Whole Foods marks up (like baby carrots and broccoli) every week, then shopping at Wegmans for your organic produce could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Meat, Dairy, and Eggs Price Comparison
If you eat a vegan diet, you might want to skip this section and move on to the next one (where we examine vegan alternatives). Here, we’ll look at the prices of animal products like chicken breasts, ground beef, cow milk, eggs, and cheese.
|1 lb Ground Beef 80% Lean 20% Fat||$4.99||$5.99||$1.00 (16.69%)|
|1 lb Organic Ground Turkey||$6.79||$7.49||$0.70 (9.35%)|
|1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast||$5.49||$5.49||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Fresh Atlantic Salmon Filet||$10.99||$10.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|1 lb Fresh Tilapia Filet||$6.99||$7.99||$1.00 (12.52%)|
|12 oz Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon (Wegmans vs. Niman Ranch)||$8.49||$7.99||$0.50 (5.89%)|
|Half Gallon of Whole Milk (Wegmans vs. Homestead Creamery)||$2.99||$3.99||$1.00 (25.06%)|
|Half Gallon of Organic Valley Lactose-Free Whole Milk||$5.29||$5.29||$0.00 (0%)|
|8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shreds (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.19||$3.49||$1.30 (37.25%)|
|5 oz Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (Wegmans Italian Classics vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.59||$3.79||$0.20 (5.28%)|
|12 Organic Medium Brown Grade A Eggs (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.49||$4.79||$1.30 (27.14%)|
|12 Large White Grade A Eggs (Eggland’s Best vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.19||$3.39||$0.20 (5.9%)|
|32 oz Chobani Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt||$4.99||$5.29||$0.30 (5.67%)|
|1 pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream||$4.49||$4.99||$0.50 (10.02%)|
Whole Foods should be embarrassed. And you should completely avoid buying animal products at Whole Foods because only one item on this list (out of 14!) was cheaper at Whole Foods than Wegmans.
Overall, we saved $7 by buying our essential meat and dairy products at Wegmans instead of Whole Foods.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Vegan Alternatives Price Comparison
Wegmans and Whole Foods both have large customer bases who are interested in healthy foods, and that includes vegan products. Both stores offer a wide variety of options for meat and dairy alternatives, but one store is cheaper.
|2 8 oz Beyond Burger Plant-Based Patties||$4.99||$4.99||$0.00 (0%)|
|Half Gallon of Oatly Full Fat Oat Milk||$4.79||$4.99||$0.20 (4.01%)|
|Half Gallon of Amond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Milk||$3.19||$3.69||$0.50 (13.55%)|
|12 oz Miyokos Creamery Vegan Butter Hint of Sea Salt||$5.49||$5.49||$0.00 (0%)|
|8 oz Plant-Based Cheddar Style Sliced Cheese Alternative (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.99||$3.79||$0.20 (5.01%)|
|8 oz Plant-Based Mozzarella Style Shredded Cheese Alternative (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$4.29||$3.79||$0.50 (11.66%)|
|12 oz Just Egg Plant-Based Scramble||$4.49||$4.19||$0.30 (6.68%)|
|5.3 oz Silk Vanilla Yogurt||$1.69||$1.79||$0.10 (5.59%)|
|1 pint of So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert||$4.99||$5.69||$0.70 (12.3%)|
Wegmans wins again. Even though we only saved 50 cents in this category, it’s still worth it to shop at Wegmans instead of Whole Foods for these products.
Even though Whole Foods had better prices on cheese alternatives and the Just Egg egg substitute, Wegmans had better prices overall for the plant-based products that may frequent your grocery list.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Pantry Items Price Comparison
Next, we’ll look at staple goods and non-perishables for your pantry, like bread, pasta, and canned goods. These shelf-stable foods are must-haves in your home–and one store offers better prices.
|19 oz loaf of Italian Bread (Wegmans vs. Whole Foods Market)||$3.61||$3.69||$0.08 (2.17%)|
|16 oz Fettuccine Pasta (Barilla vs. De Cecco)||$1.49||$1.99||$0.50 (25.13%)|
|16 oz Dry Roasted Peanuts (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.49||$2.99||$0.50 (16.72%)|
|5 lbs Enriched Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.99||$2.29||$0.70 (23.41%)|
|16 oz (100 counts) Sugar in the Raw Packets||$3.69||$4.19||$0.50 (11.93%)|
|24 oz French Roast Dark Whole Coffee Beans (Wegmans Specialty Coffee vs. Bonne Nuit from 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$19.18||$10.99||$8.19 (42.7%)|
|10.5 oz Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Dark Roast Coffee||$9.79||$11.99||$2.20 (18.35%)|
|15 oz Canned Black Beans (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$0.47||$1.09||$0.62 (56.88%)|
|32 fl oz Pacific Foods Free Range Chicken Broth||$3.69||$3.19||$0.50 (13.55%)|
|5 lb Nishiki Medium Grain Rice||$9.99||$12.99||$3.00 (23.09%)|
|32 fl oz Whole Kosher Dill Pickles (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.19||$4.99||$2.80 (56.11%)|
|1 L California Olive Ranch Global BlendExtra Virgin Olive Oil||$14.62||$16.79||$2.17 (12.92%)|
It’s probably not a surprise that Wegmans won again. We saved about $3 in this section, but it would have been more than $10 if we hadn’t bought the French Roast Dark Whole Coffee Beans.
This product was almost twice the price of Wegmans, which makes Whole Foods the obvious choice for high-end coffee products.
But other than that, Whole Foods only beat Wegmans on 2 other items out of the total 12 we examined.
The lesson we learned? Stocking your pantry at Wegmans products will be a whole lot cheaper than stocking it with Whole Foods products.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Frozen Food Price Comparison
Frozen foods are another household staple. So, who has better prices? And how much better are they?
|12 oz Frozen Blueberries (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.02||$3.49||$1.47 (42.12%)|
|16 oz Frozen Pineapple Chunks (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$3.20||$2.69||$0.51 (15.94%)|
|16 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.99||$2.19||$0.20 (9.13%)|
|16 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.32||$1.79||$0.47 (26.26%)|
|13 oz Amy’s Hand-Stretched Cheese Pizza||$6.99||$8.99||$2.00 (22.25%)|
|7.4 oz of 6 Organic Waffles (Wegmans Strawberry vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market Blueberry)||$2.19||$2.69||$0.50 (18.59%)|
|1 pt Talenti Dairy-Free Roman Raspberry Sorbetto||$4.49||$5.49||$1.00 (18.21%)|
|20 oz Sweet Potato Fries (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.77||$2.99||$0.22 (7.36%)|
Wegmans wins… again. In the frozen food aisle, we saved over $5, which was nearly 20% of our total cart price for this category.
In this section, we pitted the Wegmans store brand again 365 by Whole Foods Market. And Wegmans’ in-house brand beat Whole Foods’ prices 7 out of 8 times.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: Snacks and Drinks Price Comparison
Finally, we look at the snacks and drinks that Wegmans and Whole Foods offer. In this section, we saved the most money. And the winner was obvious.
|12 12 oz cans of White Claw Hard Seltzer (Watermelon vs. Black Cherry)||$19.99||$18.99||$1.0 (5%)|
|12 12 oz cans of La Croix Sparkling Water (LimonCello vs. Pure)||$5.39||$5.99||$0.60 (10.02%)|
|52 oz Simply Lemonade||$2.69||$2.99||$0.30 (10.03%)|
|64 oz Cranberry Juice Cocktail (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.29||$5.09||$2.80 (55.01%)|
|8 oz Pretzel Twists (Rold Gold vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.49||$2.19||$0.70 (31.96%)|
|10 oz Skinny Pop Popcorn||$5.79||$8.16||$2.37 (29.04%)|
|6 oz Sea Salt Veggie Straws (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$1.66||$2.29||$0.63 (27.51%)|
|16 oz Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips (Wegmans vs. 365 by Whole Foods Market)||$2.99||$3.99||$1.00 (25.06%)|
|6 1 oz packs of Organic Raisins||$2.99||$2.99||$0.00 (0%)|
Again, Wegmans demolished Whole Foods’ prices. Whole Foods didn’t have a lower price for a single item in this category–but it did tie on the price of packaged raisins.
Out of all the categories in this price comparison, we saved the most money in this category.
The takeaway here is that you should never buy snacks or beverages at Whole Foods–if you want to save money, that is.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: How Their Products Compare
Well, Wegmans is a cheaper alternative to Whole Foods. But so is Walmart.
So, the question is, do you lose quality when you shop at Wegmans instead of Whole Foods?
Let’s find out if it’s true what they say: you get what you pay for.
|Brand-Name Products||You can find more brand-name items on Wegmans’ shelves (think Eggo, Hershey, Ocean Spray, etc.), but they will cost you. When you compare the price of the name brand products to the Wegmans brand items, the cheaper choice is obvious–Wegmans in-house brand wins every time.||Whole Foods is less likely to offer familiar name brands on their shelves. Instead, they cater to health foods brands like Annie’s, Santa Cruz Organic, and Rind. It’s no surprise that the 365 by Whole Foods Market brand items are the cheapest option.|
|In-House Brand Products||Wegmans’ in-house brand name products are cheaper, and unlike Walmart’s Great Value line, they maintain quality compared to the competition. And when it comes to quality, Wegmans delivers. Wegmans’ in-house brand products have a great reputation and often offer organic options that are free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.||Whole Foods Market brand name prices don’t stand a chance against the Wegmans brand name products. The quality is great, but we wouldn’t say it’s better than Wegmans.|
|Organic Products||Wegmans carries a good selection of organic options compared to Whole Foods. There are some special organic foods you can only find at Whole Foods, but Wegmans is a fair competitor in the organic department.||Whole Foods does have more organic options, especially when it comes to unique organic options and specialty flavors, varieties, or brands.|
In some cases, Whole Foods only offers an organic option. So, you may end up paying premium prices for a quality you didn’t ask for.
|Vegan Products||Wegmans carries lots of vegan products, including all the big-name brands you expect, like Silk, Oatly, Follow Your Heart, Miyokos Creamery, and more.||Of course, Whole Foods carries plenty of vegan options for buyers, although it’s less likely to carry some familiar vegan brand names.|
Whole Foods also does an excellent job of offering vegan prepared foods that most grocers do not.
|Locations||Wegmans is only present on the east coast of the US in seven states, and they only operate about 106 stores.||Compared to Wegmans, Whole Foods is a giant. They operate about 500 stores all across the US.|
The results? Wegmans is cheaper, but it isn’t a “cheap” store. You’ll save money without losing quality if you choose Wegmans over Whole Foods.
The main drawback of shopping at Wegmans over Whole Foods is that not everyone has this option. Wegmans’ HQ lies in Rochester, New York, and most of their locations can be found in the Northeastern US.
Wegmans vs. Whole Foods: How Their Services Compare
Shopping isn’t only about the prices and the products. Your experience as a customer is important, too.
So, let’s look at how Wegmans and Whole Foods compare when it comes to services like delivery and returns.
|Delivery & Pickup||Wegmans partners with Instacart to offer free delivery and curbside pickup (on orders over $35). You can also place pickup and delivery orders directly on their website for select items, such as catering trays, cakes, pharmacy items, gift cards, and Burger Bar food (in select locations).|
Wegmans also sells some of their name-brand products on Amazon.
|Whole Foods also offers pickup and delivery through Instacart. However, most Whole Foods customers choose grocery delivery or pickup through Amazon Prime.|
With an Amazon Prime membership, you can get free delivery from Whole Foods plus exclusive discounts and deals. Prime members are also eligible for free 2-hour delivery on orders over $35.
|Return Policy||Wegmans is happy to replace any unsatisfactory product no questions asked, with or without a receipt.|
If you’d prefer a refund, you can receive one to your original form of payment or as a Wegmans gift card.
In its return policy, Wegmans notes that “Management reserves the right to deny any refund,” and there are exceptions on alcoholic beverages in New York and Pennsylvania.
|Whole Foods return policy is similar. You need a receipt for a return–but if you ordered online that shouldn’t be a problem.|
Without a receipt, you can receive a gift card instead. Whole Foods may also deny returns and exchanges at their discretion.
Read Whole Foods’ full return policy here.
|Loyalty Programs||You can join the Wegmans Shoppers Club for free to receive digital coupons and member-only mailers.||Whole Foods doesn’t offer a specific loyalty program per se, but Amazon Prime members do get 10% off Whole Foods products storewide in addition to special discounts.|
|Customer Service||Wegmans’ customer service has pretty bad reviews. The popular grocer maintains a 3-star average on Trustpilot.||However, Whole Foods’ customer service maintains an even worse rating with a 2-stars average on Trustpilot.|
Overall, we’d say that Wegmans and Whole Foods are on par with one another when it comes to their services.
Whole Foods definitely offers a better “loyalty” program for Amazon prime members. 10% off on all products isn’t a bad deal. And an Amazon Prime membership might tip the scales if you already have one (it’s $12.99 a month, by the way).
FAQs About Wegmans and Whole Foods
We know this article covered a lot of information about Wegmans and Whole Foods, but sometimes more information just leads to more questions.
Here are the answers to some common questions when comparing Wegmans and Whole Foods.
How is Whole Foods Market different from Wegmans?
According to our complete price comparison, Whole Foods Market is more expensive than Wegmans, carries fewer popular brand name products (like Tyson, Hershey’s, Pepsi, etc.), and carries more niche organic and vegan products.
However, Wegmans still has a large selection of high-end organic and vegan products–they might just be missing some of those Whole Foods Market specialty flavors. Overall, Wegmans’ stores tend to be larger, even though there are fewer of them.
Whole Foods also operates stores across the entire US, while Wegmans only serves customers on the east coast of the United States.
What is more expensive, Whole Foods or Wegmans?
Whole Foods is more expensive than Wegmans. We discovered that you could save an average of 8% shopping at Wegmans instead of Whole Foods. However, if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you’re eligible for a 10% discount at Whole Foods–which topples the scales in favor of Whole Foods.
Are Wegmans expensive?
Wegmans’ prices are on-par with other notoriously expensive grocers like Whole Foods. According to our ultimate price comparison, Wegmans is just 8% less expensive than Whole Foods. But, if we compare Prime Membership prices at Whole Foods, Wegmans becomes 2% more expensive than Whole Foods!
Which is more upscale, Wegmans or Whole Foods?
Wegmans and Whole Foods both maintain excellent reputations and ratings as upscale grocers. However, as any chain goes, the quality can vary depending on the location and the management.
In 2021, Wegmans ranked number one on People’s list of “Companies that Care.” On the other hand, Amazon (a company notorious for how they treat its employees) bought Whole Foods in 2017.
Final Thoughts: Should You Shop at Whole Foods or Wegmans?
If you have a Wegmans near you, choose Wegmans over Whole Foods at least 9 out of 10 times. You’ll find an equal quality, more options, and better prices–even if they don’t carry that specialty vegan pastry you like.
However, Whole Foods may be a better option for you (if you don’t care about saving money) since they do tend to offer some specialty items you can’t get anywhere else.
But there is one major caveat: if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can cash in on 10% savings at Whole Foods–which tips the scales.
Ultimately, the choice is yours.
What have your experiences with Wegmans and Whole Foods been like? We want to hear from you! Tell us where you find better service, products, variety, or anything else.