Thrive Market - Do They Live Up to Their Tagline?
Let’s start with Wholesome Products. Ummm, YES!
Have you heard of Thrive Market? It’s an affordable natural and organic online retailer that offers 100% GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) FREE products at wholesale prices. And YES, they are super diligent and willing to eliminate top selling brands if they find that they aren’t truly GMO free! GMOs are defined as; "The abbreviation for genetically modified organism. A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there."
Soy, corn, canola, and cottonseed are a few of the original GMO seed products that can do anything from kill bugs to withstand herbicide and pesticide application. Though GMOs were introduced to the general food supply in 1996, human studies have been nearly impossible to get. They are a complicated and controversial topic that merit their own blog post so I won’t get into detail on their history and the current research coming available on potential chronic health effects here. However, Thrive Market did a great job summarizing GMOs in this blog post.
Why Does Thrive Market Care?
I had the chance to see an interview with Gennar Lovelace, one of the founders. He grew up with a single mother who, while trying to make ends meet, did everything she could to keep healthy food on the table. Even if they spent weeks eating rice and vegetables, she taught her children the value of investing in their health.
Thrive Market’s Three Promises
- Only the highest quality healthy and natural products
- Always at prices 25 to 50% off retail
- Always committed to sustainability and social justice
In order to meet this mission, Gennar Lovelace knew he needed to create a 21st Century food co-op with a goal of disrupting pricing in the health foods industry. He’s trying to give consumers access to organic and GMO free products at the same price as the conventional equivalent. How is Thrive Market doing it? They are cutting out the waste in the supply chain and going straight to the manufacturers. That mean’s no Brokers, Distributors, or ‘Pay to Play’ in Store margin increases.
Wholesale Prices. How Do They Compare?
Those of you that know me well can believe that I did my homework and compared Thrive Market prices with my local stores as well as a couple online retailers. Here’s what I found when I compared Thrive Market prices for a sample of products with both online and local retailers.
The local Retailer list above are the standard go-to grocery stores in the Denver area and Mountain region. I stopped shopping at the BIG box stores, Costco and Sam’s Club, because I only got some of my preferred products, bulk isn’t always the best option for us, and I didn’t enjoy fighting the crowds.
You do need to know what you’re specifically searching for on Amazon.com and Jet.com while you can filter, sort, and search countless ways with Thrive Market including; Organic, Whole30, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Moms, Staples, Top Rated, Back to School, Best Sellers, Under $5 – just to scratch the surface!! And, I'll say again, it is great to know that every product they offer is free of GMOs and many are organic.
The price punchline for me is yes, most prices do beat the other online and local stores. The listed discount from the wholesale price isn't as steep as they claim but it's still a better value and you will easily come out ahead with overall savings if you purchase key staples from them throughout the year.
Sample Online Price Checks - I have a little sticker shock!
Is There Enough Variety?
They have over 4,000 products available and and growing their inventory all the time. They don’t sell; produce, meat, refrigerated, or frozen foods. They primarily sell almost every nonperishable item you’d find in the center aisles including pastas, sauces, beans, cereals, crackers, chips, supplements, home & cleaning products, health & beauty, pet products, baby products, and so much more. And, if you do happen purchase yummy chocolate during the hot summer months, they will pack it in a ‘summer care ice pack’ to keep the precious chocolate goodness safe in transit.
How Does It All Work?
A few months ago I decided to give them a try, paid the $60 annual membership fee, and signed up. I wanted to see what they were about even though I could most likely find many of the same products through other online retailers and at my local grocery store. I was jazzed to learn that for every paid membership, they also provide a free membership to a military veteran, public school teacher, or low income family.
Here’s another bonus – If you spend more than $49 shipping is always FREE
I have received 4 orders so far and find their user interface and the purchasing process really easy to navigate, they carry many of the non-perishable foods and products that we regularly use and I’m thoroughly impressed with the packing and shipping. They use heavy duty materials and do an impressive job wrapping glass separate from everything else and plastic baggies for anything that could leak. Bravo to them and a BONUS for those of us that save boxes for holiday gift shipping.
So, Should You Thrive?
I’ve been very pleased so far, plan on keeping my membership active, and even signed up as an affiliate. I believe that, as they grow, they’ll add more products to their already substantial inventory, continue to offer low prices and great promotions, and give back to families and communities in need through organizations like Feeding America. They also offer education, shopping lists and recipes to help these families-in-need live healthy on a budget.
Check out their blog, it’s LOADED with great articles and countless recipes that are worth a try!
As a lifelong athlete and your Transformational Nutrition Coach, I have the tools to provide valuable education, guidance, and coaching to support your unique journey back to a healthy and active lifestyle. Reach out, let’s work together!
Cheers to an active you! Annie F., CTNC