Whole Foods is America's most expensive grocery chain, study finds

Whole Foods has continuously slashed prices since Amazon acquired the chain in 2017, most recently touting an average 20 percent discount on hundreds of select items throughout the store. But according to a new set of data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the chain still has the highest overall prices among all grocers in the United States (though there are things you can do to save money at Whole Foods).

The least expensive products were found to be at Walmart, per usual.

In their research, analysts performed 10 studies in eight different metro areas over the past year. The last three went into effect after Whole Foods’ most recent round of price cuts, which focused heavily on the reduced cost of produce. Pricing wasn’t as competitive for items at the center of the store. These items — typically non-essential pre-packaged dry foods, miscellaneous cooking ingredients and canned goods — were found to cost over 50 percent more than those at Walmart.

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“In our most recent price study in Philadelphia, Whole Foods’ basket was still priced at a +39 percent premium to Walmart. Produce [was] still at a +25 percent basket premium to Walmart, and center-of-store items at a +58 percent premium to Walmart,” Bank of America analyst Robert Ohmes told CNBC.

As far as other stores go, the report found that Kroger has a premium of 7 percent over Walmart and Sprouts Farmers Market has a premium of 8 percent. On the bright side, the price gap between organic and conventional produce is narrowing thanks to increased competition from stores like Target and Walmart, both of which have grown their organic inventory.

Walmart may not be the first place that pops into your head when you’re planning a grocery trip, but the study shows the store consistently has much lower prices than your local supermarket. The Daily Meal has also found these 10 items to be a good buy Walmart.