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Thrive Market Review: How Much Can You Save?


Article edited for scientific accuracy by Illuminate Labs Blog Editor Taylor Graber MD 

Thrive Market is an online marketplace of health food brands, and they market themselves as the best way to save money on health foods. On Thrive Market you can order a wide range of products from fresh to frozen to packaged to be delivered to your door.

In this article we’ll review how much you can save (if anything at all) when you sign up for Thrive Market. Most other reviews focus on the reviewer’s favorite products, but since the core value proposition of Thrive Market is cost savings on high-end health food brands, we want to objectively analyze that to provide a recommendation to our readers of whether paying for a Thrive Market membership is worth it.

We’ll review the potential cost savings from various categories of health foods.

Packaged Food Review

Packaged food encompasses categories like jerky, dried fruit, chips and more. This is unsurprisingly where you can find the best cost savings on Thrive Market, since it’s easier for them to store this type of product. 

Thrive Market has hundreds if not thousands of packaged food items, so we’ll highlight a few randomly chosen examples of popular products to estimate cost savings for this category. We’ll select a brand and compare the costs to purchasing the same product on Amazon.

We will not include any products only available on Amazon through Whole Foods Market, since in-store pickup isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. We want to compare product cost for delivery only, since that’s how most consumers use Amazon and Thrive Market. All prices from both sites are from the time this article is written.

Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars

  • Amazon: $5.83 (per-unit cost for pack of 6)
  • Thrive: $4.99 (14% cheaper)

Banza Rotini Chickpea Pasta

  • Amazon: $5.19 (per-unit cost for pack of 3)
  • Thrive: $3.49 (33% cheaper)

Really Raw Honey

  • Amazon: $17.70
  • Thrive: $12.99 (27% cheaper)

Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla Cereal

  • Amazon: $5.87
  • Thrive: $3.79 (35% cheaper)

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 16.9 ounces (oz)

  • Amazon: $12.76 (per-unit cost for pack of 2)
  • Thrive: $9.99 (22% cheaper)

Redmond Real Salt

  • Amazon: $8.99
  • Thrive: $7.49 (17% cheaper)

Category average: 25% cost savings on Thrive Market

We find it pretty impressive that Thrive can provide cost savings that high over Amazon, with savings on every single popular product we chose, especially considering some of the Amazon products were bulk pricing. This is Thrive Market’s best-performing category.

Meat & Seafood Review

Thrive Market offers meat and seafood for delivery. For this category we’ll have to compare it to Amazon Whole Foods offerings, since Amazon doesn’t ship meat or seafood. This is somewhat of an unfair comparison because shipped meats will never compete on cost with those purchased in-store due to high costs of temperature-controlled shipping.

Grass-Fed Beef 1 Pound (Lb)

  • Amazon: $7.49
  • Thrive: $12.49 (67% more expensive)

Organic Boneless Chicken Breast 1 Lb

  • Amazon: $6.99
  • Thrive: $6.50 (per-unit cost for pack of 2) (7% cheaper)

Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon 1 Lb

  • Amazon: $15
  • Thrive: $24.41 (63% more expensive)

Category average: 41% more expensive on Thrive Market

Unsurprisingly, buying fresh and frozen meat and seafood is more expensive on an online-only marketplace than in-store. Thrive Market has good options for consumers who have high disposable income and want the convenience, but it will always be cheaper to buy meat and seafood in-store.

Frozen Foods Review

Thrive offers a wide variety of frozen foods, from pizzas to breakfast foods to produce and more.  

Similar to the Meat & Seafoods comparison, Amazon only offers frozen foods through their Whole Foods partnership so it’s somewhat of an unfair comparison, but still can provide useful insight.

Amy’s Margherita Pizza

  • Amazon: $8.99
  • Thrive: $7.49 (17% cheaper)

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries

  • Amazon: $4.79
  • Thrive: $3.99 (17% cheaper)

Amazon and Thrive don’t carry the same frozen produce brands so below we’ll be comparing the same quantity of product but different brands.

Frozen Spinach, 10 oz

  • Amazon (non-organic): $3.69
  • Thrive (organic): $2.99 (19% cheaper)

Frozen Strawberries, 32 oz

  • Amazon: $7.99
  • Thrive: $10.79 (35% more expensive)

Frozen Peaches, 10 oz

  • Amazon: $2.99
  • Thrive: $4.29 (43% more expensive)

Category average: 5% more expensive on Thrive Market

We can expect most fresh and frozen products to be cheaper in-store than online due to shipping. It’s notable that several frozen products are cheaper on Thrive Market even though the category average is overall more expensive.

Supplements Review

Amazon has a wider selection of supplements than Thrive Market, since they’re the largest retailer of supplements in the world. Thrive’s selection has been increasing over the years.

Great Lakes Collagen, 16 oz

  • Amazon: $25.99
  • Thrive: $23.99 (8% cheaper)

Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme, Extra Strength 120 Capsules

  • Amazon: $29.06
  • Thrive: $29.99 (3% more expensive)

Nordic Naturals, Ultimate Omega 1280 milligrams (mg)

  • Amazon: $59.46
  • Thrive: $59.49 (<1% more expensive)

Quantum SuperLysine Plus, 180 Count

  • Amazon: $15.39
  • Thrive: $11.49 (25% cheaper)

HealthForce Truly Natural Vitamin C, 14.1 oz

  • Amazon: $49.95
  • Thrive: $46.50 (7% cheaper)

Garden of Life Green Superfood, 7.3 oz

  • Amazon: $28.97
  • Thrive: $32.19 (11% more expensive)

Category Average: 4% cheaper on Thrive Market

Depending on what supplements you take, either Thrive Market or Amazon could be the more cost-effective option. It appears that Thrive is slightly cheaper across the board.

Personal Care Products Review

Both Thrive Market and Amazon have an extensive portfolio of natural personal care products.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap Unscented, 32 oz

  • Amazon: $19.50 (per-unit cost for pack of 2)
  • Thrive: $13.99 (28% cheaper)

EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz

  • Amazon: $11.45
  • Thrive: $6.99 (39% cheaper)

Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo, 24 oz

  • Amazon: $14.99
  • Thrive: $15.79 (5% more expensive)

Babo Botanicals Mineral Sunscreen, pack of two 6 oz bottles

  • Amazon: $29.05
  • Thrive: $27.49 (5% cheaper)

W3LL PEOPLE Concealer #2, 0.25 oz

  • Amazon: $22.99
  • Thrive: $20 (13% cheaper)

Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons, 18 count

  • Amazon: $6.77 (per-unit cost for pack of 2)
  • Thrive: $6.29 (7% cheaper)

Category Average: 15% cheaper on Thrive Market

Thrive Market performs well here, and it’s clear that it’s generally the superior option in regards to savings for packaged products, whether they’re food or personal care products.

Other Thrive Benefits

Because this article has been about apples-to-apples comparisons of cost between brands, we haven’t covered some of the other notable benefits that come with a Thrive Market membership.

Thrive sells a house brand (like Whole Foods 365) simply called “Thrive Market” which is cheaper than the leading brands for a few product categories.

As a few examples, they sell a 2 lb rolled oats product for $4.99 which is cheaper than basically any Amazon alternative we can find when you include shipping, and a pack of four 1 L coconut water drinks for $15.99.

Thrive also gives more freebies by far, with free product samples often included with an order, and even larger gifts like a free set of products at a $45 value upon signing up. These lower the effective cost of food purchased.

Thrive offers larger auto-ship discounts than Amazon, with the standard being 10% to Amazon’s 5%.

Conclusion

We recommend Thrive Market as a cost-effective way to buy health products. Outside of the meat and seafood comparison, Thrive provided a 10% cost savings on all other categories we reviewed. It’s an especially good option for consumers who purchase large amounts of packaged goods and personal care products online.

Thrive can be a good fresh and frozen food option for those without easy access to retail health food stores, but generally shopping in-store for these categories is more cost-efficient.

Thrive Market's annual membership fee is just $59.95, so at 10% average savings it will lead to annual cost savings for consumers who spend $50 monthly or more on healthfoods and personal care products online.

We find that Thrive does a better job of gamifying the shopping experience than Amazon and makes the experience more fun with freebies and big referral bonuses, and a better user experience (UX) on their website.

This is the first online health food marketplace we’ve recommended to date.




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