Whole Foods asks suppliers to drop prices as consumers deal with inflation

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Whole Foods Market is looking to cut prices, which could help it shake its longtime nickname “Whole Paycheck.”

Driving the news: The Amazon-owned grocery store chain is asking its suppliers to help cut costs on packaged groceries as consumers continue to deal with inflation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Whole Foods made the request to suppliers during a virtual summit in December, according to The Journal.
  • The company told The Journal that its rate of price increases has been lower than the industry standard and the company is committed to ensuring prices reflect easing inflation.
  • A Whole Foods spokesperson confirmed the suppliers’ pricing request to Axios Tuesday.

The big picture: The meteoric rise in food prices slowed slightly in December, per a new Axios analysis — but prices were still up more than 10% year-over-year.

  • While grocery items have broadly gotten more expensive, no food item has been impacted by inflation as much as eggs and their prices often give a clue about the current economic environment.

Flashback: Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market in August 2017 for $13.7 billion and the companies said in a joint statement at the time that there was a “vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.”

  • Whole Foods prices were lowered at the start of the acquisition and in 2018 an Amazon Prime member discount was introduced.
  • Amazon and Whole Foods announced another round of price cuts in April 2019.

Context: Amazon Prime members save an extra 10% off on in-store sale prices excluding alcohol at Whole Foods.

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