After a brief reprieve from the “whole paycheck” prices at Whole Foods under Amazon’s ownership, shoppers are likely to see their weekly bills rise again as prices go up on hundreds of products.
A company email sent in December and viewed by The Wall Street Journal listed 550 items that would see increases. The company said that it has been forced into the move by suppliers charging more due to inflation. The average increase for items on the list was 66 cents.
Prices also rose this month on an additional 50 items, as 700 contracts to sell certain goods at low prices expired. The new, higher levels on those items will bring Whole Foods hundreds of thousands of dollars per week in additional revenue.
Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 in order to finally get a foothold in the grocery business and to give the primarily-online company a bricks-and-mortar presence. After acquiring the high-end grocery store, Amazon cut prices and started offering perks to Amazon Prime members. More recently they announced the end of the younger, hipper, cheaper Whole Foods “365” stores, saying prices would be cheaper across all Whole Foods locations so the concept was unnecessary.
Whole Foods Market told Fortune in a statement that it’s seen increased costs from suppliers “due to materials, labor and transportation, and we’ve absorbed much of the inflation.” It argues that many prices “have also decreased.”
“We remain committed to continuing to lower prices with Amazon as we deliver on our mission to make high-quality, natural and organic food more affordable and accessible,” the company said.
This story has been updated to include Whole Foods’ comment.