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Prices are on the rise at Whole Foods Market.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which reports it reviewed internal company communications, Whole Foods has raised prices on hundreds of products to “cover the rising costs for packaging, ingredients and transportation.”
Increases hit dozens of items this month, including Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Dr. Bonner’s soaps, the paper reported. In December, prices increased on 550 additional items.
One of the emails reviewed by the paper said that suppliers were charging more for items due to inflation.
The inflation-based increases range from 10 cents to several dollars with soaps, detergent, oils and nut butters having some of the highest increases. The average hike was 66 cents, according to a list reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon acquired the Whole Foods chain for $13.7 billion in August 2017 with a “vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone,” the companies said in a joint announcement.
Prices were cut on the first day on “best-selling grocery staples” including fruit, dairy and meats.
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Whole Foods “stopped selling nearly half of 700 products with expiring contracts and instituted new deals on 100 more,” a company spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, noting prices increased on about 50 of the 700 items.
In a statement to USA TODAY, Whole Foods said like all grocers, the company “has experienced increased costs from suppliers due to materials, labor and transportation, and we’ve absorbed much of the inflation.”
The company has been trying to lure Prime members to Whole Foods with exclusive deals including a loyalty discount of an additional 10 percent off sales prices. Members with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa get 5 percent cash back on Whole Foods purchases.
“Many prices also have decreased, and we continue to expand the number of promotions we offer to give our customers better value,” Whole Foods said in the statement. “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.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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