I finally tried Thrive Market this month. I’m a frugal person, so any opportunity to buy organic for less is an opportunity I’ll explore!
Before we dive into individual products, let’s talk about what Thrive Market is.
Thrive Market is an online organic grocery store, where they claim to sell items for up to 50% off. Shipping is free on orders of $49+, otherwise, it appears to be a flat $5.95 per order. You start with a free 30-day membership, and then after that, it costs $59.95 per year ($5/month) to be a member. This is similar to Costco’s model, where you pay annual membership dues for the privilege of shopping there. You can also get 25% off your first order here.
This blog post explores whether Thrive Market is really the great discount grocery it claims to be.
It would be tedious and not fun to analyze every single item at Thrive Market, but what I’ve done for you is pick out 10 of the items I am personally interested in comparing to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Amazon, and other supermarkets.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available at Thrive Market, nor do I explore any junk, premade, or “snack” foods, it is a good ballpark of what’s possible if you’re looking for an alternative grocery option.
Follow along as I click through 10 items at Thrive Market and determine what’s really worth buying!
1. WILD SOCKEYE SALMON: $18.17/LB
PASS First, let me make one thing clear and open: you can buy wild sockeye salmon at Costco for $9.99/lb when it’s in season, but I’ve also seen it as high as $19.99/lb when not in season. Your local prices may be different, but that’s what I can get it for in the SF Bay Area. At Thrive Market, they offer the same thing for $18.17/lb. Considering I just bought a fillet for that sweet $9.99/lb, I’m going to have to pass on Thrive Market’s offer. Plus, I don’t really want to spend $109 on salmon. Since $18.17/lb is not a huge discount, buying in bulk makes no sense.
2. BROWN RICE CAKES: $1.89/4.09oz package
WORTH IT Yes, please! If you think these are just a boring diet food, think again. They’re like crunchy little shuttles for mass-consuming hummus and guacamole! The multigrain variety (pictured above) has added flax, which I find helpful for additional omega-3s. And at less than $2 per package, you just can’t beat this price for organic. I bought 2.
3. COCONUT OIL: $7.99/15oz
PASS I really wanted to love this, but I just can’t justify the price. Costco offers an 84oz tub of organic coconut oil for $16.99, making it buckets cheaper than Thrive Market. With that said, if you don’t have access to Costco, this could be a real keeper! You’d be hard-pressed to find coconut oil in stores for $7.99 for a 15oz jar. Thrive Market also offers a 54oz jar for $21.99, but that’s still about double what Costco offers.
4. RAW CASHEWS: $10.99/LB
WORTH IT Costco offers 2-pack of raw organic cashews for $49.99, which comes to a unit price of $10/lb, but honestly, who needs 5lb of cashews? We use cashews for “cheese” sauces and dips, so we only ever need a little at a time. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the $0.99/lb savings to shell out $50 for way too many cashews. These are a yes!
5. LOOSE CHAMOMILE TEA: $9.99/100g
PASS I was SO excited to click to the tea section of Thrive Market because I am a tea fanatic, but man, it just fell short! Maybe their tea is of the utmost quality, in which case I could be totally wrong here, but I get 1lb of organic chamomile tea on Amazon for $13.16, which is also of the utmost quality. This Thrive Market brand doesn’t even come close to that value. I’m going to have to give a hard pass on this. This might be worth it if you don’t go through tea very fast, as it doesn’t have an infinite shelf life, but still.
6. CHIA SEEDS: $7.99/LB
PASS Ok, now I’m just starting to get sad. This price is ridiculous. Chia seeds are $2.99/lb in the bulk section of my grocery store, and even cheaper than that at Costco. I guess this price could be worth it if you live in the middle of nowhere and Thrive Market is literally your only option, and you goddamn insist on eating chia seeds! Otherwise, no thanks.
7. CHICKPEA SHELL PASTA: $2.99/8OZ BOX
WORTH IT Halleluja, hell yes! This is the Thrive Market brand, which beats the bulk unit price of the Banza brand on Amazon. I love chickpea pasta since it’s gluten-free, high protein, high fiber, and seriously delicious! I can’t wait to try the Thrive Market brand. But guess what? Even if it’s inferior to Banza, the Thrive Market Banza price is just $3.29. Still totally worth it. There’s also a quinoa pasta for $2.49. The gluten-free pasta prices are seriously not bad.
8. COCONUT MILK: $1.99/13.5OZ CAN
WORTH IT I usually buy my coconut milk on Amazon because I love the Aroy-D brand and driving 15 miles to the local Asian market is a pain in the ass, but these Thrive Market cans seem to measure up just fine. Aroy-D on Amazon is $0.18/OZ and you have to buy in bulk, and Thrive Market comes to about $0.15/OZ and you get to buy one can at a time. I always look for full-fat, no added crap, which Thrive Market delivers. This is a definite yes! I stocked up and bought 4.
9. SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER: $4.99/16OZ JAR
WORTH IT Where else can you find sunflower seed butter at this price? I gradually made the transition from peanut butter to almond butter, and now to sunflower seed butter. In terms of nutrition, sunflower butter wins. Thrive Market has excellent prices on peanut butter, cashew butter, and sunflower seed butter. But if you’re looking for a solid almond butter, Costco still wins there. I bought 1 jar of sunflower butter to see how it measures up on my daily apple.
10. COCONUT AMINOS: $4.99/8OZ BOTTLE
PASS Trader Joe’s sells coconut aminos for $2.99 per bottle, and it’s delicious! With that said, if you don’t have a TJ’s, Thrive Market is the place to shop for this yummy soy sauce alternative. Considering I have a TJ’s a few miles from my apartment, I’m going to pass on the Thrive Market deal.
So, is Thrive Market all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe. It really depends on what you want to buy, but for me, probably not. I’m not a fan of recurring payments or membership fees unless it’s a non-negotiable like my electric bill. All of the items I’m interested in buying are not items I need to purchase regularly, so I do not know if the membership is worth it for the savings. For now, I will most likely stock up on what I think I’ll need for the next little while, and cancel before the annual membership kicks in.
What do you think? Do you use Thrive Market? What good deals or delicious treats have you found?