Whole Foods drops prices on avocados, eggs, bananas as Amazon acquisition closes

Whole Foods is lowering its prices on Monday, acquirer Amazon said.

Your homemade avocado toast is getting cheaper.

Amazon is cuttting prices on a range of popular Whole Foods goods — including organic avocados — as it completes its acquisition of the grocery chain, the online retail giant said Thursday.

The price cut on selected in-store goods starts Monday, five days after Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods won antitrust approval from U.S. regulators.

The chain is lowering prices on organic avocados and baby kale, Whole Trade bananas, organic large brown eggs, organic responsibly farmed salmon, animal welfare-rated 85 percent lean ground beef and creamy and crunchy almond butter, among other popular products.

“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” Amazon’s worldwide consumer chief Jeff Wilke said in a news release. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.”

Price tags at the supermarket’s outposts can be, on average, 15 percent to 20 percent higher than some rival grocers, analyst Scott Mushkin said recently.

In June 2015, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs actually accused Whole Foods of “systematic overcharging for pre-packaged foods” —  as much as $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp.

“Our inspectors tell me this is the worst case of mislabeling they have seen in their careers,” then-department Commissioner Julie Menin said at the time.

In addition to lowering the prices on some Whole Foods branded products, Amazon is beginning selling them on Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now. The internet retailer will also eventually integrate its Prime members into Whole Foods’ customer rewards program.

Whole Foods has already introduced a loyalty program at its smaller, lower-priced 365 by Whole Foods chain, which offers members 10 percent off more than 100 items in the store.

Whole Foods opened its 12th New York City location, in Harlem, this summer. 

With Reuters

Nicole Levy