Thrive Market has been around for a number of years now and it has some key differentiators versus other online grocery stores. It is often more affordable, but it’s also uniquely adapted to specific dietary needs.
So if you’re gluten-free, keto, paleo, vegan, non-GMO, Whole 30 or otherwise, have specific dietary needs, lifestyle, or values you want to follow, you need to read on…
There are many food market services available today. Admittedly, this is a good problem to have. However, it can be dizzying trying to find the right options for you.
In this, the mother of all Thrive Market reviews, I will show what makes this online grocery store such a hit. I’ll also share any misses, so you can make an informed decision as to whether it’s for you.
- 1 What You Need to Know
- 2 Thousands of Food & Home Good Product Options
- 3 Competitive Savings vs. Other Grocers
- 4 Free 30-Day Trial Available
- 5 Pros
- 6 Cons
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7.1 Do you really save money?
- 7.2 Is Thrive Worth it in 2022?
- 7.3 Is Thrive Market better than Amazon?
- 7.4 Is Thrive Market owned by Amazon?
- 7.5 Is Thrive Market an MLM?
- 7.6 Does Thrive Market run sales?
- 7.7 How does Thrive Market work?
- 7.8 Does Thrive Market sell produce or fresh meat?
- 7.9 Can I shop without a membership?
- 7.10 What are some of the fan favorites? Which items are the most popular ?
- 7.11 Can I browse without a membership?
- 7.12 Is Thrive Market free for teachers?
- 7.13 Is Thrive Market free for students?
- 7.14 Is Thrive Market free for veterans?
- 7.15 Is Thrive Market free for low-income families?
- 7.16 About Thrive Market
- 8 Final Thoughts
- 9 Summary
What You Need to Know
There’s a lot to like about Thrive Market, so let’s start with its humble beginnings. Having been founded in 2014, Thrive is still relatively new to the grocery game. That said, it is a convenient, affordable (and kind of fun) way to get your groceries delivered to your door.
Thrive Market is a membership-based grocer based in Los Angeles, CA that focuses on natural foods and household products. It was founded by Nick Green, Kate Mulling, Gunnar Lovelace, and Sasha Siddhartha. In the first two years of operation they raised $141 million in venture funding, a huge sum that speaks to the confidence investors had in the concept. It is still privately held.
The concept is often described as “Costco meets Whole Foods” but there are multiple ways to interpret that description. It takes the membership fee model from Costco and the lower prices, but not the forcible bulk buying. It takes the natural/organic angle from Whole Foods but not the outrageous prices. It’s the best of both worlds in a sense.
Thrive Market is an online grocery store that carries a wide range of (mostly packaged) healthy goods. From food to natural cleaning products, you can find many of the items that you usually get during a trip to Walmart or Wegmans.
As an online health food store, you can look forward to an ever-expanding selection of all-natural goods across a variety of categories. Thrive Market describes itself as a cross between Whole Foods and Costco, which I’ll talk about in further detail later.
So, what is the pricing structure like? Let’s explore.
Let’s Discuss the Site’s Membership Cost
Thrive Market isn’t much different from any other online marketplace. To use Thrive Market’s services, you first need to sign up and pay a membership fee to join. Upon doing so, you will immediately gain access to their substantial selection of products.
You can search through the massive catalog or enter a specific item in the sidebar. It’s quick, easy, and offers a wealth of savings and convenience.
To join, there are two basic membership options. You need to pay an annual membership fee of $59.95. Doing the math, that’s only $5 a month. If you don’t think you will be using Thrive Market every month, you may opt for the pay-as-you-go monthly membership fee option instead. Plus, the member savings alone easily make up for the yearly $60.
Thrive Commercial (If you prefer a video introduction)
Month-to-Month Subscription Option
The monthly fee comes out to double what you pay as a yearly member, at $9.95 a month. So, if you think you will use Thrive Market more than 6 months out of the year, the annual membership is the best way to go.
It’s important to note that Thrive Market’s membership perks can potentially save you as much as 50% on certain items. When you look at it that way, $5 or even $10 a month is a reasonable price to pay.
Thrive membership also guarantees that you’ll save money. We’ll come back to this later.
Grocery Delivery Options & Shipping Fees
One area where Thrive Market excels is in its shipping. As a member, any time that you buy products equaling $49 or more, you automatically get free shipping. Every purchase in your cart counts toward this.
As an added incentive to join, you only need to spend a minimum of $25 on your first order to take advantage of free shipping.
Thrive Market also has scheduled shipping available. Members who take advantage of their autoship features can look forward to always having the goods they need. Scheduled shipping essentially ensures that your household will never run out of food and other products and it is one less thing to worry about in a hectic life.
You should think of their shipping as being on the Costco model rather than the Amazon model. You’re better off making one or two big purchases per month than lots of small purchases daily. This is better for the environment anyway.
Thrive Gives: Discounts for Those in Need
Another aspect of Thrive Market that deserves acclaim is its mission to support the broader community. For every paid membership purchased, Thrive Market matches that new membership with a free gift membership for a family in need.
Thrive Market people that are a low-income family, veteran, student, teacher, or one of our first responders, one of these free memberships, thereby helping local communities in the process. And as challenging as recent events have been for many people and families, this is a noble act, indeed.
Groceries Delivered with Zero Waste
Thrive Market’s environmental awareness doesn’t end there. They also work hard to have a low impact on the planet. This begins at the warehouses and reaches all the way to your door.
You can see this in their packaging. Every package that is shipped out to customers is 100% recyclable and arrives in great condition. So, when you receive your order, everything left over can be safely recycled. Thrive Market also strives to ensure that its production processes are safe.
The company works hard to keep their customers happy and show they care, and this starts with their packing. You can take comfort that any jar or bottle will remain in great condition thanks to the guys working hard on your deliveries.
Every Thrive Market warehouse is notable for producing zero waste with their boxes. That’s not something that many other companies can say.
Thousands of Food & Home Good Product Options
Thrive Market is first and foremost a health food store. As such, they carry a wide variety of sustainable foods that range from gluten-free to paleo, Whole30, non-GMO, organic, and more. At present, the Thrive Market is home to over 6,000 items from over 500 brands so there is a lot more variety than there used to be.
There are big brand products such as Annie’s, Bob’s Red Mill, and others. They have a large range of food options, such as cookies, lentils, beans, granolas, jars of salsa, beef, bread, nuts, and even peptides. It is perfect for people that like cooking, or just want to order a small bag for a snack or two. It is even great for ordering gifts, such as delicious and clean wines.
Being able to save money on health food is a big deal. But the savings don’t stop there. You can also order pet supplies, toiletries, kitchen basics, beauty supplies, spices, pantry items, items for babies and kids, and more. They even have some options for perishables like meat and seafood. So you aren’t just limited to grocery shopping. However, fresh produce like fruits and veggies are not available in their store.
Competitive Savings vs. Other Grocers
Most of what you can find in your local grocer’s packaged goods areas are available through Thrive Market, giving members much to choose from. Having access to so many popular items is great. But it’s the discounts that really make Thrive stand out.
On average, users can look forward to saving anywhere from 25% to 50% off their market worth and retail prices, making Thrive Market a tough competitor with other online grocers. That even compares favorably with Vitacost and other online retailers that offer a lot of the same essentials.
Even companies like Butcher Box, which specialize in meats, tend to be more expensive and not offer ethically-sourced products.
Private Label Food Items Can Save Even More
A Thrive Market membership can save you a lot of money on typical health food brands. Much like Costco, you can expect to pay budget-friendly prices on a wide range of items that are more common market products. But it’s Thrive Market’s private-label goods where you really see the savings and often higher quality as well.
The private label items (their own store brand) currently account for around 700 items of inventory alone. For example, you can find items like their very popular ghee, peanut butter, almond butter, grains, sea salt, avocado oil, olive oil, snacks, and much more. But it’s not just health food items that make up the private label section.
From skincare products to vitamins, diet supplements and other household and pantry staples like cleaning supplies, Thrive Market has private label items in many categories.
Making a Great Deal Better: Added Value Services
Those who have Thrive memberships can look forward to a number of other perks in the experience, too. You will have access to tips, recipes, meal planning, diet blogs, and more. Membership fees also come with special deals, prizes, and rewards.
And then there’s the customer service. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this in my Thrive Market review. The company does a fantastic job of providing excellent support to its members. Even as they continue to grow, the importance of the customer is not lost on Thrive.
Their customer service team can help with any issue or problems you may have with their site or products. They are quick to reply to any comment, give an answer to a question you may have, help with a renewal, or even a forgotten password.
Free 30-Day Trial Available
Not sure if you want to join Thrive Market and invest in a yearly membership just yet?
No problem, as Thrive offers consumers a free trial. This feature lets you order from Thrive Market for 30 days to see whether you want to sign up.
You will still need to provide your credit card information upon trying out the free membership. If you don’t like it, simply cancel before the trial ends. It’s 100% risk-free, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain.
If you don’t cancel, keep in mind that your credit card will be charged and you will then become a part of the membership-based community.
There are many reasons why getting a membership makes sense, and one is how much cheaper items are than their retail price. It is a fact that Thrive Market members save $32 on average every order. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and these low market prices is one of the main reasons many choose to be a buyer there.
Thrive Market is focused on saving the environment and the people living there. They release a report on how they’ve helped out every year, as well as giving out an accessibility statement.
Since the pandemic, more and more people prefer to shop from home, and Thrive Market makes it easy to get your essential staples without ever leaving your house.
Orders ship out fast. And with every package being 100% recyclable, you can do your part to protect the planet after you unpack your orders.
Thrive carries popular brands with top-of-the-line market goods like Bob’s Red Mill, Seventh Generation, Whole30, and of course their own private label goods . You will also find a growing selection of paleo diet products and snacks, as well as a litany of common pantry staples and other shelf-stable items, all of which have clear nutrition labels and are often cheaper than the market cost.
Shipping is free with a minimum order of $49. Not having to pay a shipping fee is a big deal. You’re already saving a substantial amount on your orders, and free shipping only serves to lower your prices even more. Plus you can easily track your packages.
Free 30-day trial. At no cost, you can try a company that sells products like Whole Foods but at prices like Costco. Your free 30-day trial lets you see what makes Thrive Market such a winner.
Save on your first order. Your very first order starts saving you money right away. Whereas regular free shipping is on orders $49 or more, your first order needs only to be $25 to qualify for free shipping.
Tons of recipes are available through the Thrive Market website that taste and smell great as a free addition to your membership. There is a whole community of members who post and share recipes, so you’re never without new ideas for meals. Whether you need a recipe for Whole30, paleo, a heart healthy meal, or something else.
Save on your first order. Your very first order starts saving you money right away. Whereas regular free shipping is on orders $49 or more, your first order needs only to be $25 to qualify for free shipping.
Thrive Market also has an excellent member services team and has the customer ratings to prove it. They work hard to make sure to clear up any misunderstanding or mistake and make your order experience as smooth as possible. They will even offer a refund when there are issues. If you have any concerns, you can reach them on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page, by phone number (866-419-2174) or email, and even on their app. They are quick to respond to emails, so you won’t be waiting days with no word back.
If you aren’t convinced by us and our opinion of Thrive Market, you can look up their Google rating and see the complaints, trouble, and feedback that people gave.
Unlike brands like Whole Foods, none of Thrive Market’s categories offer fresh produce. Instead, they offer a blend of frozen and shelf-stable products. So if you want produce, you will have to go to your local Whole Foods or other health food store to get the products you need.
Thrive Market is in English, as it is focused on the United States. However, you can use Google Translate if that’s not your native tongue.
If you aren’t going to order a lot of food throughout the year, such as a husband and wife without any kids, it might not make it worth the cost, especially if you go to the grocer for most of your items.
Some products are cheaper elsewhere. To be fair, that’s the nature of retail in any capacity. Sure, you can find things cheaper on Amazon or at Whole Foods. But for the majority of your orders, Thrive will come out on top.
The shipping isn’t free until you hit $49 in order value. This means you have to be a little more deliberate in how you shop there. It forces most people to make a list and order less frequently (though that is better for the environment, as a silver lining).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you really save money?
Yes, in more ways than one, actually. Upon researching Thrive Market’s selection of foods, it’s clear that some items are indeed less expensive than what you’d typically pay at a big-box store. That said, there are also some goods that cost slightly more.
However, where Thrive Market truly becomes a money-saving venture is in its membership guarantee. You see, Thrive wants to make sure that its members get their money’s worth. So, if your savings throughout the year don’t equal the cost of your Thrive Market membership, you will get back the difference. They essentially give you insurance through a savings guarantee. There are hundreds of reviews that equal five stars left by reviewers on their websites on online reviewing sites like Google or Trustpilot.
You receive this in the form of Thrive Cash. This digital currency is added to your account at the end of the year, ensuring that you always save and that your Thrive Market membership is worth the investment, even more than companies like Butcherbox.
Is Thrive Worth it in 2022?
In this Thrive Market review I’ve shown that yes, it’s worth it, perhaps now more than ever. Obviously, there is the money-saving aspect of Thrive Market that will appeal to a lot of people. You can get high-quality, healthy foods for a reasonable price and with ease. Having your orders delivered right to your front door is the icing on the cake.
There is no need to drive down the road, or go to a local town to search down every grocery aisle, and wait at a register to get your food anymore. Besides the price difference, you save a lot of time and money if you advance into the future and purchase Thrive Market food and you can spend the rest of your time relaxing or spending time with a couple of friends.
And then there’s the safety aspect. Since 2020, there are many people who understandably don’t want to risk going to their local grocery store or Whole Foods. In the face of a pandemic, having access to safe, fresh foods is tantamount to invaluable jewels. Online grocery store growth was a response to this pandemic, allowing for people to continue ordering food as long as they had access to a bank account or credit card.
By letting Thrive handle your grocery runs, you can safely avoid the potential risks that come from going out in public during these times. For many people, this alone will make a Thrive Market membership worth the price of admission, especially if you are someone that always has to worry about accessibility in physical stores.
Is Thrive Market better than Amazon?
It depends on what you’re looking for. While you may not find the same brands featured on Amazon, you can find most of the same types of products as those found on Thrive Market. To be fair, Amazon is always going to seek out what the competition is selling and work to make sure they provide the same. Though Thrive Market doesn’t have a long history, they have many guiding principles, standards, and practices that make it stand out.
Be that as it may, Amazon can’t sell Thrive Market’s private label products. Oh, they can sell copycats and cheap knock-offs. But if you want true private label Thrive Market brand goods, you’ll have to become a member.
And that’s what makes Thrive Market such a viable competitor. Its products are a cut above the rest, providing both quality and affordability. Thrive may never be able to compete with the inventory that Amazon has, but they don’t necessarily need to. As long as they continue providing excellent goods to their customers, Thrive will… well, thrive.
Is Thrive Market owned by Amazon?
No, which makes Thrive Market all the more beloved by many of its customers. Amazon is likely going to continue dominating as a one-stop-shop. However, it is this domination that turns away many consumers. They understand that the world needs small businesses, many of which were single-handedly put out of business by Amazon.
When you have alternatives to Amazon, you’re going to get a sizable audience based on this principle alone. But since Thrive Market sells quality products on top of that, its business has only gotten stronger with time.
Amazon has even released a case study on Thrive Market and how the two parties work together.
Is Thrive Market an MLM?
No. Thrive Market charges a membership fee like Costco or Sam’s Club, but other members don’t make money by signing you up so it’s not an equivalent to a multi-level marketing (MLM), nor any type of scam.
Does Thrive Market run sales?
Yes, they are basically always running a sale of some kind to draw in new members. The details of a Thrive Market coupon or deal they run change over time, but there’s always some discount, coupons or freebies offered to get new members to the checkout. You can save a lot of money if you make a point to buy a large portion of your foods and other resources on sale.
How does Thrive Market work?
Thrive market as a similar membership model to Costco or Sam’s Club basically. You just go to their link: thrivemarket.com and add what you want to your cart and check out.
You’ll need a membership in order to do so though, just like Costco. You can also find their email address there, or phone number if you want to ask them any questions as they are available to chat with anyone 24/7.
Does Thrive Market sell produce or fresh meat?
Thrive Market does not sell fresh vegetables, but they do have a service that sells fresh meats and fish and other seafood that is delivered to your door.
Can I shop without a membership?
You cannot make any purchases on Thrive Market without a membership. However, you can buy a short term membership which makes the risk low and can easily be offset by the savings.
What are some of the fan favorites? Which items are the most popular ?
They try to please everyone in one place. I know based on my own shopping and research that some of the more popular items are: baking ingredients like almond flour and other keto flours, coffee, sauces, a pouch of apple sauce, bottles, different waters, protein powder, chicken stock, other stocks collagen, honey, coconut milk, dressings, canned tuna, granola, cereals, chocolate, tomato paste, tomato sauce, stevia, canned salmon, gluten-free pasta and other specialty pastas, fruit treats, toothpaste, chips, crackers, rice, soups, erythritol, yeast.
They also sell many name brands from brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Simple Mills, Annie’s, Primal Kitchen, Acure and many more. You might need a lot more space in your kitchen once you are done looking through their store!
They work to make sure that the brands they sell follow their strict methods, as Thrive Market believes that each customer has rights and doesn’t want to charge them for food and products that aren’t from a reputable source. They will even often give the story of each brand and resource they provide, so you have the chance to learn more about them.
Business Insider even wrote an article about their favorite collection of foods, and their favorite part about Thrive’s marketing.
For items like essential oils, they will even provide a tip and hint or two and if you are unsure how to use them.
Can I browse without a membership?
Yes. A lot of Thrive Market reviews won’t tell you this, but you can browse the Thrive Market site all you want for free, you just need a membership when you go to make a purchase.
Is Thrive Market free for teachers?
Yes! Thrive Market grants free memberships to teachers through their Thrive Gives program.
Is Thrive Market free for students?
Yes! Thrive Market grants free memberships to students through their Thrive Gives program.
Is Thrive Market free for veterans?
Yes! Thrive Market grants free memberships to veterans through their Thrive Gives program.
Is Thrive Market free for low-income families?
Yes! Thrive Market grants free memberships to low-income families through their Thrive Gives program. They also currently have plans to allow EBT cards, which will be great for people in that program.
About Thrive Market
Thrive Market carries over 4,000 products from over 400 brands, including food, supplements, beauty, household, and baby/kids items using a membership model that allows them to offer prices that are up to 50% off retail.
Thrive Market is a B Corporation, meaning they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. As of 2019, Thrive Market had over 500,000 paying members and was ranked #1 in Inc.’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the US.
Thrive Market has a satisfaction guarantee that allows customers to return products for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Thrive Market offers free shipping on orders over $49.
As you can see, there are many reasons for someone to get on board with the Market. If you’re still unsure, give the free trial membership a try using one of our links to see if it is a good fit for you. It won’t cost you anything and you can save money on some items you’d buy anyway..
Thrive Market is an app and website designed to make shopping easier and more affordable for grocery and personal items that are specific to certain diets, requirements or values.
Price Currency: USD
Operating System: Windows, OSX, Android, iOS
Application Category: ShoppingApplication