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, you need to read on…
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There are many food market services available today. Admittedly, this 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 you want to do business with them.
The Thrive Market Review
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 game. That said, Thrive Market deserves praise for how quickly it has grown into the success that it is today.
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.
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 Thrive Market’s substantial selection of products. You can search the massive catalog or enter a specific item in the sidebar. It’s quick, easy, and offers a wealth of savings.
To join Thrive, 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 the pay-as-you-go monthly membership fee option instead.
This 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’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 Market also guarantees that you’ll save money, we’ll come back to this later.
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 this service can look forward to always having the goods they need. Scheduled shipping essentially ensures that your household will never run out of foods and other products.
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.
Support for Those in Need
Another aspect of Thrive Market that deserves acclaim is its support for the broader community. For every paid membership purchased, Thrive Market matches that new membership with a free membership.
Thrive Market gives those free memberships to low-income families, veterans, students, teachers, or first responders, 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.
A Zero-Waste Company
Thrive Market’s environmental awareness doesn’t end there. Thrive Market also works 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. So when you receive your order, every part of it can be safely recycled. Thrive Market also strives to ensure that its production processes are safe.
Every Thrive Market warehouse is notable for producing zero waste. That’s not something that many other companies can say.
Thrive Market is first and foremost a health foods 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.
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, and more. They even have some options for perishables like meat and seafood. So you aren’t just limited to grocery shopping.
They also have a relatively new department for clean crafted wines, which is more affordable than other clean wine club options like Dry Farms Wine.
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 savings that really make Thrive stand out.
On average, members can look forward to saving anywhere from 25% to 50% off retail prices, making Thrive Market a tough competitor with other online grocers.
Private Label Items
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. 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 currently account for around 700 items of inventory alone. For example, you can find items like peanut butter, almond butter, grains, sea salt, avocado oil, olive oil, snacks, and much more. But it’s not just health food that makes up the private label section.
From skincare products to diet supplements and other household and pantry staples, Thrive Market has private label items in many categories.
Those who have Thrive memberships can look forward to other perks, too. You will have access to 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.
Not sure if you want to invest in a yearly membership just yet?
No problem, as Thrive offers consumers a free trial. The trial membership 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. On average, Thrive Market members save $32 on every order. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and is one of the main reasons many people shop there.
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 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.
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.
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. 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, or something else,
Unlike brands like Whole Foods, Thrive Market doesn’t offer fresh produce. 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.
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 with Thrive Market?
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 that guarantees savings.
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.
Is Thrive Worth it in 2021?
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. Having your orders delivered right to your front door is the icing on the cake.
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.
By letting Thrive handle your grocery runs, you can safely avoid the potential risks that come from going out in public. For many people, this alone will make a Thrive Market membership worth the price of admission.
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.
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.
Is Thrive Market an MLM?
No. Thrive Market charges a membership fee like Costco, but other members don’t make money by signing you up so it’s not an MLM.
Does Thrive Market sell produce or fresh meat?
Thrive Market does not sell fresh produce, but they do have a service that sells fresh meat and seafood that is delivered to your door.
Can I shop Thrive Market 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.
Can I browse Thrive Market without a membership?
Yes. 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.
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 a try. It won’t cost you anything and you can save money on some items you’d buy anyway.