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Amazon cuts prices for whole foods. Now they're filming you back.



Whole Foods raises prices again.

Amazon.com
Inc.

0.18%

cuts the prices of Whole Foods after the acquisition of the natural grocer in 2017 in order to counteract its reputation for high costs. Now the pressure from manufacturers of consumer products to cover the rising costs of packaging, ingredients and transport has led prices to raise prices for hundreds of products, according to internal communications seen by The Wall Street Journal.

This month, the natural meat producer raised prices for dozens of articles from Dr. Bronner's soaps to Häagen-Dazs, according to an e-mail reviewed by the magazine. The company's separate e-mail in December listed 550 additional product price increases, including biscuits, olives and biscuits.

Whole Foods said in the December letter that suppliers are levying more on these products due to inflation. The individual price increases this month followed the expiration of annual sales contracts for around 700 commodities at low prices. These contracts will not be renewed, the chain said, and the increases add hundreds of thousands of dollars a week with additional revenue.

Several consumer goods companies, including

Proctor and Gamble
Co.

and

Clorox
Co.

recently raised prices or committed to doing so to offset the higher cost of raw materials and increase profits. Nearly half of the 52 consumer goods manufacturers recently surveyed by consulting firm Acosta raised prices last year.

Mondelez International

and

Hershey
Co.

last month said they would raise prices this year.

Inflation-based increases of Whole Foods range from 1

0 cents to several dollars, and the price list has been reviewed by the magazine. Soaps, detergents, oils and walnut oils have some of the highest increases. The average increase is 66 cents, according to the list.

Supermarkets opposed the passage of price rises against the backdrop of increasing competition in their industry. Some start to retreat. Based in California

Smart and Last Stores
Inc.,

a grocery-store grocery store that has been asked by hundreds of suppliers to raise prices and expects spending to continue to grow this year. Some supermarkets also agree to keep new brands and sizes to bring more profits to food producers

In Whole Foods, a basket of 40 selected items purchased from their stores cost $ 191 last month, according to the Consultative Group Telsey, more than 3% of what the same basket of goods cost last fall. The spokesman for Whole Foods said on Monday that some food suppliers have raised prices due to higher costs for materials, labor and cargo. Whole Foods went through some of these increased costs and mastered the rest, the spokeswoman said. The chain has stopped selling nearly half of the 700 products with expiring contracts and has made new deals for another 100, she said. Prices rose by about 50 of the 700 items, she added, adding that Whole Foods is already selling more items based on customer buying habits.

"We also offer hundreds to thousands of items for sale every day and we continue to lower prices for all buyers and premier members," said Whole Foods on Monday, citing the Amazon subscription program.

The e-commerce giant began to add discounts to Whole Foods and a free, fast delivery from its stores for the first members last year. Amazon raised initial membership fees by 20% to $ 119 in April

Whole Foods updates rebate subscriptions to Prime Minister every week. Less discounts are introduced for all customers, showing records.

Some customers said they noticed higher prices in Whole Foods this year, and think the rebates are exclusive to Prime members.

"I'm no longer going to go to the local Whole Foods," said Will Armstrong. year-old software developer from San Francisco who is not a member of Prime

Other buyers like membership rebates. Major promotions are the main reason why 1168 buyers surveyed by the Numerator data company last fall gave more frequent visits to whole foods.

Whole Foods raised prices to nine of

Hain Heavenly
Inc.

Dream Drinks. Hain, a major supplier of natural and organic products to Whole Foods, said on Thursday that higher costs are contributing to its unexpected loss in its last quarter.

Michael Bronner, president of California-based Dr. Bronner, said the company with natural products increased the price of soaps it sold to Whole Foods,

Target
Corp.

,

Costco
Corp.

,

Walmart
Inc.

and other retailers by 3%. The prices of organic coconuts for fair trade used to make these products up-to-date, said Mr Bronner, motivating him to pass on the higher costs to customers.

"People can choose smaller sizes, but they usually return," said Mr Bronner.

Whole Foods raises Dr. Bronner's soap prices by up to several dollars, the balkan reports say. The prices of some coconut oils from Nature's Way also rise by several dollars. A spokeswoman for Nestlé SA, the parent company of Häagen-Dazs, said that prices did not increase in Whole Foods and the company did not observe the price increases made by retailers.

Write to Heather Hhadden at heather.haddon@wsj.com


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