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This story first appeared in Food & Wine.
After Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods one year ago this month, at least some sort of integration between the two brands appeared inevitable — though the extent and pace of that melding of iconic names was unknown. But outside of maintaining their separate identities, the resulting merger has been pretty significant — from Amazon delivery of Whole Foods groceries to Whole Food selling Amazon products like the Echo and Kindle. And starting this week, one of the biggest crossovers will be complete: Amazon has announced that as of June 27, Prime members will be able to get discounts at Whole Foods and Whole Foods 365 locations nationwide.
This Prime member promotion has been about six weeks in the making. Whole Foods discounts for Prime members were first introduced in Florida back in May and by the end of the month, 12 more states had been added. And just two weeks ago, Amazon announced ten more states would be included in the program, bringing the total to 21. Now, the remaining 29 states don’t have to feel like they're missing out: On Wednesday, Whole Foods Prime discounts will have spread to the remaining northern and eastern parts of the country.
The most basic component of the Whole Foods Prime discount is that members get an additional 10 percent off items with yellow sales signs, which the brands bill as “hundreds of sale items throughout the store” (alcohol excluded). But there are also some special Prime member deals. For the nationwide rollout, shoppers can look out for:
- Baby back pork ribs, animal welfare rated and no antibiotics, $4.99/lb (save $5/lb).
- Sockeye salmon, wild caught Marine Stewardship Council-certified, $13.99/lb (save $6/lb).
- Organic red cherries, $3.99/lb (save $2/lb).
- Organic yellow peaches, $1.99/lb (save $2/lb).
- Mochi ice cream, including flavors like chocolate, salted caramel, and green tea, self-serve, 5/$5.
- All bulk items, including nuts, granola, and dried fruit, 25 percent off.
- Organic Honest Lemonade, 32 oz., 2/$3.
“Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive — in fact, Prime members have adopted this benefit at one of the fastest rates we’ve seen,” Cem Sibay, Amazon Prime’s vice president, said in the announcement. “Since starting this rollout in mid-May, Prime members have already saved millions of dollars.”
Add to this the continuing growth of free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods for Prime members in select cities across the country, and Amazon certainly seems like they are doing everything they can not only to make sure Prime members are getting their $119 annual-membership-fee’s worth, but also to encourage new sign-ups.