There are a variety of companies that help you buy organic food online. If you don’t have an organic food store in your area, buying online could be a great alternative.
In fact, buying online could be your go-to route for getting organic food and other items. It’s convenient and a time-saver.
However, buying organic food – whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store – is expensive. At the same time, it is nice knowing you’re feeding your family food without chemicals and pesticides.
If you’re planning on feeding your family organically and sticking to a budget, there is hope. Read on as I review one specific online organic food store: Thrive Market.
Thrive Market Review
If you like buying organic foods and other items for your family, Thrive Market could be a great money-saving option.
Table of Contents
What is Thrive Market?
According to its tagline, Thrive Market sells “organic brands you love for less.” The website says you can save 25% to 50% on your favorite organic foods.
Thrive Market is based out of Los Angeles and came on the scene in 2015. The steadily growing online store is already 400,000+ members strong, which says something.
I usually spend as little as possible to get quality food for my family – including organic food. So I was a bit hesitant when I was asked to try Thrive Market and give my honest opinion. I was afraid I wouldn’t have much good to say.
We have organic food stores such as Whole Foods Market in the major metropolitan area I live near. But I rarely set food in them. My grocery shopping goal is to get the best quality of the foods we love for the lowest price.
I’m a pro at shopping on the cheap and teaching others how to save money on groceries. That makes higher-end organic food stores pretty much out of my reach.
However, in the name of continuing education, I said I’d give Thrive Market a try. In this review, I’ll share my honest opinion. You’ll get the pros, the cons and everything in between about Thrive Market.
After you finish reading, you’ll have a fairly good idea about whether or not Thrive Market might be a good choice for you. Ready?
What Can you Buy at Thrive Market?
Thrive Market sells a pretty large variety of organic foods as well as other items. Here is a brief rundown of what they sell:
Quality meat and seafood
Thrive Market sells high-quality meats and seafood. They sell grass-fed red meats, organic chicken, pasture-raised pork and sustainable seafood. You’ll find steaks, salmon, pork chops, beef stew cubes, ground beef and more on the site.
You can buy the meat in individual packs, variety packs and bulk packs.
Thrive also sells pantry foods. Here is a short list of items they sell for the pantry:
- Cooking and meal ingredients such as pasta and spaghetti sauces
- Candy, desserts and toppings
- Ghee, oils and vinegars
- Bars, cereals and granola
- Honey and other sweeteners
- Beverages and drink mixes
- Packaged fruits and vegetables
- Spices and seasonings
- Nuts and trail mixes
- Nut butters, fruit spreads, condiments, sauces and superfoods such as chia seeds
Beauty, bath and body
Thrive carries a large selection of beauty, bath and body items.
Some examples include:
- Facial care products such as cleansers, moisturizers and eye cream
- Haircare products such as shampoo, conditioner, brushes and scalp and hair treatments
- Aromatherapy and essential oils
- Organic makeup
- First aid and tropical treatments
- All-natural feminine hygiene products
- Men’s grooming products such as shave gel, body soap and deodorant
And there’s more.
It was a pleasant surprise to see such a large selection of healthy beauty, bath and body products on the Thrive Market website.
Baby and kids’ products
Thrive Market also has an ample selection of baby and kids’ products.
Some examples include:
- Baby and kids’ soap and shampoo
- Kids’ toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Baby and kids’ sunscreen and bug repellent
- Baby lotion, cream and oil
- Diapering supplies
- Mom and maternity items
- Backpacks and lunch boxes
Plus, there’s more.
I was pleased with the large selection of items in this category as well.
The online store also has a nice variety of health items. They carry vitamins and supplements, detox and digestive aids, and sports and fitness items such as protein powders.
Thrive Market also carries natural remedies, homeopathic remedies and herbs and herb extracts. Eye care supplies such as contact lens solutions and eye drops are on the shopping site, too. Superfood powders and supplements also make the list here.
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Kitchen and cleaning supplies
Thrive Market carries some dishes, as well as cleaning supplies. Some of the items they sell include:
- Water bottles and storage containers
- Coffee and tea accessories
- Non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning supplies, paper towels, bath tissue and facial tissue
- Storage, freezer and garbage bags
- Cleaning, laundry and dishwashing supplies
- Pest control
- Fruit and veggie wash
And you can find other things, as well.
Once again, I was pleased with the large supply of items in this category too.
Pet supplies are readily available at Thrive too. They cater to a lot of different pets. In particular, they carry a large selection of both cat and dog supplies, such as:
- Dog treats and dog food
- Health and supplement supplies for dogs
- Dog collars, leashes and toys
- Dog bedding, accessories and waste disposal products
- Cat food and cat treats
- Grooming supplies and other accessories for cats
- Cat toys
- Health supplies and supplements for cats
The amount of cat and dog items Thrive Market carries is pretty all-inclusive. I even found an herbal ear wash for dogs on the site.
If you’re looking to give your cat or dog a healthier life, you’ll find many options here. Bonus: Thrive also has a Thrive Market brand for many products that can help you spend less on some of your favorite items.
As you can see, the selection of items at Thrive will not disappoint you. Plus, I had no problem whatsoever spending my allotted Thrive Market budget on things we need and use every day.
How do their prices compare to other stores?
As I researched other organic stores in hopes of doing some price comparison shopping for this article, I found Thrive’s discount prices claims to be spot on.
Here are some of the “Thrive Market vs. The Other Guy” prices I found as I was doing some organic food comparison shopping. To keep the playing field as level as possible, I compared prices with those at similar organic food stores. Here’s what I found:
Annie’s Mac & Cheese 6 oz. box: $1.99 at Thrive Market vs. $2.69 at other stores
Peanut Butter Puffins boxed Cereal, 11 oz. box: $3.99 at Thrive Market vs. $4.99 at other stores
Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter, 16 oz. jar: $5.99 at Thrive Market, $6.99 or higher at other stores
Paesana Classic Pizza Sauce 8.5 oz. jar: $3.29 at Thrive Market vs. $3.79 or more at other stores
This is just a small sampling of price comparisons. Notably, being a gal who has a knack for remembering prices, I can tell you that Thrive Market prices were generally lower across the board.
If lower prices are a big concern for you as you shop, you’ll likely be happy with Thrive Market prices.
What is Thrive Market like in real life?
Thrive Market has an extensive FAQ page for those of you who have questions about the company or your order.
If you need to contact someone directly to answer a question, they have an email contact form you can submit. However, I never found the need to do so.
Every single one of my four orders (I tried the service for about three weeks) was perfect. It was just as I asked for, and as I expected.
Since this was a trial run to write a legit review, I only needed the service for 30 days. So I did contact the customer service center one time to cancel my membership.
I contacted customer service on a weekend and received a response within 15 minutes. Nice!
I did check on Influenster to see what the masses were saying, however. Thrive Market had a total of 190 reviews on the site with an average rating of 4.29 out of 5.
I also checked the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and found there were 454 complaints about Thrive. All of the ones I looked through were marked “resolved” or “answered.”
Most of the complaints revolved around a misunderstanding about membership commitment. Which leads me to the next discussion point: Are there membership fees for shopping with Thrive Market?
Are there any membership or shipping fees?
Let’s start with registration. It’s free to register for an account with Thrive Market. Registering allows you to browse the site’s catalog, and it gets you 15% off your first order.
After you place your first order, you begin a 30-day free trial with Thrive Market. The trial membership is intended to help you get a feel about the products and the company. You can cancel your membership at any time.
After your 30-day trial membership, you’ll be charged $59.95 annually to be a Thrive Market member. Bonus: When you join, you are also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family. I like that Thrive Market cares about the community in this way.
If you want to pay monthly, the fee is $10 per month.
Shipping costs and information
Thrive won’t charge you any shipping costs for orders over $49. Orders under $49 will be charged various shipping rates depending on the order.
The $49 shipping minimum will likely be easy to meet for families. However, singles and couples might have trouble meeting the free shipping minimum unless they do a large portion of their grocery shopping on the site.
Note that Thrive Market only ships to the 48 contiguous United States. They don’t ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or Canada as of this writing.
However, their website says they do hope to expand their services in the near future. Also, Thrive Market won’t ship to P.O. boxes or third party shippers.
In my experience, I found that the company offers occasional special deals on orders as well. For instance, when I was shopping they were giving 20% off your first three orders. They were also offering a $25 bonus in Thrive Cash for each member you invite to join.
The prices are already low at Thrive Market, but the 20% off the first three orders deal I got was the clincher. It made for a deal I couldn’t turn down. In fact, I used the first 20% discount to order a bulk meat package and saved big time on grass-fed meat.
The membership fee can be recovered quickly
The membership fee you’ll pay with Thrive Market is made up in product cost savings, according to the company. The Thrive Market website FAQ page specifies when talking about the membership fee of $59.95 per year:
“Because of the membership, we don’t have to mark up our products like other retailers and can pass those savings along to our members. As a result, the average member makes back their $59.95 annual membership fee (that’s just $5 a month) in savings in just two orders.”
Even if you shop less and make the membership fee up in five orders, it’s likely still worth the cost.
Pros and Cons of Thrive Market
There were several things I liked about Thrive Market. I’ll share them briefly here.
Great food quality
Most importantly, I was largely satisfied with the quality of the food.
The food I found at Thrive was, by and large, much higher quality than you’ll find at big box stores. Aldi and Trader Joe’s have a better selection of organic foods than say, Walmart, but Thrive Market tops them all, in my opinion.
Great prices on organic food
Also, the prices were pretty reasonable compared to what you’ll find at a brick-and-mortar organic food store. I found that the prices really were much lower than my local organic food store charged.
Great packaging and customer service
Thrive Market did an amazing job of packing my orders for delivery. Freezer/refrigerated foods were packed in lots of dry ice and kept very cold throughout delivery.
Glass jars and other fragile products were surrounded by lots of protective packaging materials. I would have been extremely surprised to find a broken or damaged item among my deliveries.
The packaging pros at Thrive Market get a blue ribbon for packaging shipments safely. Additionally, the quick and accurate deliveries show me that great customer service is top priority at Thrive.
Every shipment I received was treated with care – that was obvious.
My experience with Thrive Market was filled with many more positives than negatives. There were only a few things I didn’t care for about Thrive.
No fresh produce
First, Thrive Market doesn’t sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it’s not really a one-stop shopping experience. You can do most of your shopping with Thrive, but you won’t find fresh produce there.
This fact might not bother some people. After all, farmers’ markets abound in most areas, making fresh produce available easily, at least in the warmer months. Some organic food aficionados also may grow fresh produce at home or belong to a CSA.
But convenience-minded shoppers who want to buy everything in one place may be disappointed that Thrive Market doesn’t carry fresh produce.
Some questionable ingredients
Second, I was a bit disappointed in some of the product ingredients they had. For instance, one of the items we ordered was the non-GMO plantain chips.
For those not in the know, plantains are a fruit that looks very similar to a large banana. They hail primarily from South/Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Plantains can be eaten raw like a banana, and they also make a great dried snack. So, I was excited when I saw that Thrive had Plantain chips. The chips were tasty and fresh.
However, they were made with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. And although non-hydrogenated veggie oil is better than the hydrogenated stuff, I would’ve liked to see a better oil such as coconut oil used.
All in all, Thrive does a great job providing non-GMO, preservative-free foods.
The delivery time
The other thing that could be a potential downfall is the fact that you do have to wait for delivery. Although delivery with Thrive was quick (I never had to wait more than four days), there was still the issue of delivery time.
Some shoppers are in a situation where they want or need their items very quickly. And some people are last-minute shoppers. If that’s you, you might be bothered by the wait.
However, if you’re a planner and are willing to order your items a few days ahead, I’m guessing you’ll be satisfied with the short wait time between order and delivery.
Prices are higher than for non-organic food
This one may seem a bit obvious, but if you’re used to shopping for groceries at Walmart and Aldi, you’ll have a bit of sticker shock over Thrive Market’s food prices.
However, many consider the trade-off worth it. Yes, you’re paying more for groceries. But, in return, you’re getting higher quality food for your family.
Tips to Make the Most of Thrive Market
By all means, there are a lot of pros about Thrive Market and very few cons. They have great organic products at terrific prices. If you’re looking for more ways to save money on organic purchases, consider these tips:
Other ways to save on organic items
Yes, organic food and personal items can be costly. However, by using the tips below you can get healthier food and personal products and save money as well.
Grow your own produce
This option is not for everyone, but many people can grow at least some organic produce. If you don’t have a yard, you can plant veggies in pots outside your front door or herbs in indoor pots.
Talk to friends and neighbors about doing a community garden at the house of a neighbor willing to share yard space. Plus, taking advantage of berry bushes in public parks is an option. Or join a local CSA or another type of community garden.
Use homemade cleaning products
You can try natural cleaning products in place of chemical-filled products, too. I wash my windows with a mixture of 25 percent rubbing alcohol, 25 percent vinegar and 50 percent water.
Vinegar can be a great natural cleaner in many situations. Other natural cleaners include baking soda, essential oils and lemon juice.
Use sales as a way to stock up
Another option for saving money on organic food is by stocking up on sale items you use regularly. For instance, when organic sugar or flour goes on sale at your favorite store, buy six months’ worth.
Or when organic veggies such as carrots or onions go on sale, slice them, vacuum seal them and store them in a deep freezer. Keeping track of sales and stocking up will help you spend less on organic items.
Be choosy about which items you buy organically
Another way to save money on organic foods and groceries in general is to be choosy about organic purchases.
As an example, bananas have very thick skins. Therefore, it’s more difficult for pesticides to penetrate them. For that reason, we rarely buy organic bananas, but choose to spend our money on other organic items instead.
Explore your organic and other options
Similarly, we also buy some products that aren’t organic but are of higher quality. For example, we purchase pasta produced in Italy, where many dangerous pesticides are illegal to use.
Another purchase we make is high-quality fruit juice. It’s not organic, but It’s not the cheap brand either. I found that the cheaper brands give two of my kids headaches.
However, higher-quality non-organic brands don’t bring that symptom on. For instance, Welch’s grape juice isn’t organic, but it is non-GMO. My kids don’t react to it as they do to the cheaper brands, so I always buy Welch’s juice.
Also, we get fresh organic fruit at local orchards or roadside stands. Warehouse clubs can be a good option for getting cheaper organic foods, as well. However, you’ll have to weigh the annual cost with your money savings.
As you can see, there are many other options for buying organic food or healthier food. It just takes some research to find them.
If you like buying organic foods and other items for your family, Thrive Market could be a great money-saving option. In my research, I couldn’t find anyone with lower prices for organic food online.
The quality of the products I ordered and the value for the price made me very happy. Even as a traditional big box store shopper, I found a lot to love about Thrive.
Plus, the care they put into every shipment is quite notable. Between the non-existence of errors, the great packaging and the fast delivery, Thrive can’t be easily beat.
If you’re looking to get great organic and non-GMO products at attractive prices, I recommend trying Thrive Market.
Take advantage of new customer deals like the one mentioned above and try it for free for a month. I’m guessing you won’t have much to be disappointed about.
However, if you’re not concerned about eating organic, stick to lower-cost alternatives. You’ll definitely find lower prices for non-organic foods at Walmart, Aldi and other grocery stores. Some of them may offer online ordering with delivery times shorter than those of Thrive Market.
Have you ever tried Thrive Market or other online organic foods stores? If so, how did you like them? Feel free to share your experiences on social media.