You may see your favorite influencers tout this online market. Thrive Market seems to be all over social media these days. With many of us trying to eat healthier or abide by special diets or manage dietary restrictions, an online shop filled with specialty products can be the perfect fit. But does it live up to the hype? We’ve got an honest Thrive Market Review for 2022.
Want to know if Thrive Market is any good? How does it compare to Amazon and Whole Foods?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard for an honest Thrive Market review.
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What Is Thrive Market?
Thrive Market is an online grocer that carries thousands of specialty products and pantry staples. Created in 2014 by CEO Nick Green, their mission is to “make healthy and sustainable living accessible for all.”
You will find pantry staples, specialty diet items, and organic home products, along with thousands of other selections. What you won’t find are fresh produce and other basics. An order from Thrive won’t replace your standard trip to the grocery store.
How Much Does Thrive Market Cost?
To order and even see their inventory, you must become a member. Thrive offers a month-to-month membership for $9.95 and an annual membership for $5 a month. Either option will auto-renew.
If you are concerned about not getting your money’s worth, Thrive offers store credit called “Thrive Bucks” to consumers who don’t save as much as they spent on membership for annual members. The store credit can only be used on products, not membership fees, and is deposited after the first year.
The other costs associated with an order are shipping fees. Non-perishable items ship separately from frozen, and there are two different shipping fees:
Grocery: Free shipping on orders over $49, or $5.95 shipping if not
Frozen: Free shipping on orders over $99, or $19.95 shipping if not
Also, note that items from your first purchase will be placed on your auto-ship list and added to your order each month.
Thrive Market Product Costs
No Thrive Market review would be complete without a deep dive into costs. Thrive claims to save up to 30 percent off most products’ MSRP. But how does that compare to Amazon?
Thrive Market Vs. Amazon
Product prices seem to be within pennies of one another. Here are some direct comparisons.
Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch
Simple Mills Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo 12oz.
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Unfiltered 32oz.
Wild Planet Albacore Tuna 5 oz. can
Did have 4 for $14.99 (saves $4.17)
Thrive Market Baking Soda 16 oz.
Amazon’s 365 By Whole Foods Market 16 oz.
Amy’s Gluten-Free Burrito
Thrive $3.29 (must purchase three minimum)
There were several items at Thrive that required minimum purchases. Amazon and Whole Foods don’t have any product limits.
Overall, the Thrive Market annual membership fee of $60 is less than an annual Prime membership of $155. It’s worth noting that you get other benefits with Prime.
Thrive Market Vs. Whole Foods
There are certain items that Amazon doesn’t carry, so that’s where Whole Foods comes in. These prices all include the discount that Prime Members get in the store.
Banza Chickpea Penne Pasta 8oz.
Thrive $3.49 (minimum 2)
Whole Foods $2.69
Nutiva Coconut Oil 23oz.
Whole Foods $11.69
Coconut Flour 16oz.
Thrive Market Brand $3.99
Whole Foods Brand $3.99
Thrive Market Review
I found the site a bit tough to navigate. Granted, it’s no small task to organize the thousands of products they carry, but it can be frustrating as the consumer. If you know what you want, there is a search functionality by brand, diet, etc., which is excellent. But it is a little challenging to find new products.
I also had trouble adding items to my cart. After chatting with customer service, I learned that you have to add a shipping address to put certain things in your cart. It was clearly AI that I was dealing with, which can be frustrating, but the experience was pleasant, and my problem was easily solved.
Also frustrating were the countless emails I received. I counted four in one day. It was sometimes almost taunting me to check out when I couldn’t add items. I kept thinking, “I wish I could check out, but I can barely shop!”
Thrive Market Shipping
General grocery items commonly ship within 24 hours of order placement. There’s a $5.95 shipping fee for orders less than $49. Orders over $50 ship free.
Frozen items ship separately. Orders over $99 ship free, and orders less than that have a $19.95 charge. These ship Monday-Wednesday to ensure that food isn’t stuck with carriers over weekends.
I placed my grocery order on Saturday and received it Tuesday via FedEx. Thrive has three fulfillment centers across the country to help expedite shipping.
How To Cancel Thrive Membership
You have to contact Customer Service to cancel your membership. You can do this via Chat. The whole process took about 10 minutes. Not as convenient as other services like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market, which both allow you to cancel via a click of a button.
Is Thrive Market Worth It In 2022? An Honest Thrive Market Review
Overall, I don’t believe that Thrive market is worth the expense, although there’s one major caveat.
Who is Thrive Market Good For?
Thrive is excellent if you follow a specific diet like gluten-free or paleo and have limited options nearby. Their selection of Keto snacks and various alternative milk and flours are impressive, for example. The costs are comparable to Amazon Fresh, which is reasonable based on past Kitchen Chalkboard comparisons.
You also should be pretty detail-orientated as you need to pay attention to your account since it auto-renews and adds items to auto-ship. Those costs add up, and your money is wasted if you aren’t using the service or the items!
Who Is Thrive Market NOT Good For?
Thrive Market is not for you if you are just purchasing standard groceries that most retailers carry. Also, if you have a Prime membership or a Whole Foods close by, there’s no need for Thrive Market. The prices are VERY comparable, and the user experience on Amazon exceeds that of Thrive Market.
Also, if you cannot watch your credit card charges, Thrive is probably not suitable for you with auto-renew and auto-ship.
What Do You Think?
Have you tried Thrive Market before? Do you agree with my Thrive Market review? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
If you are interested in other online food stores, check out our unbiased reviews of Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market.
Happy Food Shopping!
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James Hoyt says
They wont let me look at their products unless i join first????
Not very user friendly.
I agree! I found it off-putting.
Thrive shopper says
As a Thrive user for several years, I agree with your review overall. However I do live near Whole Foods and also have an Amazon Prime membership (which you really must to save money on groceries there).
I am on a special diet and Thrive has staples at reasonable prices. Their estimated retail price is always higher than I would pay.
Using their sales and autoship features, as well as creating some smart lists can help with the unwieldy ordering process. If you have more time than money, you can save a lot with sales and careful ordering of your products.
The AI system takes some getting used to. And any changes you make take several seconds each to load.
It’s one of several options I use to buy healthy food at a good price.
Note:Using deals in their app in June 2022, I saved $60 off the final price of my orders, after sale prices. There’s no way I won’t save my membership fee. They seem to be trying to help with inflation so high lately. I appreciate it.
Those are some great tips. Thanks for sharing!
Janett Hoke says
Vita cost is way better and no membership.
I’ve never heard of them. I will check it out.
L. Mercator says
My significant other and I both have special diets, and we live in a rural area. Consequently, we do a lot of ordering, most of it from Vitacost or Amazon. I recently joined Thrive Market and received my first order. Overall, Thrive Market is a mixed bag.
Amazon prices have soared in 2023. Although it was rarely the case before, I often find less expensive products on other sites. I only rely on Amazon if I’m stuck without alternatives.
In terms of food, supplements, and “natural” health & beauty products, Vitacost carries a more extensive range than Thrive, although the latter offers frozen food, which Vitacoast does not. (Be prepared for Thrive’s high s & h charge for frozen products.) On the majority of items, Thrive prices are comparable to Vitacost’s. On supplements and vitamins, Thrive is less expensive, and I may stick with membership for that reason alone.
The Thrive website is not user friendly. It’s set-up to suggest products according to the customer’s response to survey questions. I usually know what I want, so I found this irritating. It required digital acrobatics to enter and locate specific products. Ultimately, I was able to do that, but then it became clear that Thrive Market does not offer a wide selection on many of the products I need, such as gluten-free flours. Vitacost offers greater choice.
For basic questions, the Vitacost chat is easy to use and a human being responds after 2-3 queries. At Thrive, the chat seems to be exclusively A.I., and suggests products I do not want. I rarely need Vitacost customer service, but when I phone, the reps are polite and helpful. Just try finding a phone number on the Thrive site. You’ll be at it for awhile. But try this one: It came with my first order: 855-832-9430.
I settled with my first order bc the selection is horrible and was not happy with what I settled with and wanted to cancel. Could not get a refund bc I exceeded the 30 days. Way to stand behind your business Thrive. Don’t waste your money.
Hugh LaFollette says
If you want to purchase from them forever, it is fine.. Not great, but fine. If you are not sure, reconsider. Why? You do not want to ask Customer Service to correct problems with your account . . . including deleting it.
I spent hours, being assured that they would do as I requested. ‘Twas not to be. Having been assured at least three separate times that it could be done, if I did X . . . I kept getting new, and more convoluted requests.
The LAST thing I wish to do is give this company additional information, to SUPPOSEDLY get them to do as I asked.
Had I known this early on, I would have never stepped into this quagmire.