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First, you should know: I am obsessed with grocery stores. My husband and I consider a trip to the grocery store a date and believe local markets to be the best part of travel. As such, I find myself both uniquely qualified for this Thrive Market review and at a bit of a disadvantage. I worry, you know, will my love for a slow stroll down the cheese aisle and a hands-on condiment comparison keep me from thriving (yes, pun) in an online grocery marketplace?
Will the promise of free shipping and premium kitchen basics be enough? Will the membership cost limit my savings?
Is Thrive Market worth it? Or will I miss the olive bar at Whole Foods too much to ever make use of my annual membership? I know. The suspense is almost too much to handle. But this Thrive Market review holds the answer to all of these burning questions, and so much more.
If you’re the TL;DR type, let me make it easy on you—Thrive Market has built a home in my grocery-loving heart.
Not only is browsing their online grocery catalog deeply satisfying, but the curation of goods, authenticity of purpose, and flawless blend of quality, price, and sustainability have maybe, just maybe, changed the way I shop for good.
(But I’ll never not dip into a Lidl to check the produce, okay.)
Complete Thrive Market Review
Let’s rewind a bit. Founded in 2014, Thrive Market materialized from a very specific mission—to make natural groceries and organic foods more accessible to everyone. They wanted lower prices for high-quality products; to make it easier to eat better and do better for the planet.
And boy, did they succeed. A witty model that passes a small membership cost to the customer allows Thrive Market members access to the best-of-the-best in value, quality, and sustainability at wholesale prices.
These are all things to like. But the thing we love about Thrive Market is that they’re relentless in their purpose. Every product in their catalog has the power to make a difference. Every item is completely non-GMO, organic when possible, and backed by sustainable farming and fair trade practices.
As a company, Thrive Market is 100% carbon-neutral (and working to be carbon negative!) More than 90% of the materials in their facilities are recycled, composted, or reused. Packages arrive in 100% recyclable packing and are always filled with ethically sourced, sustainably produced items.
I mean, what more could you ask for?
Thrive Market is like Whole Foods, but with Costco prices. This monthly subscription gives you access to fully vetted organic, fair-trade, and healthy food brands, no matter your diet.
Thrive gives one membership to a teacher, first responder, or student for each membership purchased. If, after a year, you recoup your membership fee in savings, they credit it back to you!
Getting a Thrive Market membership was a bit of an exciting thing for me. Living in the mountains with limited grocery options available, it’s not uncommon for me to pop into Raley’s, the local health food store and the Asian market just to complete a single recipe. My shiny new Thrive Market membership, however, would help me navigate these treacherous waters with free shipping on spices, health foods, and kitchen favorites.
The thought of having affordable essentials and hard-to-find products at my fingertips was enough to bite the bullet on an annual membership (which honestly the membership fee comes out to $5 per month anyway, so it’s not too hard to swallow).
What I didn’t expect though, was how in love I’d fall with Thrive Market’s expert curation of organic, sustainable, non-GMO, eco-friendly, good-for-you, good-for-planet home and kitchen everything. I feel like the great deals and the convenience are hot topics in the Thrive Market membership debate. But for me, the fact that all of the brands, products, and ingredients were already vetted was one of my favorite parts.
They really just make it easy. You no longer have to price shop. You no longer have to compare ingredient lists. You no longer have to google brands on your phone. Everything is the best. The best prices, the best products, the best quality, and standards.
My biggest problem with Thrive Market quickly became that they made it too easy. If everything was already done for me, how could I justify the years of my life lost sharpening my in-store grocery shopping skills? You need to be ready to face transformative questions such as these when you become a Thrive member.
Shop By Diet: Products For All Your Dietary Needs
Everyone knows that Thrive Market is an online shop for the bombest products and deals. But what only those with a membership know, is that Thrive Market is also a master of organization. All of the items on their site are meticulously sorted by category, with a major emphasis on diet type and values.
Gluten-free? There are over 2,000 food options for ya. (re: every Bob’s Red Mill baking product ever created.) Kosher? Vegan? It couldn’t be easier. I mean from daily snacks to pantry staples, they seriously have one of everything for every type of diet.
In fact, this is such a huge part of the online shopping experience, that it’s almost a problem for me. Not because I don’t love and appreciate the filters, but because I don’t personally have a specific diet and it really makes me want one.
Thrive thought of that. (They thought of everything.) They didn’t want us humble, garbage-disposal type eaters to stress about our lack of diet, so they added yet another fantastic filtering option: values.
You can shop by the values you care about just as easily as the ingredients: free-range, bipoc-owned, turtle and dolphin safe, regenerative, grass-fed. I love, love, love this about Thrive Market. I think you’d be hard-pressed—even in a Whole Foods—to get such detailed information on your grocery items.
Thrive Market’s online shopping and shipping experience
As you might imagine with an online marketplace, shopping at Thrive Market is incredibly simple. You have a ‘Box’ (rather than a cart) in the top right corner that keeps track of your order as you add to it.
What I like about their ‘Box’ is that you can see the total cost of your order from any page on the site. This is handy when you’re trying to manage how much you’d like to spend—or more importantly—for reaching that ever-important $49 minimum that gets you free shipping.
For my first order, I was delighted to take advantage of the 25% off your first order deal. I got all my favorites (truffle salt and collagen peptides, here’s looking at you) for just $50.
It was such a bomber order, I legitimately felt like it was Christmas morning that day that Thrive Market box showed up at my doorstep.
WHICH WAS JUST 48 HOURS LATER.
I’m not kidding, it was so fast. The roadrunner fast. And since you and I are buds, you already know that I live in the mountains. We’re just two hours from major metropolitan areas, so shipping isn’t that slow, but it’s not that fast either. It was really something.
Thrive Market Products: Supplements, Household Supplies, And More
A bajillion shelf-stable snacks, gluten-free flours, and fancy food items like nutritional yeast and bone broth not enough for you? Don’t worry, friends. Thrive Market has a ripping selection of supplements, beauty supplies, cleaning products, and general household staples.
Which, for me, this is where the whole curated selection of high-quality brands and products really got exciting. Besides Seventh Generation sprays, I really don’t know what’s actually good in my household and what’s just marketing.
Thrive Market makes sure I never get duped by the green-washed products that you find in typical grocery stores. That’s so nice. I love that my Thrive Market membership makes not only my meals healthier but my home too.
Plus, the easy discovery of all these amazing eco-friendly products gives me plenty of ideas on how to be better. From low waste living essentials to sustainable laundry detergent, I’m finding all sorts of things to greenify my home.
I’ve made a nice little program of adding at least one better-for-the-planet household item to every order. Slowly but surely, Thrive Market is transforming my space into a more earth-friendly one.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Thrive Market
- Curated selection of sustainably farmed, eco-friendly products
- Affordable, wholesale prices and discounts on quality items
- Easy-to-navigate online marketplace
- Fast, free shipping on orders above $49
- No fresh produce or single order meat/seafood options
- Have to call to cancel your membership
- Occasionally sold out of popular items
Thrive Market FAQ
Whether you will or won’t transcend your former understanding of grocery shopping is a journey meant for you and you alone. We are here together to decide if, indeed, Thrive Market is worth it.
So with that in mind, let’s tackle some of the most common questions asked about the Thrive membership.
How does Thrive Market compare to Costco, Whole Foods, & Amazon?
If you’ve been considering a Thrive membership, you’re probably familiar with the market’s “Costco meets Whole Foods” label. As a massive fan of both Costco and Whole Foods, I can agree with this statement.
Actually, there’s quite a few similarities between Costco and Thrive Market. Both are membership-based stores that offer wholesale prices, excellent customer service and—as you now know I love—a curated selection of products that meet a certain standard of quality. Of course, you can’t go to Thrive Market to buy 20 lbs. of parmesan cheese, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
Now, Whole Foods comes closer into the mix on the principles and values side of Thrive Market. Organic, non-GMO, sustainable, and non-toxic are the pillars upon which both Whole Foods’ and Thrive Market’s foundations are built.
Unlike Whole Foods, however, Thrive Market has gone even further in its commitment to impact. They have become a Certified B Corporation! Which in our book, holds major weight.
As a conscious consumer, there’s a certain level of trust you expect from markets like these. You want to do better for you and your family, but you want to do better for the planet too. That’s why you choose ’em. In that way, the two are very similar.
Amazon, then, is comparable to Thrive Market only in the matter of ease that comes with ordering from an online store where shipping is free.
Is Thrive Market better than Amazon? It depends on what you’re after. That whole thing about taking the guesswork out of product shopping definitely does not apply to Amazon. I’ve lost more time comparing products in my Amazon cart than I’d ever admit out loud.
Not to mention, with concerns around working conditions, environmental impact, and more, we’re continuing to explore other alternatives to Amazon around Grow Ensemble that we find more ethical and sustainable.
So, if you’re the type of consumer I think you are—Thrive Market is the winner.
Do you really save money with Thrive Market?
Heck yeah, you do. Guys, at the annual level, the Thrive Market membership fee is the cost of one overpriced latte a month. Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t blow $5 on something random every month.
Still clinging to your story? Stubborn, aren’t we… Then how about this—you can get a free, trial membership for 30-days of no-cost thrivin’. (Just know, you have to call to cancel your membership so be prepared for that.)
AND, they’ll refund any portion of your annual membership fee that you don’t make back in savings.
AND, they match every Thrive Market membership with a free membership for a low-income family or person in need. (A get-one, give-one model that another of our favorite brands, Bombas, uses!)
AND, shipping is free for orders over $49.
AND, you get 25% off your first order.
AND, your membership cost is offset by 25-50% off retail prices on more than 6,000 amazing products.
AND, there’s free gifts and daily deals.
AND, Thrive offers price-matching for members. If you happen to find the same product for less with a different retailer, you just let Thrive’s support know and they’ll give you the difference in Thrive cash.
So you KNOW you are getting the best possible price.
AND, are you serious? You would make me keep going?
So, yes, you really, truly do save money with Thrive Market. The monthly membership at $9.95 is a good deal, but the annual membership at $59.95 is a total no-brainer. Especially when you start with a free trial.
Are the Thrive Market goods worth it?
So dedicated to the cause of healthy, affordable products for all, Thrive Market started creating their own items to add to the marketplace. There are over 500 Thrive Market goods, and let me tell ya—both the quality and the prices are fantastic.
These products are cool because they’re available exclusively to the Thrive Market members. Quinoa and sprouted flours; walnuts and coffee; paper towels and baby wipes; they’re producing them all with incredibly high standards and low prices.
While all of the Thrive Market goods I’ve tried have been top-notch, the pantry staples are out of this world. Typically expensive items like ghee, olive oil and nut butter are not only more affordable than their brand name counterparts, but they’re just as good. Or better.
But! If you’re like me, you will appreciate one category of the Thrive Market goods more than the rest—the spices.
What an absolute treat to add 2 oz of smoked paprika to my cart for $2.99. Especially considering that it’s the exact spice I couldn’t find at my local grocery store during my Portuguese cooking phase.
Mustard seed powder! Harissa! Vegan parmesan cheese alternative! (I mean, I’m not vegan, but if I was, what a product that would be.) Holy spice gods! The prices are actually some of the lowest I’ve ever seen for spices. If it was from any other grocery store, I’d be suspicious about the quality. With Thrive Market, I’m just stoked.
Other Thrive Market Online Reviews: What’s the Word?
I’m super trustworthy but I won’t hold it against you if you want a second opinion. Here’s what the great people of the internet have to say about a Thrive Market membership:
Other Options: Thrive Market Alternatives
I’m impressed by you. I really thought that by this point in my Thrive Market review you’d have already signed up, but you’re really taking your time. That’s fine. Take as much time as you need. There are some other players in the space you might like:
Mostly loved for its wide selection of vitamins and supplements, Vitacost also happens to be an excellent online resource for healthy, diet-specific foods.
I find the user interface a little clunkier, but they do have an amazing selection of good-for-you, good-for-the-planet brands, and products. Plus, you may like this: there’s no membership fee with Vitacost. They operate on the same $49 minimum for free shipping program, and honestly, if you think you’ll only be placing an order every once in a blue moon, it’s a great option.
2. Public Goods
Much like Thrive Market in many ways, Public Goods offers a pared-down version of the membership-based, wholesale prices for high-quality goods thing.
They don’t sell other brands—only Public Goods branded items are found on their site. But all of their goods are made with the same values that we love from Thrive Market. Public Goods offers a two-week free trial before you’ll need to sign up for the annual membership at $59
Conclusion: I Jive with Thrive
Guys, we did it. We have gone over just about every detail of Thrive Market and together, we have answered the million-dollar question: is Thrive Market worth it?
I hear you in the back; a resounding yes. Although we might still need to supplement with visits to our favorite local co-op or natural grocer for fresh, leafy greens and in-season produce…
The insane convenience, expert curation, seamless guidance to the best, the cleanest and the most affordable eco-friendly products has us committing allegiance to Thrive Market. Today and always.
Grow Ensemble Contributor
Rebecca writes stuff from her home in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Whether it’s the outdoors or travel, ethical brands or local breweries, Rebecca is always excited to share stories about the things she loves.