Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe’s

The healthy eating lifestyle has become extremely popular over the past few years and I for one have not been able to escape this trend. It has become quite chic to tote our own re-usable bags to the store and fill it with organic (arguably over-priced) produce. To be honest my other half has been the driving force behind this movement in my life. I am not a very healthy eater; Case in point: you can find me eating dessert as a main course any time. Realizing this may be a problem has prompted me to strive to become a more well rounded foodie. This, coupled with the fact that my food allergies which I share with my boyfriend are a huge concern has led me to appreciate establishments such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Both the most prominent players in their profession, I ask which is better to supplement a healthy lifestyle and not break the bank.

We have been patrons of Whole Foods in Town Square for almost two years now because of it’s great location, food quality and the general comfort you get when you frequent a place. The buffet stations with freshly prepared food is a great draw. There are a lot of options to choose from and I like how they offer you samples before you buy. However, as great as it is the bill is often twice them amount of a cart full of things elsewhere.

Recently, my boyfriend was given a gift card to Trader Joe’s for his birthday. Growing up in the West Coast I have been to Trader Joe’s plenty of times but this time tried to focus on the differences in pricing between the stores.  I was pleasantly surprised with the prices of their produce being significantly less than that of Whole Foods. They had bananas on special for 19 cents each, as an example. Mind you we had to drive to the other side of town for this experiment, but my findings (and that delicious hummus) prove it was worthwhile. As we began the real test, consuming the products from Trader Joe’s, it was hit and miss. One thing of note is that the quality of their orange juice was very disappointing. Stick to the Tropicana Extra Pulp at Walmart. But their wine festival almond chicken salad is exceptional, alongside many other prepared foods they have on hand.

In the end, it seems as though each place has their high and low notes. The verdict is still out on this one. More to come from the vestiges of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in the coming future.

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