Prices are fluctuating at Whole Foods.
The organic grocery store has raised prices on some items while discontinuing others, according to a leaked email reported on by The Wall Street Journal.
A Whole Foods spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider that the higher prices were due to rising material, packaging, and transportation costs.
The increase is due to some item-specific contracts expiring. Of about 700 items with expiring contracts, the grocer says it has decided to stop selling about half and raise prices on less than 50.
“Like all grocers, Whole Foods Market has experienced increased costs from suppliers due to materials, labor and transportation, and we’ve absorbed much of the inflation,” a Whole Foods spokeswoman said in a statement. “Many prices have also decreased, and we continue to expand the number of promotions we offer to give our customers better value.”
Of new contracts, more than 100 items are also seeing net price reductions, the spokesperson said. The items are chosen for renewal or promotion based on customer buying habits.
These new price changes come after the highly publicized price reductions Amazon made when it purchased Whole Foods in 2017. The price cuts were made to ease the grocer’s “Whole Paycheck” image — in other words, that it’s too expensive for the average consumer.
Whole Foods says it isn’t pulling away from that initiative.
“We remain committed to continuing to lower prices with Amazon as we deliver on our mission to make high-quality, natural and organic food more affordable and accessible,” a Whole Foods spokeswoman said in a statement.
Rising food prices are not a retailer-specific problem. Higher transportation costs fueled by a truck driver shortage have been steadily affecting the price of consumer goods for years now. That forces retailers to either absorb the increased costs or pass them on the consumer.