▷ Thrive Market Review: Is It Worth the Price? (May 2022 Update)

Thrive Market Review: Thrive Market Products, Prices, Membership Fee & More

By Sabrina Wilson / February 20, 2021
Thrive Market Review

Post Summary

Our Thrive Market review shows that their prices are slightly lower than competitors most of the time and dramatically lower some of the time. Overall, we found that the savings substantially outstripped the $59.95 annual membership fee. See the comparisons in the article to maximize your savings.


Getting the Best Prices on Organic Items

Shopping to get high-quality organic food at a reasonable price isn't easy. One of my personal hacks is to do a lot of comparison shopping for any packaged goods our family eats. Getting fresh, local fruits, vegetables and meats is always the core of a healthy diet. But we use farmer's markets, CSAs and local grocers for that portion. Getting the very best deals involves some time and diligence, so I'll show you how we do that below.

For the packaged goods, I've been testing out a newer website called Thrive Market and comparing it to other online options we utilize. The standard ones we use most frequently are Vitacost and Amazon, so these are the ones we'll compare against Thrive Market. This is a bit different than what you'll see in other reviews of Thrive Market

 
TEN OF THE BEST ORGANIC PRODUCTS YOU CAN BUY FROM THRIVE MARKET
odptbl-table__imageNature's Path Honey Oat Crunch Granola Bars
  • Certified organic dark chocolate chips with whole grains and gluten-free oats
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imagePrimal Kitchen Mayo
  • Made with no junky oils like soy, corn or canola
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageThrive Market Ghee
  • Clarified butter; one of the best-selling items on Thrive Market
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageBob's Red Mill Baking Soda
  • Processed without the use of chemicals
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageLundberg Organic Brown Rice Syrup
  • Lightly sweet, amber-colored and smooth; great alternative for sugar
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageAnnie's Organic Bunny Grahams
  • Made with organic whole grain wheat; non-GMO
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageThrive Market Organic Maple Syrup (Grade A)
  • Straight from wild grown maple trees harvested in the Green Mountain state
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageBig Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar
  • One of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageClif Kid Organic Fruit Rope
  • Made with organic fruit pureé concentrate and apple juice concentrate
Check on Thrive
odptbl-table__imageAlive & Radiant Foods Kale Krunch
  • Dairy-free despite the cheese flavor
Check on Thrive

Vitacost has an extensive selection of both food and other household items. We typically only order from them when there is a decent promo of 15%+ off running. Their site and ordering process can be clunky compared to others and you usually have to order quite a bit at once to get free shipping, so we often combine orders with friends or tag along on each other's larger orders. They do have some items that aren't easily found elsewhere and on certain items we use, they reliably have the lowest prices. 

Amazon

For Amazon, we have a Prime membership, which I highly recommend for many reasons but especially if you shop for groceries online. Without Prime, shipping fees can add up. Also, with Prime, the shipping times are truly blazing fast. They are currently running a special that allows you to try it free for 30 days and I think that's worth doing.

Amazon.com

Thrive Market Review

The new entrant is Thrive Market. Thrive Market is focused on natural and organic groceries and household products, so it's more niche than the other two, but we use a lot of those products in our household. Thrive Market has taken $159 million (!) in venture capital funding, so they are very serious about becoming dominant in their niche. 

Thrive Market

Thrive Market's model is a bit different than the other two; it is more like Costco than Wegmans. Here are the pros and cons of using Thrive Market:

Thrive Market benefits:
  • Generally low item prices, sometimes dramatically lower than competitors
  • Decent selection of foods chosen for their healthiness
  • Stocks some otherwise hard-to-find items
  • Free shipping over $49
  • Have their own branded items that can't be found elsewhere
  • For every paid membership, donates a free membership to a family in need
  • Attempting to reduce carbon footprint in their shipping practices
Thrive Market drawbacks:
  • There's a membership fee
  • Shipping isn't free under $49
  • Shipping can be slow
  • The selection is somewhat smaller than other vendors (but appears to be expanding very quickly)

As you can see above, there are definite pros and cons. The fact that shipping isn't free under $49 doesn't bother me because we don't order in small quantities so it never comes into play. In that way, it's similar to how we use Vitacost.

Thrive Market tries to save on shipping both for financial reasons and to be more green by packaging everything into as few boxes as possible. This means there's more variability in the shipping speed. I've gotten orders as quickly as 3 days and as slowly as 2 weeks. So you have to think further ahead when shopping at Thrive Market than Amazon, but the savings to the planet of the reduced packing materials and carbon footprint are no doubt real. It just depends on what you value, and as I said, we make use of all three of these options.

What's with the negative reviews?

One of the reasons it took me a while to try out Thrive Market was that I read online reviews and it appears to be a service you either love or hate.

There are quite a few very negative reviews out there so I spent some time sifting through them. They mostly seem to fall into two camps:

  1. "I didn't know there was a membership fee"
  2. "It's hard to cancel"

Thrive Market runs a lot of promotions, often touting free products. However, their free products come with a trial membership and once it expires they will bill you for the annual fee. This is how almost all subscription services work, going all the way back to the Columbia House Records deals from my youth. I don't actually expect to get anything for free so this isn't a turn off to me, but beware; if you accept their offers they will bill you after the trial period.

The other one is that the membership is hard to cancel. I have started it, canceled it and restarted it without any real issues. Like most subscription products, they try to talk you out of leaving when you express that intent. Again, I expect that so it doesn't offend me to jump through the hoops to leave when that time comes.

Let's Talk about the Membership Fee

The part of the Thrive Market service that will make most people balk is the membership fee as it's a little unusual to pay a fee like that for groceries (unless you use Costco or BJ's). And to be honest, it initially rubbed me the wrong way so it took me a while to give it a try. However, I now think it's one of those things that at the end of the day makes no serious difference. 

The reason I say that is that using Amazon frequently means you'll need to buy Amazon Prime, which is another membership fee. Amazon's annual fee is 50% higher than Thrive Market. However, it's a higher value fee as the selection at Amazon is nearly limitless and it includes a streaming TV membership that can make Netflix blush. But it is a membership fee. Also, Amazon doesn't carry some items that we look for (hard to believe but true). 

Pinching pennies

Vitacost and other online vendors also have free shipping over a certain order size and we make heavy use of their coupons, but the per item prices are often somewhat higher. So there's no up-front membership fee but it all comes out in the wash because, at the end of the day, shipping costs money and these are low-margin products. 

Thrive Market Coupon Codes

The way Thrive Market promotes their service is through semi-constant sale promotions. There's pretty much always a sale going on at Thrive Market. It's often free samples of popular items; other times it is a percentage off of your total purchase. We'll keep the most recent promo codes and offers on this page to make it easy. Be aware that taking advantage of any such promotion will mean that you are signing up for their annual fee.


A Sample Trip to Thrive Market

Another thing I want to do, to demonstrate some of our own comparison shopping, is to show all the goods we bought from a given shopping trip and compare the prices with other websites where you can get the same products. We might not have gotten the best deal we could have, but these post-purchase comparisons are important to help us make the best choices down the road. 

Thrive Markets products

One difficulty with this is that there aren't a lot of places to source the goods we use. I'll explain why I buy each item below because there's always a reason.

We've recently updated and expanded this list for 2019. Click on any price below to view the item at the site indicated. For Thrive Market private label items, they can't be purchased elsewhere so we chose an equivalent item for comparison at the other two sites. 

Important Note: Organic Daily Post is an affiliate of Amazon, Vitacost and Thrive Market but we actually use and can honestly recommend all three. The prices actually vary quite a bit because they are frequently updated on the respective sites. Because prices fluctuate frequently, the comparison should be considered a snapshot in time. Frequent price changes are why we don't list Thrive Market prices right on the page, but we've created a link that goes to that exact product and opens in a new page to make it easy. 

Nature's Path Honey Oat Crunch Granola Bars

Thrive Market's Nature's Path Granola Bars from Thrive Market

We use these for treats in the kids' lunches. They don't contain any low-quality oils like soy or canola and they have flax seed for extra nutrition. They also don't contain any nuts. Our kids aren't allergic to nuts but they can only take things to school that are nut-free and this qualifies. They are sweeter than I'd like, but they don't taste sweet compared to other more conventional granola bars. The manufacturer appears to be selling these on Amazon for an inflated price; I'm not sure why that is. It's unusual, particularly at Amazon. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Primal Kitchen Mayo from Thrive Market

This product is difficult to find but it's one of only two mayos I could find anywhere that isn't completely stuffed with poor ingredients. This one is made with no junky oils like soy, corn or canola. It contains no sugar. It also uses avocado oil, which has many health benefits. On top of this, it's also delicious, like real mayo should be. 


Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

This is an interesting one. Ghee is clarified butter, which is easy to make at home. It isn't much harder than making ice, though it is a bit messier. But, folks buy bags of ice every day, and like ice, this is a purchase of convenience.

Thrive Market brand ghee

I may be in the minority in my thinking because it's one of the best-selling items on Thrive Market and it's easy to see why.

I had to do some math to create directly comparable prices here, so what you see below is different than what you'll see when you visit Amazon and Vitacost. The Simply Ghee product is the closest comparison to this grass-fed ghee from Thrive Market, but it comes in a 9 oz. jar as opposed to Thrive Market's 14 oz. jar. Because of this, you can more easily compare apples to apples with the Thrive Market price.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda from Thrive Market

Whole Foods and other health food stores carry Bob's products so you don't have to order this one online.

The baking soda is a little harder to find than all the various grains Bob's makes, but it is around.

I use this particular baking soda because it's processed without the use of chemicals, unlike most other baking sodas. 

If you're just sticking the box in your fridge to absorb odors or using it for some other non-consumption purpose, then don't worry about it. But if you're eating it, spend a bit more on the good stuff. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Organic Brown Rice Syrup from Thrive Market

A jar full of sugar syrup of any sort isn't the healthiest thing you can buy, I admit. But certain dessert recipes call for this syrup and you have to live a little once in a while. We use about one of these jars a year, mostly around Thanksgiving. If you have to use it, this is the one to use.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Organic Bunny Grahams Snacks from Thrive Market

This is another food we use as a treat for the kids. Again, not the healthiest food choice but it is made with organic whole grain wheat, it's non-GMO, and it doesn't taste as syrupy as similar conventional options. Sometimes you need a quick snack that can easily be packed into a lunch and this one fits the bill. I like to buy items that don't taste as sweet because it trains our kids not to expect as much sweetness in their foods. Note: Amazon only offered this as a 12-pack of boxes at the time of this writing so the price below is the per box price based on that quantity.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

It was particularly difficult to do a direct comparison on this one. Vitacost also carries a private label version that is "grade A dark" which is what they used to call grade B so I used that. Amazon only carries two options right now so I chose the cheaper one, which is also grade A dark. 

Thrive Market brand organic maple syrup

We try to keep sugar intake to a minimum but when we splurge we often go for maple syrup. As sweeteners go it's a wholesome option, particularly this organic version.

I should note that grade A vs. B in maple syrup is really a flavor distinction rather than a quality distinction. I actually prefer the deeper flavor of grade B so I'll probably buy this from Amazon in the future and save a few bucks.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Coconut sugar is fabulous (as sugars go) because it's low on the glycemic index and produces a slow release of energy. It is also high in nutrients compared to other sugars. Coconut sugar is often mixed with other, less beneficial, sugar so make sure you choose a pure one like this version from Big Tree Farms. This one is also fair trade, which is nice.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Again, this is not a health food per se, but a replacement for what "other kids" eat and our kids want to try. We very rarely go to a theater but if we do or if we watch a movie at home and want to give the kids a rare treat, we give them these as a substitute for Twizzlers. Twizzlers are of course so full of refined sugars, dyes and GMOs that they are hardly a food at all. 

Clif Kid Organic Fruit Rope from Thrive Market

I will say that these don't taste like Twizzlers at all really, they just kind of look like them.  They don't taste worse than Twizzlers, just different. They are actually sweeter to my palate than Twizzlers. They are also stickier and have less of a waxy texture. It's still candy, but the ingredients are FAR better than real Twizzlers. Note: This is an add-on item at Amazon; to get free shipping it has to be tacked on to a larger order.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

This is a great healthy snack. It's actually dairy-free despite the cheese flavor and it is kale, so it's packed with nutrition. There are various flavors; you don't have to stick with cheese. It's also raw, which is unusual for packaged foods. The only problem with this snack is that it's super easy to eat a whole bag in a sitting, making it a very expensive snack.


Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Here's one you probably don't think about. We are big sushi eaters in our household; even the kids love it though they eat veggie-only sushi. Conventional sushi ginger has tons of added chemicals. This organic sushi ginger has wonderful, pure ingredients. It's more expensive than the free version that comes with the sushi of course, but if you eat it frequently I think it's a worthwhile upgrade. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost


I love both how this pumpkin purée is organic and isn't in a can. Canned foods often contain plastics and BPA that can leach into your food.

We don't use a lot of this either, just for soups and around Thanksgiving. It's another healthier option that is worth the upgrade. 

Note: The only option on Amazon was a 12 pack so below is the per box price based on ordering 12 boxes at a time.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost


I like to buy organic spices when possible. They're free of fillers, chemical preservatives and pesticides. This is especially important for spices like turmeric that come mainly from regions with fewer regulations than we have in the US (not that those are fantastic either). 

This is a brand (Simply Organic) that you can get pretty readily at many grocery stores but I often find better deals online. 

Note: This is an add-on item at Amazon so free shipping will only apply if you combine it with a larger order.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost


Wild Albacore Tuna from Thrive Market

Again, BPA and plastic lining in cans leaches chemicals into your food. Not all canned goods contain a BPA-based epoxy lining though. On the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website, there is a list of companies that use this lining and a list of companies that use BPA-free linings. However, glass jars like this are a proven healthy choice. This tuna is packed in olive oil, which makes it extra healthy. An overzealous TSA agent confiscated and tossed this particular jar, so I'm looking forward to actually tasting it when my next order arrives.

Note: This product was only available in a 4 pack on Amazon so this is the per jar price based on buying 4 at once.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Jovial Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes

It seems odd because they are just tomatoes, but this is another item that's difficult to find offline even though we live near a major metropolitan area. It's the specific combination of features in this case.

The tomatoes are organic, whole and come in a glass jar as opposed to a can. This is a great product to have on hand for any number of recipes involving tomatoes. 

Note: The Amazon price is the per jar cost based on buying a 6 pack. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

We're big on probiotics and fermented foods; anything that is healthy for your gut. Bragg is a leading brand in this regard so it's not too difficult to find this at a local health store. However, it's also just the kind of packaged product on which you can get a better deal if you shop online. 

This is a seasoning, essentially a salt replacement. I'm not really convinced that sea salt is bad for you, but this seasoning adds some flavor and nutrients that you wouldn't get from sea salt. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Sometimes when you're cooking you need the consistency that gelatin provides or a good binding agent. It's not for the vegans, but this gelatin is derived from beef and provides the collagen that helps with joint issues. It's also said to be good for your skin.

Collagen has increased in popularity due to its claims that it can improve/strengthen hair, skin, and nails and help reduce bone and joint pain. Studies conducted to determine the effects of collagen in reducing joint pain or arthritis come up with mixed results. So, there is no real evidence or strong studies to back up these claims at this time. However, collagen is typically seen as safe so there are no serious side effects that would arise from taking collagen. However, a few people have reported rashes or diarrhea.

Those on keto or paleo diets will love this, because it is pure protein. And this is a cut-and-dry case of much better pricing at Thrive Market.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Everyone probably gets that I'm not a huge fan of food that comes in a can. However, it's a very common way to eat fish and this canned salmon is still a healthier option than many choices on the market.

The closest comparison is Wild Planet's products because they are also sustainably caught in the wild. This product from Thrive Market is labeled prominently as "Non-GMO" though I would assume that's true of all wild-caught salmon. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

We use a lot of apple cider vinegar. It's great for recipes, home remedies, and just as a daily tonic. I take a couple teaspoons in my water as soon as I wake up every day. 

This is another tough direct comparison because Thrive Market's private label version comes in an unusual 16.9 oz bottle. The comparison product is the most common brand, Bragg, and prices are calculated to be equivalent to Thrive Market. That means the prices below are all for 16.9 ounces.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Turmeric has many health benefits and is a flavorful addition to many dishes. It's a product that I consider critical to buy organic though, because it can otherwise contain a lot of pesticides otherwise. 

To make a direct comparison I scaled all the prices to be based on 1.45 oz. like the Thrive Market version. The others come in a bottle rather than a bag but that's irrelevant to me as I wouldn't pay extra for packaging. As usual, there's a big advantage to buying in larger quantities with turmeric. If you bought a one-pound bag you could cut all these prices in half. It just depends on how much turmeric powder your household uses.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Nellie's Oxygen Brightener for Laundry

We're always on the lookout for laundry products that both work well and are all-natural. It's always a bonus when no one in the house is allergic to what's in our clothes. 

This oxygen brightener fits the bill, helping to keep white things white and remove stains to some degree. Vitacost doesn't carry this particular product. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Choosing a better toothpaste is an easy way to cut down on your exposure to toxic chemicals. This one from Dr. Bronner's uses natural non-GMO and vegan ingredients. It has no fluoride (a good thing) and uses no sweeteners. 

I've used non-fluoride toothpaste for years without any issues. The job toothpaste needs to do is pretty limited. If I didn't mind the flavor I'd just use some baking soda and be done with it. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Another great way to cut toxic chemicals out of your life is by changing your deodorant. When I was in college I went to the doctor with rashes under my arms and he told me that he hadn't used deodorant in 20 years and I should stop too. 

Tom's of Maine Deodorant

I wasn't quite comfortable with that so I went out and tested a variety of them, landing on one that kind of worked and was natural. These days there are many options but this is one of the best in my opinion. I've been using it for years and specifically like the lemongrass scent version. A lot of people have to apply natural deodorants twice a day, but that's a small price to pay to avoid slathering yourself with aluminum and other toxins. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

I was pretty curious to see what happens when we move into the realm of supplements because I buy nearly all of mine from Amazon. I've never been able to schedule things such that the subscribe and save option makes sense for me, but I like the lightning fast shipping options. 

The Amazon price is the one-off price. If you use subscribe and save it is also slightly lower than Thrive Market's price. It looks like the penalty for quick shipping is light on this item but I'll have to look at more supplements.

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

We love this soap and use it for showering mostly. Here's the thing about this soap is that it clogs. It gums up the reasonably large hole in the cap, so putting it in a dispenser is out of the question. 

However, if you can put up with that minor annoyance you'll get a soap that smells good, cleans well and has very natural ingredients. It also comes in a large container that lasts a while. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

My husband LOVES this stuff. It's the only hair gel he'll use now. Like most personal care products, hair products usually contain a lot of toxic chemicals. They're probably worse than most personal products in that regard. 

This one feels fairly light going on but holds well and has the unusual benefit of making your hair appear darker than it is. My husband has salt and pepper hair but when the gel is on it looks about half as gray as normal.

Giovanni Wicked Texture Hair Gel

We've been buying this for years and usually when we have a good discount code we'll buy ten at a time. At this quantity, I know our target price for this item is between $5-$6. I've gotten it as low as $5.25 but sometimes had to pay $8 because of limited availability. Thrive Market's normal price is in my target zone though, which makes this a slam dunk for them. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Here's one I bet most people don't think about--baking sheets. What surface does your food touch while it bakes? Hopefully it's not a non-stick surface, which guarantees you some toxins with your baked goods.

Many other products contain either toxic chemicals or metals that you'd be better off not consuming with your freshly-baked cookies. As usual, you have to read the labels, but I have and so I use this particular baking paper. It's a quality baking paper and is created with a mind toward not imparting toxins to your food. 

Amazon

Thrive Market

Vitacost

Thanks for reading our Thrive Market review! Are there other products you'd like to see? We're happy to swap these out for more popular items or even review some more Thrive Market private label items if you'd like. Let us know in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Who owns Thrive Market?

    A: Thrive Market is a venture-funded start-up company that has taken on a lot of funding. This typically means that the company's founders and employees own a minority stake and that most of the company is owned by the investors. 
  • Q: Where is Thrive Market located?

    A: Thrive Market is not a physical storefront but an online-only store, much like Amazon. This usually means there are multiple distribution centers from which they ship products. However, the company is headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California.
  • Q: How does Thrive Market make money?

    A: They make money the same way Costco does. They charge a small annual fee, but most of their profit comes from selling products for more than they pay for them. It's the same business model that every retail store has. 
  • Q: What products does Thrive Market carry?

    A: Their product set is broad and growing. Most of the products are food, but they also sell personal hygiene items, supplements and some durable items like essential oil diffusers. In all, their product set is similar to any large grocery store, just focused on healthy products.
About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

32comments
Djole - February 13, 2016

Stacy, you’d be amazed at how open plpoee are to vegetarian food! The stigma is that it’s all celery and kale and completely tasteless, so once plpoee start eating good quality and well-seasoned vegetarian food, they usually love it. I converted many plpoee to vegetarianism simply by letting them eat at my house.

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Pete Mayhak - September 14, 2016

They are awful and charge you a membership fee even if you cancel. Then they try to act like it was all a big mistake but reviews all over the internet say that they do this repeatedly. It is just good marketing to scam people. I should have done more research before the trying them out.

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Alexandra Eby - November 4, 2016

They charged me $59.99 without reason. They didn’t mention they would charge me an annual membership just by signing up on their website. Shady AF! Refund immediately!

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Sydney - November 27, 2016

I’m glad that you had a positive experience with Thrive Market, but I sure didn’t. I think Thrive is good for health-conscious, well-to-do folks who don’t mind paying an annual membership of $59.95 to join & buy their items.

They really rubbed me the wrong way, though – their business practice, while not necessarily illegal, is unethical. They market certain items as “free” and then put in fine writing that they will charge a membership fee. They don’t charge you this upfront, however. They wait a month and then deduct $59.95 from your credit card automatically, and without notification. Good thing I read my credit card transactions!

Judging by the reviews on this page alone, I am not the only person to feel scammed and deceived by Thrive Market.

Wish I had read these reviews before making my purchase!

There are better options out there for health food. Did you hear that Aldi is going all-organic, non-GMO, they’re cheap as dirt AND they aren’t a deceptive company. Much better option than Thief Market… oops I meant Thrive Market.

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    Barbara Marcel - January 10, 2018

    It saddens me to see such harsh criticisms of Thrive Market, a company I have been ordering from for several years now and would recommend to anyone and everyone without hesitation….I don’t think ALDI has the range of access Thrive Market has. If you live near an ALDI, by all means, check them out. But don’t hesitate to save time and money by joining Thrive Market online. The are very customer oriented and dedicated to making healthy food available to everyone! (I am not an employee of or investor in, Thrive Market and will gain nothing from them for writing this review!)

    Reply
Susan Nelson - January 30, 2017

Thank you, Sabrina, loved your review and comparisons!! I’ve used Vitacost for a few years, with the added bonus of Ebates, which I’m sure you are familiar with. This past December, I decided to try Thrive when I was looking for organic, shade grown coffee. Since they allow 3 “free shipping” orders during their trial, i have placed a few orders, tried some new things. VERY HAPPY, products, prices, and minimum packaging!

My trial membership ends tomorrow. You have helped me decide to keep it!
Thank you very much!

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    Sabrina Wilson - January 30, 2017

    That’s great, glad to help!!

    Reply
melody - February 11, 2017

great and accurate comparisons. i have been up in the air about keeping my thrive membership, and have finally settled on trying it for a second year. there are definitely a few specialty items (ghee, hair care, collagen energy bars) that they sell that are cheaper than whole foods, amazon, and vita coast, even with the membership fee taken into consideration. i’m not a fan of the slower shipping and handling. I do like the coupons and free samples they offer sometimes. Even with ordering my high end staples, it can still be tough to meet the free shipping as i am a small household, but it is usually worth it and fun. to a try a new product to get the free shipping. also there are some products they just dont carry, as their business model probably doesnt support unpopular items, which is why i still use the other vendors. all in all ill keep monitoring my usage and savings to see if ill do a third year. 2-3 orders in and it looks like its worth it so far!

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Steven Gotts - June 27, 2017

With Membership fee paid, I walked away from a $81 purchase wth Thrives “Nag Cart” policies. Done with this. Back to Amazon. No problem with Thrive pricing , selection or shipping. Just the “Nag” stuff no doubt from a 3rd party checkout system. Never Again.

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    Sabrina Wilson - July 25, 2017

    What is a “nag” in the context of a shopping cart? I just placed an order and it was pretty smooth, I’m not sure I understand what that is referring to.

    Reply
Rosemary Williamson - July 24, 2017

You did a very good job establishing the pros and cons of membership. Thank you.

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Carolyn - August 12, 2017

Hi Sabrina –
I enjoyed your reviews very much – I read each one even if I wouldn’t necessarily need the product; however, most of the items could prove quite useful as I learned a lot from your postings!
I admire your dedication as well, as a wife & mother as there is SOO much to learn in this day and age and often, it takes due diligence to research and acquire the better & healthier versions of consumables.
You are a blessing to your loved ones and those who encounter your wise and helpful insight.
Thank you much,
Carolyn

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Discerning vegan - August 23, 2017

There are much better options out there, for non GMO, Organic, vegan, etc, out there, with NO shady “memberships (AKA money for nothing).

Some of these are…

1. Walmart.com (many organic choices) Free shipping. Low purchase amount for free shipping. Slow or ineffective customer service. Beware, some listings are incorrect, & may lead to not getting an expected amount, & leading to an annoying but free return. Broad range of food & non food items. Not a large stock of some items, so some may go “out of stock”.

2. Jet.com (East Coat) higher costs on most things (some tolerable, if u don’t have a car, or don’t want to pay a taxi to go out shopping, & also for the “to your door” delivery convienience, especially in the winter). However, they have exceptional prices on fresh produce, and SOME shelf stable foods, bulk discounts, 2 click checkout, low purchase amount, for free shipping ($39) quick, customer service response. Broad range of items, food, toys, furniture, etc. Double check your item prices, BEFORE placing your order, as some prices may suddenly double or triple. Sometimes prices may fall, but prices rise at a higher rate, then they fall. Not a large stock of some items, so some may go “out of stock”. Keep checking BEFORE you order , as some can come back in stock, within a day.

Some people complain about their excess packaging materials, but I’ve found a use for the paper based paper and cardboard boxes, I shred them, & turn them into mulch (brown shreds), or soil additive (lighter/colored shreds)

3. Luckyvitamin: many quality organic, vegan, etc FOOD, and health supplies, as well as vitamins. Free shipping. Higher free shipping qualifying amount. Some shipping issues sometimes.

4. Vitacost: I used to love them, but one time, they put an item on back order, then randomly charged my account a month later, causing my bank to bounce, so I quit using them.

There are many others out there in various geographical locations, that may cater to a more localized area. Thrive, is the ONLY one I’ve come across, that DEMANDS a “membership fee”. To, me, I need every penny buying a tangible good, not being “money for nothing”, for some fee.

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lin - August 23, 2017

Thanks for your hard on work this project!
I, too, felt misled last year when I discovered the $60 fee at Thrive. I called to complain, and then they lowered the fee to $30, I was happy. I just got my renewal notice. I will call them again and see if I can get the same $30 fee. The prices don’t concern me as much because I like the the connivence of delivery. I’m living in a large city now and gave up my car, so I enjoy not having to walk back from the grocery with heavy items. I read lots of reviews that indicate that Thrive offers a lower fee when you say you want to cancel, so I will try that. I just don’t buy enough to make a. $60 fee worth it for me.

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Susan Becker - August 25, 2017

I actually like Thrive Market however I have never paid the annual fee–yet.
I got the initial free period. When it was time to pay the annual fee, I contacted Thrive and told them to cancel. They asked me why and I said, not sure the annual fee was worth it for me as I am only buying for 2 people. They offered me 6 months more to give it try. I did the same thing at the end of 6 months, they came back and offered me another year free. So I have been really enjoying the savings on products I use every day i.e. olive oil from Greece, almond butter, beans, rice, tuna etc. I am still not sure if I will renew and pay the fee b/c I am still not sure it is reasonable for me.

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Mollie - August 26, 2017

I was planning to do this type of research to decide whether to join and stumbled across your article. Thanks for doing the work for me. Great article!

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Marl - August 28, 2017

I have been a member of Thrive for approximately two years and between Thrive and Lucky Vitamins, I can say that I get everything I need for a much cheaper price at these two vendors. Yes, I too am not too crazy about the membership fee but I feel the savings I’m getting is well worth it. Of course I wouldn’t mind not having to pay membership or at least a bit cheaper. Being from a small town, the variety of organic and non-GMO foods is just not available. Aside from my fresh produce, all shopping is done through Thrive and Lucky Vitamins.

Also for those who were charged a membership fee and didn’t know about it……..they do mention that it will happen if you don’t cancel. So I feel it’s up to you to be diligent enough to realize when your 30 day trial is expired.

Very pleased with Thrive and Lucky Vitamins!

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    Barbara Marcel - January 10, 2018

    I agree with Marl completely….and would like to add a comment about the fact that my membership fee is being used to give free membership to those less fortunate than I: Thank you, Thrive Market!!!! I am very happy to be able to share healthy food with others. And if any of you readers are not able to pay the membership fee, let Thrive Market know. They will give you my membership fee which I gladly will pay every year for as long as I myself need food! “Love your neighbor as yourself!” Besides, over time, ordering from Thrive Market, you will get back your membership fee in spades from their low prices, quality goods and service, and amazingly frequent free offers!! Thrive on!!!!

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Christine Damm - August 30, 2017

So glad to see others were blindsided by Thrive Market’s ‘membership’ policy. The fact that it exists at all is carefully hidden at the very bottom of the page. You have to sign up to get any access to shipping but it is not very evident that a hefty membership fee is charged if you do order. I will note, however, that their ghee is superior. I will miss it. But they’ve screwed up with my account twice now and I don’t like feeling that I’m the stupid one when I call for customer service. I’d rather pay a bit more to keep my self respect and not feel scammed.

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PaleoRatings - August 30, 2017

Simmilar to this page we have a ton of bad reviews about the company on our site, but again most deal with just the membership fee not with prices or lack of savings.

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Vickie - September 2, 2017

Thank you Sabrina! Very well written article and I really appreciate all the work and thought that you put into this information.

I have been thinking about joining Thrive and didn’t understand about the annual sign up fee. We do have Amazon Prime and it is WELL worth the cost and I think Thrive will be too. You have helped me decide to join. Thanks!

I really don’t understand people who won’t pay a membership fee to save money. Like Costco and Amazon. You pay a fee but you SAVE so much money. God bless you and your family. V

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    Sabrina Wilson - September 3, 2017

    Exactly! It’s a well-known business model and I never hear anyone complain about the annual fee at BJ’s, Costco, etc. I think they just don’t list the fee prominently enough in the purchase funnel.

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Michele - September 4, 2017

Your post was extremely helpful to me as I have never used any of these services. I live an hour and a half from the nearest “not Wal-Mart” decent health food store with any type of selection. I do not mind paying the annual fee as pointed out is only about $5 a month I would spend way more than that in gas driving to the store once. I have a gluten-free child and am hoping to find many (healthier than WM junk) items that can fill his dietary needs. I also appreciate the posts about people complaining of the membership cost however that is not an issue to me, and I am not sure if they have changed their advertising campaign, but they made it extremely clear that there was a membership fee everywhere I looked and that it kicks in after the first month. Yes Walmart in Aldi’s carry what they consider to be healthy foods but they do actually have non natural ingredients in them as preservatives and colors. I guess it depends on how picky you are and what your definition of natural food is. Great Value brand is not for me and our local Walmart does not carry any other brands but their own for 80% of gluten-free items and produce. Going to give Thrive a try.

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Jennifer - October 3, 2017

Ok so by looking at all the items and comparing the prices to the other sellers, it doesn’t appear that the $60 membership fee would really be worth it in the long run. You MIGHT save a few cents here or a few dollars there but then you have to factor in that membership fee and what other customers had sited about slow shipping in comparison to others. What a bummer.

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Steve Slosser - October 23, 2017

So, how much is the annual fee? Sorry if I missed it, but I don’t think you say in the article. Thanks.

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    Sabrina Wilson - October 24, 2017

    $60

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Deni McHenry - November 6, 2017

Hello: I was just reading your site, which is very helpful … thank you.

I just cancelled a membership to Thrive Market because I was not happy with their slow shipping, and have found lower prices on the website IHerb.com. I was initially attracted to their strategy of providing memberships to lower income families, but they don’t publish much in the way of reporting on this service, so I was skeptical.

I’m wondering if you have every checked out the website IHerb (iherb.com). I’ve been shopping on this website, off and on, for over a decade. Their prices on all of the items I just looked at in comparison to Thrive are significantly lower, and the exceptions to this are within about 20 cents, approximately. (I have no interest in this business, btw, other than as a consumer.) Their shipping has always been very fast, they provide good discounts for orders of any item x3 and x10, and they give me a credit % of my order, for use on my next order, that is valid for several months. They also allow you to bring friends/family on board for additional savings, but I haven’t taken advantage of this.

If you have time to check out the site, please let me know what you think.

Deni (Denise) McHenry

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    Barbara Marcel - January 10, 2018

    I had used iHerbs for a couple years. But when I discovered Thrive Market… .2015? 16?…. I was hooked because of their much more extensive inventory….I DK what iHerb’s inventory is now …. 2018…. but Thrive Market carries almost all the health foods AND nutritional supplements we use, and their prices are very reasonable (as above comparisons indicate). In my experience, Thrive has been wonderfully customer oriented and we plan to stick with them!

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Karyl - November 12, 2017

Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful analysis for Thrive and the other two. As another poster wrote, I use Lucky Vitamin for a lot of stuff that I want, but I didn’t know about a number of items you list. So that’s a big help too. I had decided NOT to give Thrive an email address just to look at what they stock , that sent my red flag up.

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Alessia - March 8, 2018

I bought on thrive market once using a discount code, then that was it. Then a month later they charged me an extra $64 without warning, when I confronted them about it and told them to delete my account, they said it was because they have a 30 day free trial (didn’t say that) and if you don’t take action it will charge you automatically after the 30 days. But they deleted my account and said they’d give me a refund, they did. But then charged me RIGHT AFTER again. Don’t buy from this scam-site.

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