The untold truth of Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online grocery store launched in 2014 that curates products that are organic and non-GMO. In addition to traditional groceries, they also sell beauty and cleaning products (via Grocery Dive). It is a membership based grocery store (think Costco) that costs $60 per year or $10 per month (via Insider). The products are sold at a discounted rate of 25 to 50 percent off regular retail prices.

The store carries over 6,000 products in hundreds of categories. They sell many recognizable name brands such as Annie's, Burt's Bees, KIND, and Seventh Generation. Grocery staples, such as meat and seafood, are available, though many of the other products within the 6,000 options are shelf stable products. When it comes to produce, it's not a great alternative to your neighborhood grocery store or farmer's market.

Founder Gunnar Lovelace calls Thrive Market customers "a community of members that are value-aligned" and describes the company "an aspirational, mainstream 21st century food co-op" (via Forbes).

The Thrive Market private label offers the best value

The meat and seafood available at Thrive Market is ethically sourced and available in bulk options, though the choices are more limited than they would be in a traditional grocery store. Buying bulk meat and seafood also requires freezer space, so for those that have it, the savings and convenience is great, but if you don't have the space, no amount of savings on bulk pricing will make dropping over $100 on meat and seafood worth it.

They also offer their own brand that has packaged organic products, the equivalent to the generic store brand of whatever grocery chain you shop at. Fast Company rated this private label as the stores best value. The line offers regular items such as maple syrup and ground coffee, as well as more niche health items, such as ghee and MCT oil.

To use Thrive Market, search for the items you want to buy, add them to your cart, and checkout. Just like any other online shopping, the products will then be delivered to your home. You can set items up to be auto-shipped each month, though you can also skip a month at any time.

Thrive Market is user friendly

There is a shipping fee, but it's easy to get around. If you spend more than $49, shipping is free. It's pretty easy to spend $49 at the grocery store, so as long as you make a list and wait until you have enough items on it, the shipping fee is not a problem (via The Kitchn).

To make shopping user friendly, you can search products by diet, such as gluten-free, vegan, paleo, keto, etc., or by grocery aisle, such as flour and meat, cereals and grains, or honey and sweeteners, much like in any grocery store. You can also search by area of the home, such as beauty, bath, babies, etc. There is also a section where you can browse new items, as well as sale items.

If you want to try a particular type of diet, such as the ketogenic diet, they have many bundled starter kits to help you out without making a huge commitment in case you don't like it.

The benefits of Thrive Market

Those who are interested in healthy food and concentrate on purchasing organic products will find Thrive Market a helpful addition to their shopping options. To make it easy, Thrive Market also has a return policy that allows you to return anything within 21 days.

A helpful aspect of Thrive Market is the customer ratings. You can look at what other consumers thought of a product before you purchase it, something that can be particularly helpful when trying new organic options, as some of them can be relatively expensive.

The price difference, with a 25 to 50 percent discount on organic products can make buying organic food a more affordable option for those with a smaller grocery budget. Much like a traditional grocery store, they also offer savings through your email.

Thrive Market is a beneficial option to those who want to eat healthier but don't have those healthier options, such as Whole Foods, available. It can also make up for a lack of choice in areas that are considered food deserts.

Thrive Market provides a free trial and guarantee

If you think you would like it, but are nervous about the membership commitment, Thrive Market offers a 30-day trial membership for free (via Don't Waste the Crumbs).

For those who find the yearly membership intimidating, Thrive Market guarantees you will get your money's worth out of it. If you don't spend enough in a year to match the cost, Thrive Market will pay you back the difference in store credit. For example, if your membership fee was $60, but during the year you only spent $40, you will receive store credit for the remaining $20. The downside is that only helps you if you renew your membership, and if you didn't get a good value out of it the first year, you may not find it worth renewing, in which case that store credit doesn't help you.

Thrive Market also has a philanthropic aspect. They have a program called "Thrive Gives," which provides free membership to someone in need through the non-profit organizations Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Club for every paid membership. Teachers, veterans, and first responders are also eligible for a free membership.