Have you guys heard of Thrive Market yet? If you’re obsessed with healthy food like I am, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the buzz about this emerging company. I just received my first order from Thrive, and I just wanted to share with you guys what I think of the company and the whole process of ordering from Thrive!
So basically, Thrive sells brand-name organic and healthy food, natural bath/body products, supplements/vitamins, along with other random health-related items. The major selling point is that Thrive sells all of their products at wholesale prices, so you save 25-50% by shopping on Thrive vs. your regular retailer. In order to be able to purchase from Thrive and get the wholesale prices, you pay a yearly membership fee of $59.95. They do give you a 30 day trial period before having to commit and pay the membership fee, so that’s why I decided to go ahead and give it a try!
- It was fun to get a package of all my favorite healthy goodies in the mail. It was like my own personalized care package of everything I love! Who doesn’t like getting stuff in the mail?
- I was able to purchase things I can’t find locally (I live in a small town with no access to a co-op or Whole Foods or anything like that).
- You receive a “free gift” with every purchase of $50 or more, as far as I understand. With my purchase, I received a free coconut oil. Now they are giving away a free Justin’s almond butter.
- I got 15% off my first order, and the package came with a coupon for another 15% off my next order.
- All shipping materials/packaging are made from recycled paper and can be recycled again.
- The company has great values, including being “carbon neutral” (meaning they have a net of zero carbon emmissions throughout their entire business process), as well as working with as many eco-friendly brands and vendors as possible.
- For every paid membership, Thrive donates a free membership to a low income family, so that family then has access to healthy foods at 25-50% retail prices.
- It’s really fun (at least to me, I’m a health freak) to browse their website and look at all the cool brands and/or products that you may not know about or that you’ve heard of and wanted to try. I am like a kid in a candy store in health food stores so being able to shop at a health food store in my jammies at home was wonderful!
- I love how easy it is to search for products that match your particular dietary/lifestyle needs. For example when I was searching for spaghetti sauce, I selected “no sugar added” and then I ended up with the choices left that had no added sweeteners. You can also refine your searches by selecting things like gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, organic, GMO-free, fair trade, and many other specifications that may be important to you. This really simplifies the obsessive label reading I normally have to do at the grocery store, so I love this feature.
- Everything I bought was definitely cheaper than what I pay at my local grocery store. I was also able to find my favorite natural shampoo/conditioner from Acure Organics on Thrive for $5.45 a bottle vs. $9.99 a bottle at other retailers. Being able to find your favorite brands that you buy loyally for a fraction of the price is a big win, and probably the biggest benefit of Thrive overall.
- There was A LOT of packaging material (See photo above, taken after I unwrapped everything). Each item was packaged individually in two layers of paper (one tissue paper and one brown paper). Obviously if they didn’t do this, you would end up with a box of damaged and spilled items, but this is a downside of shopping online rather than at a local market. But like I mentioned above, all of their packaging materials are made from recycled materials and are recyclable, so at least that makes me feel a little less guilty.
- You can only get packaged/non-perishable items on this site. So it’s not saving you from having to go to the grocery store to get veggies, fruits, eggs, etc.
- The membership fee is a downside to me just because it’s kind of a large upfront cost, but they do say that if at the end of the year you didn’t save more money than the $59.95 membership fee, they will credit you the difference. Although on my first order alone, they said I saved $71, so I think not getting your membership’s worth would be difficult to do.
- Ordering online is semi-inconvenient just because it does take several days for it to arrive at your doorstep (mine took four business days, six days overall), so don’t order anything last-minute. I ended up purchasing locally a few of the same items I had already ordered from Thrive because I needed them sooner than my package would arrive. If you plan ahead and are organized, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- If you normally shop on Amazon or have Amazon prime, this may not be such a great investment for you. I found that the prices on most of the items I looked up were really similar on Thrive vs. Amazon. For example, I paid $11.25 for Justin’s vanilla almond butter on Thrive, and the price for the same product on Amazon is $10.66 (for prime members only). So in this case, Amazon would have been the better choice, but Thrive has Amazon beat in other products. Either way, Thrive’s prices were way better than what I would have paid locally (Justin’s almond butter is about $15 at my local store and they don’t even carry the vanilla one that I’ve been wanting to try). I don’t normally buy food on Amazon anyway so this wasn’t a huge issue to me, but if you’re a big Amazon shopper, I don’t think Thrive would benefit you a whole lot.
- You only get free shipping on orders over $49, so keep that in mind. I’m sure the reason they do this is so you’re not ordering a box of crackers one day and then peanut butter the next day; that would be a hassle for them and not so great for the environment either!
- When you buy your health food staples from Thrive, you are supporting them rather than a local business, so take that into consideration if you really value a local co-op or health food store and want to support them.
- Even though technically I’m “saving money” by shopping on their site, I think I actually spend more than I normally would just because there is an abundance of cool items on there that I can’t resist (I always find things I never knew I always wanted at health food stores!). I sort of just kept throwing stuff into my cart that I didn’t really need, but that looked fun to try–although I did make myself pare it down a little in the end!
Here’s a list of what I ordered, in case you’re curious: Bob’s red mill rolled oats ($3.95), Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta ($2.75 ea), truRoots organic quinoa ($5.95), Paesana roasted garlic tomato sauce ($4.95), Thrive Market organic sprouted brown rice ($3.55), Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder ($11.95), Natural Value canned coconut milk ($2.75 ea), Thai Kitchen curry paste ($2.55 ea), Cocomels sea salt coconut milk caramels ($4.45 ea), Artisana raw coconut butter ($9.45), Justin’s vanilla almond butter ($11.25), and Nutiva coconut oil (free gift with purchase). Most of these items are things that I consider staples, especially things like oatmeal, rice, quinoa, and coconut milk, (obviously the sea salt caramels aren’t a staple, but just something I really wanted to try!). Everything arrived in great condition and nothing was damaged except for a small dent in one of the cans of coconut milk. All that packaging did its job!
Overall I am happy with my experience with Thrive. The major downside to me was the fear of not being “environmentally-friendly,” considering the shipping and all of the packaging materials vs. shopping at a local retailer, but after reading more in-depth on their zero-carbon footprint and their use of recycled materials, I feel a lot better. I haven’t committed to a membership yet, but I most likely will, mostly because I can’t resist a good health food store! I hope this review informs you about this cool health-oriented business and helps you decide if it’s right for you or not.
*I am not affiliated with Thrive Market at this time.