Is Thrive Market worth it? If you've been wondering whether to get a membership, what are the best products, and how to make it work for you, here's my Thrive Market review and unboxing video. We've been members since January, 2020, and I'm a big fan. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments or reach out to me directly.
Table of contents
Thrive Market offer
This post is not sponsored, but after being an enthusiastic customer since January, 2020, I decided to join the company's affiliate program. This means that if you subscribe through the links in this post, I'll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Umami Girl's partners!
What is Thrive Market?
Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, Thrive Market is a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. I tend to think that the Whole Foods/Costco comparison omits some of my favorite things about Thrive: they're mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation.
Since we joined, I find I'm ordering more and more of my staples there. We still prefer ButcherBox for meat, but Thrive has some fantastic deals on a lot of what we usually buy for eating, grooming, and cleaning.
Thrive Market has a membership fee that depends on the length of your subscription. Once you're a member, you can order as much or as little as you like. I'm an annual member, but you can go month to month if you prefer.
- An annual membership costs $59.95, which is $5/month
- A monthly membership costs $9.95/month
- If you are a low-income family and/or a current student, teacher, nurse, veteran, active member of the military, or first responder, you can apply for a free membership
Is Thrive Market worth it?
With an annual membership at $5/month, I find it's super easy to make Thrive Market worth the cost. Both years I've saved more than enough in my very first order to pay for the membership.
They actually guarantee that your annual membership will pay for itself. Your account keeps a tally of the amount you've saved throughout the year, and if you don't reach $59.95, you'll automatically receive the difference in "Thrive cash" that can be applied to your next order. I really can't imagine this happening unless you forget about your membership entirely, but it's a nice failsafe.
Thrive Market prices
The amount you save compared to other stores depends on where you typically shop. I live in an expensive area of the country and tend to shop regularly at stores like Whole Foods and FreshDirect. I save a ton on the same products at Thrive Market and find that the stated savings (for example, $2.29 for a can of Eden organic beans at Thrive vs. $2.99 at FreshDirect) tend to be accurate.
If you live in a less-expensive area and typically shop at lower-priced stores like Aldi, Lidl, or Costco, you'll probably find less in the way of savings at Thrive. You may still prefer it because of their huge and ever-growing variety of quality products.
There's free shipping on all orders over $49, so I always wait until I meet that threshold before placing my order. If I were a more routine-oriented person, I'd probably order once a month and easily meet the threshold. That would be a great approach if you're into that sort of thing. 🙂
Shopping by diet
Thrive Market makes it easy to find products that meet your dietary needs. You can filter by:
- Whole 30
- Low FODMAP, and more
They offer a wide variety of products in each category, and you can filter by multiple categories at a time if you need to. It's so much quicker and easier than standing in a grocery store aisle reading labels. That said, the website has a nice clean design, and it's easy to zoom in on each product's label and read it yourself if you like.
You can also shop by ingredients, certifications and awards, or environmental and social impact — from compostable products to businesses founded by women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ folks.
Doing good while shopping
One of my favorite things about Thrive Market is their commitment to doing good in the world. I love that by buying what my family needs, I end up helping other families, too. Here's how:
- For every membership purchased, they donate a membership to someone in need (a low-income family, student, teacher, nurse, veteran, active member of the military, or first responder)
- All the products they sell meet fairly high standards for quality, sustainability, and affordability
- They're currently carbon neutral and working toward becoming carbon negative
- They are a certified B corporation
And again, you can filter products by environmental and social impact. I really love this feature. Can you tell?
Best Thrive Market products
These days, Thrive Market carries so many great products that it's a little overwhelming to try to designate favorites for everyone. Yours will depend on your cooking style and dietary preferences. For example, like Trader Joe's, they really shine in the semi-prepared foods department (healthier bottled sauces, baking mixes, etc.) I don't tend to buy a lot of these products, but people who do really seem to love them.
Our favorite products fall into two categories: Thrive brand products and those from a long and growing list of our other favorite brands.
Best Thrive brand products
To sum it up, "Ask me about my meat sticks." I'm not paleo or gluten-free, but these beef sticks are freakin delicious, and I keep a box in my car at all times to fight the hangries.
More favorite Thrive products include:
- Spices and spice blends (helloooo, everything bagel blend, which, fun fact, I actually do use to make everything bagels)
- Dried beans and lentils
- Beef jerky
- Nuts and seeds
- Vanilla extract (great and so much less expensive than other brands)
- Fine sea salt
And honestly so many more.
Things may have changed, but the two products I can remember being not as happy with as my usual brands were the Thrive pasta (unimpressive texture) and mint tea (not as flavorful as my favorite brand).
Favorites from Other Brands
This list is expanding quickly, but here are a few of the products I'd buy elsewhere for a lot more money and now prefer to get from Thrive Market.
- Eden Organic beans and condiments
- Cascadian Farm frozen fruits and vegetables
- Emerald Cove products like kombu and sushi nori
- Everyone coconut and lemon lotion
- Garden of Life shelf-stable probiotics
- Thayer's toner
Your favorites, of course, will depend on your overall shopping preferences.
Thrive Market recipes
These days Thrive Market stocks so many of my favorite products that you could make virtually any Umami Girl recipe using ingredients sourced there (fresh produce aside). But here are a few excellent options that sprang to mind immediately.
That's it! Don't forget:
Get 30% off your first order and a free gift when you try out a Thrive Market annual membership through any of the links in this post.
Love getting great ingredients delivered?
So do I. You might like some of our other favorite subscriptions, too. Here are my reviews for: