Comparison Shopping Whole Foods and The Iowa Food Cooperative

David and Gary went comparison shopping to see how Whole Foods offerings compare to similar products available from Iowa producers accessible to members of The Iowa Food Coop

The opening of the new Whole Foods store in Des Moines has generated a lot of interest. Rekha Basu wrote a piece in the Des Moines Register recently titled “Opening of Whole Foods shows D.M. has arrived”. (Seems like some kind of inferior complex going on there.)

Having more shopping options is usually better, but we think the Iowa Food Cooperative has some benefits that Whole Foods doesn’t, such as:

  • Price. A check on 28 comparable products at Whole Food found that their prices were on average 22% higher than the Iowa Food Cooperative.
  • 90% of what you pay for food bought through the Iowa Food Cooperative goes straight to its farmer-owners (the other 10% helps run the business). Whole Foods can’t do the same.
  • 100% of our products are locally-grown or produced. Their goal is 20% (yes, only 20%).
  • 100% of your money stays local (as opposed to being shipped off to Texas). Every dollar you spend helps build our local economy (one of the most direct things you can do to make our communities better).
  • Finally, our producer and consumer members own the Iowa Food Cooperative. Ownership is ours. It’s our business to hold, cherish, patronize, and promote.


If you haven’t already joined, please become a member and help us build our commuities from the inside out. We’ve got incredible products (nearly 9oo different items are available at the moment from our on-line store) from truly amazing local farmers.