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Throwing a Labor Day barbecue this weekend but worried about food prices getting out of control?
Go ahead, invite more people and stock up for that party. Your grocery bill might be a whole lot cheaper as Whole Foods slashed prices on dozens of items Monday amid Amazon's takeover of the store.
Shoppers across the country have already noticed much lower prices on fresh produce, meat, packaged goods and more.
Darren Seifer, a food industry analyst at management consultancy firm NPD, tells TODAY Food that the move is sure to bring in a lot more customers.
"Certainly by slashing their prices, they are expanding the group of people who can now afford to shop at Whole Foods," Seifer said. "So in the markets where they've been competing with the bigger chains, they just got a lot more attractive."
Seifer added that lowering the price point on certain foods will introduce new demographics of shoppers to different food products.
"Many people would like to shop at Whole Foods and experience organics and non-GMO foods, but they didn’t have access to it previously."
So how cheap is cheaper? In Austin, Eater found that some items like organic gala apples are now 40 percent cheaper — previously they were $3.29 a pound, now they're down to just $1.99. In New York City, organic avocados are now a full 50 percent cheaper, down to just $1.49 a piece.
NBC News found that, across the board, plenty of items have already undergone significant price reductions:
Organic bananas (per pound): $0.99/$0.69 (old price/new price)
Organic Fuji apples (per pound): $3.49/$1.99
Organic baby kale (per container): $3.99/$3.49
365 organic unsalted butter: $5.29/$4.49
365 almond butter: $7.99/$6.99
85 percent lean ground beef (local, grass-fed, per pound): $10.99/$6.99
Atlantic salmon filet (per pound): $14.99/$9.99
Organic large brown eggs (dozen): $4.29/$3.99
"They’re [Whole Foods and Amazon] definitely moving into the big leagues to compete against other players by shedding the 'whole paycheck' label," Seifer added.
But amid the dramatic price reductions, will Whole Foods lose its air of sophistication that's made it so popular among more affluent consumers?
"I confessed I was little surprised [about the immediate price drop] because many retailers don’t like to do that. It lessens the value of the product, so instead they usually try to add things like in-store services," says Seifer. "But knowing where things are going, even though we’re out of the recession, people across the board are really just looking for ways to save."
Whole Foods shoppers are now able to get plenty of their favorite goods on line. AmazonFresh, the online retailer's grocery delivery service, is now offering thousands of Whole Foods' private label products from its 365 Everyday Value label and its eponymous brand.