Nothing can diminish our love for Trader Joe’s, but that doesn’t mean we’re beyond supplementing with some of the competition. Enter Brandless, a new website that stocks healthy food, organic beauty products and a few other everyday items — all priced at just $3.
As the name indicates, the website sells generically packaged staple items like coffee capsules, granola, organic virgin coconut oil and organic Dijon mustard, as well as beauty products like facial moisturizer and lip balm. Co-founded by Ido Leffler of Yes To Inc. (the makers of Yes To Carrots, Yes To Cucumbers and the other Yes To shampoos, moisturizers and skin care treatments), he clearly knows a thing or two about disrupting the notoriously overpriced “natural” market. Brandless is counting on building a brand (ahem) that will hold its own against Trader Joe’s, 365 by Whole Foods and the like.
Like its private label competitors, Brandless keeps prices low by focusing on quality rather than packaging, ads and other marketing costs. And by concentrating on online sales, it also saves on exorbitant rent, unlike brick-and-mortar grocery stores. While the simple pricing is definitely a draw, not all products cost less than the competition, however. Of the 115 products that are now available with the launch, some are actually more expensive than big-brand rivals. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Jif beats Brandless by nine cents per ounce on peanut butter and Kraft is 42 cents cheaper when it comes to macaroni and cheese.
It’s also worth noting that, while you can get a variety of granola, you can’t get cereal or any perishables, like produce, bread, frozen goods, dairy, fish, seafood or meat (at least not yet). For a look at what you should get, we rounded up some of the site’s best values.