Amazon vs. Walmart: Who Has the Cheaper Grocery Prices?

A study finds Amazon handily beat Walmart for the lowest prices on food and consumables. In other categories, things tightened up.

Close-up of hand of a man using the Amazon mobile app to purchase household supplies from Amazon Prime, San Ramon, California
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As inflation continues to keep the economy in its grasp, more people are turning to discount retailers to cut grocery prices. And when it comes down to two of the retail behemoths, Amazon and Walmart, shoppers are asking which one has the cheaper grocery prices online. One study says it’s Amazon all the way.

Profitero, an internet commerce analytics platform, stacked the two against each other and a handful of other key retailers and found Amazon had the lowest prices on food and consumables ordered online for delivery in the U.S. and U.K.

Profitero compared non-sale prices of approximately 15,000 items covering 15 major grocery categories. The conclusion of their report was that Amazon had the lower prices vs. Walmart and 12 other U.S, retailers, Target among them.

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How much lower? On average, the study found Amazon’s prices were 13% lower.

“It’s a testament to their sophisticated price matching technology as well as their bulldog toughness when negotiating with suppliers on cost,” said Mike Black, chief marketing officer at Profitero. “As consumers cut spending due to inflation (especially on the discretionary categories most popular during the holidays), it will be interesting to see if Amazon can translate low prices into more sales versus rivals.” 

In other categories, including holiday gifts, the race tightened. Pet-supply retailer Chewy matched the pricing of Amazon, the study found. Walmart, Nordstrom and The Home Depot came within 2% and 5% of Amazon’s prices.

Profitero did its research between July 11 and Oct. 2, after Amazon Prime raised its membership fees and before Amazon’s second Amazon Prime Day in 2022, October’s Amazon Prime Early Access Sale, as well as Walmart’s Black Friday Deal for Days, which launched in early November. 

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.