Trader Joe's is reportedly slashing prices

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Whole Foods Vs. Trader Joe's: A Price Comparison of Popular Grocery Items

Trader Joe's appears to be slashing prices, which could put new pricing pressure on Whole Foods, according to Deutsche Bank analysts.

The analysts checked the prices on 77 similar items at a New York-based Trader Joe's store and nearby Whole Foods and found that Trader Joe's was about 26% cheaper.

The basket at Trader Joe's was $240 and the basket at Whole Foods was $303.

That's a much wider price gap than in previous checks, leading analysts to believe that Trader Joe's is implementing across-the-board price cuts, similar to what the company did a couple years ago.

In 2013, when Trader Joe's reached about 300 stores in the US, the retailer slashed prices across roughly 200 items.

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Trader Joe's is reportedly slashing prices
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Packaged avocados destined for Trader Joes stores are readied for transport at Mission Produce in Oxnard. Photo by ^^^/Los Angeles Times (Photo by Steve Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Buffalo, NY - JULY 10, 2015 - Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is instantly recognizable once inside. Quirky and witty signs are spread throughout the store, enticing customers, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015. Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: Shoppers enjoy the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 14: Trader Joe's, located on Colorado Blvd. and East 8th Avenue in Denver, is ready for its grand opening, February, 14 2014. Two other Trader Joe's locations in Colorado will also open today. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 14: Trader Joe's, located on Colorado Blvd. and East 8th Avenue in Denver, is ready for its grand opening, February, 14 2014. Two other Trader Joe's locations in Colorado will also open today. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: Dawn Moreno shops for yogurt as she enjoys the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 14: Trader Joe's, located on Colorado Blvd. and East 8th Avenue in Denver, is ready for its grand opening, February, 14 2014. Two other Trader Joe's locations in Colorado will also open today. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: Dawn Moreno shops for yogurt as she enjoys the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: A shopper looks over the meat selection as she visits the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: A shopper looks over the dairy section as she visits the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PINECREST, FL - OCTOBER 18: Shoppers enjoy the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on October 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida where shoppers can now take advantage of the California grocery chains low-cost wines and unique items not found in other stores. About 80 percent of what they sell is under the Trader Joe's private label. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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The move "caught [Whole Foods] off guard," and forced Whole Foods to follow suit with its own price cuts on similar items, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Short.

Now that Trader Joe's has about 500 stores open, the company appears to be slashing prices again.

"TJ's might be once again catching WFM off guard because prior checks have not shown such disparity," Short wrote in a research note.

Trader Joe's did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trader Joe's prices were 30% cheaper than Whole Foods for perishables and 24% cheaper for non-perishables, according to the price check.

Trader Joe's private-label items were also 15% cheaper than Whole Foods' 365 private-label goods. Both retailers tout their private-label foods for being free of artificial flavors, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, trans-fats, and other potentially unhealthy ingredients.

"The wide price delta between TJ's private label products and WFM's '365' private brand ... was a surprise to us given that the '365' brand strategy has generally been to match TJ's on price in private label despite the fact that WFM's private label is meaningfully higher in quality and therefore justifies a premium," Short wrote. "In prior price checks, WFM's private label has matched TJ's item by item — until this most recent check."

Whole Foods has been promising to lower its prices and get rid of its "whole paycheck" image.

The company says it has been cutting prices across the board, as well as highlighting more limited-time discounts.

Whole Foods will also be introducing a range of lower-priced products at its new chain of 365 by Whole Foods Market stores.

The company plans to open three 365 stores in fiscal-year 2016 and up to 10 stores in fiscal-year 2017.

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