There's no shame in combining gift shopping with grocery shopping
You may find the idea of shopping for last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers at Whole Foods to be a bit lazy (especially if you combine it with your regularly scheduled grocery run). But if you are just now realizing that there are ten days until Christmas, nine before the start of Hanukkah, and only a few days left until your office gift exchange, you should probably drop that whole judgmental thing, unless you have a whole lot of free time about to magically appear. Whole Foods, perhaps the most bougie national chain, has some great last-minute gifts. If you’re looking for something slightly fancy that your friends and loved ones will actually use (basically the two primary qualities of a solid present), your local Whole Foods store is your best bet for gifting success.
I took a look at the items available at the Whole Foods closest to Extra Crispy’s Brooklyn HQ, with an eye toward brands available at most Whole Foods stores. Online shopping isn’t an option at Whole Foods, which means that by actually going to the store you'll have put more effort into gift shopping than you would have by opting for two-day shipping on Amazon. But, that also means that prices here are based on those at our nearest Whole Foods and will likely vary from store to store. Take these as inspiration. You may find the local offerings at your Whole Foods make even better gifts for all the food aficionados and health nuts (and Bobs-in-Accounting) you forgot you needed to shop for until this very minute.
Real Hot Chocolate
Buy this for the person who knows—and will happily explain to you—the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. For those who (wrongly) prefer cocoa in the morning, there’s Lake Champlain’s Traditional Hot Chocolate.
Lake Champlain Old World Drinking Chocolate, $12.99
For the person on your list who has fully embraced the matcha hype, gift this matcha from Whole Foods-favorite brand The Republic of Tea. They'll gain credibility and save money when they start whipping up matcha lattes at home.
The Republic of Tea Matcha, $18.99
Pomegranates may be the most festive fruit—just look at that glorious shade of crimson!—and they will look much better than an orange sitting at the top of a Christmas stocking.
Pomegranate, $2.99 each
If you have a friend that swears by the stuff, there’s no time like the present to give her the gift of a fortified immune system to get her through the winter.
Source Naturals Wellness Formula, $9.99 for 60-capsule container
Quality Maple Syrup
Made in upstate New York, this maple syrup is available in Whole Foods stores as far flung as Arizona. Gift it to the friend who has correctly strong feelings about pancakes and aspires to be that person who brings her own maple syrup to brunch.
Crown Maple Grade A Amber Color Maple Syrup, $14.99
Curate your own blend of nuts and dried fruit from the always-excellent bulk section at Whole Foods. Then, package your homemade trail mix in a lovingly decorated mason jar (with all of that extra free time I mentioned). It's the perfect gift for the friend who snacks from sunup to sundown.
Whole Foods bulk nuts and dried fruits, starting at $3.69/lb
This somewhat controversial but undeniably high-end honey is as good for face masks as it is for açai bowls. And at around $40 a jar it's the kind of thing most of us would feel silly buying for ourselves, but would gladly receive from a thoughtful someone else.
Manuka Honey, $41.99
Maldon Sea Salt
Fried eggs and avocado toast are easily elevated with just a small sprinkling of Maldon sea salt flakes. Get them for the friend who loves salty-sweet flavor combinations and thinks spending more than $5 on salt is slightly ridiculous.
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, $7.99
If you've been reading Extra Crispy regularly, you know that there is a hierarchy of balsamic vinegars. This one is a solid Thursday Vinegar pick in packaging that looks the part.
Compagnia Del Montale Balsamic Vinegar, $27.99
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $12.99
Whole Foods Market Panettone
When all else fails, gift a holiday fruitcake. This classic panettone, at least, will exceed expectations.
Whole Foods Market Traditional Panettone, $7.99