By David Orgel
Sprouts Farmers Market is more than happy to be a “secondary shop” for customers.
That’s because the specialty grocer is fueling growth by attracting health-focused and values-oriented shoppers with innovative product curation, said Jac Ross, Vice President Sprouts Brand.
Ross relayed insights about Sprouts and its Retailer-owned Brand (Private Brand) portfolio in a presentation at the Velocity Conference.
The 395-store retailer based in Phoenix, Arizona, operates in 23 states and is “really growing our Sprouts brand,” said Ross.
Making a Statement with Sprouts Brand
The retailer leverages its brand by carefully deciding where to showcase its Sprouts brand, Ross said.
“We focus on where the Sprouts brand makes sense for the customer,” she explained. “We know that customers trust our brand.”
Private Brand is the only player in some categories. “Sprouts often doesn’t have a national brand to compare against,” she explained.
Differentiating with a Health Focus
The retailer leverages healthy products to set its business apart even though it doesn’t consider itself a “health store.”
“Our aspiration is to be the most innovative health and wellness food retailer in the country,” said Ross.
The retailer curates assortments to enable customers to “Find Your Healthy,” which “has a completely different interpretation for different people,” Ross explained. “For me it’s about how do you find balance between work and home. In our stores we are working hard to put together what ‘Find Your Healthy’ means.”
About 26% of the retailer’s sales are organic, and that figure is even higher for the Sprouts brand.
Catering to Values-Oriented Shoppers
The retailer’s values-focused shoppers aren’t one-size-fits-all. Their areas of interest range from plant-based to non-allergic to ethical animal products, Ross said.
“We have to cater to all these values,” she added. “The Sprouts brand needs to have the right attributes.”
Gearing New Products to Customer Needs
New products at Sprouts must address the values important to customers, Ross said.
“Values-oriented customers care about environmental and social factors,” she elaborated. “They look at on-pack labels, ingredient labels and product certifications. Different attributes are important to different shoppers.”
Ross added that new products “need to check the boxes” by over-indexing on lifestyle choices.
The Velocity Conference took place in Charlotte N.C. last month. Videos of the sessions and photos from the event are now available