Sprouts Farmers Market is Like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's Combined

1
Sprouts Has Great Deals on Organic and Natural Foods

Sprouts Farmers Market flyers with deals on natural foods
Sprouts Farmers Market deals on natural foods. Susie Wyshak

It's all about enabling "healthy living for less."

Sprouts Farmers Market is a publicly traded American natural grocery chain with 200+ stores. As a grocery store geek, I was intrigued to visit Sprouts for the first time when they opened nearby.

What first struck off the bat is how cleverly they appeal to mainstream shoppers, packing their newspaper ads with deals and coupons on natural and organic foods. 

What better way to get bargain-hunting grocery shoppers to give Sprouts a try?

2
Private Label House Brands Make Lots of Popular Foods Really Cheap

Sprouts Farmers Market private label brand keeps prices low
Sprouts Farmers Market private label brand keeps prices low. Susie Wyshak

If you shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, you know that foods branded by the store (private label brands) are nowadays pretty good and often much cheaper than name brands. The Sprouts brand spans from frozen, ready-to-eat meals to packaged cookies at very accessible prices.

Part of the Sprouts Farmers Market mission includes an "unwavering commitment to providing customers with affordable, healthy foods." House brands are the key to doing this,  when it comes to packaged foods.

3
Sprouts Farmers Market Believes That Healthy Living is a Journey

Incredibly cheap gourmet sandwiches for the lunch crowd at Sprouts
Incredibly cheap gourmet sandwiches for the lunch crowd at Sprouts. Susie Wyshak

Sprouts makes the journey easy with incredibly cheap sandwiches and freshly made deli food. It's not every day that you see a big $4.99 sandwich. In our parts, sandwiches run more like $8-10.

The day I visited Sprouts Farmers Market in Oakland, California, located near a hospital, I wondered if the hospital cafeteria would see a big drop in customers, given the line of people wearing hospital badges. Yup.

4
An Adventure in Gluten Free Eating

Huge gluten free bread selection at Sprouts
Huge refrigerated bakery with gluten free breads at Sprouts. Susie Wyshak

The Sprouts market in Oakland has a huge section of refrigerated bakery items, many of them gluten free. This refrigerated case is at the front of the store, which is a nice sign that they really care about serving people's dietary needs.

5
Gourmet Coffee For Under a Dollar

Gourmet coffee at old fashioned prices at Sprouts Farmers Market
Gourmet coffee at old fashioned prices at Sprouts Farmers Market. Susie Wyshak

No you're not seeing things.

Sprouts sells cheap coffee that is the perfect way for people to sample the coffee beans they can buy for brewing at home. Or simply to get a good, cheap cup of coffee.

What a brilliant service to bring affordable coffee back to the masses!

6
Natural Meats Most Butchers Wouldn't Even Carry

Exotic natural meat like kangaroo and wild boar at Sprouts Farmers Market
Exotic natural meat like kangaroo and wild boar at Sprouts Farmers Market. Susie Wyshak

A friend who generally follows the paleo diet was seriously impressed to see that Sprouts carries a brand of naturally farmed meat from animals like elk, wild boar and kangaroo.

I had never seen kangaroo ever in an American supermarket, let alone a relatively mainstream natural grocery store. Nearby, Sprouts has a rack full of paleo and other cookbooks to inspire healthy eating.

7
Bulk Foods Priced For Bargain Hunters

Bulk organic and conventional foods at amazing prices at Sprouts Farmers Market
Bulk foods at amazing prices at Sprouts. Susie Wyshak

The old folks crowded around the 300+ bulk bins and barrels full of nuts, grains and other bulk items as if they were at a Costco sampling station.

What was all the fuss? The prices were seriously low. Certainly residents living in this neighborhood had not had access to such low prices on bulk items in recent years, if ever. It was then that I realized Sprouts has the potential to fill food deserts — where residents don't have access to good grocery stores — much as the Daily Table is doing with incredibly cheap packaged foods and meals made with nearly expired foods.

8
Sprouts Has All the Popular Organic and Specialty Foods Too

Lots of jerky brands at Sprouts Farmers Market
Huge natural and organic jerky and meat snacks selection at Sprouts Farmers Market. Susie Wyshak

A tall display of jerkies, from new brands to more widespread brands, as well as lots of popular yogurts, chocolate, kombuchas, krauts and other packaged snacks made it clear that Sprouts is here to not only help us eat healthy meals but more healthy snacks — which is an important trend to address.

9
Exotic Meets Old Fashioned Meets Natural at Sprouts

Sprouts Market homemade sausage
Sprouts is all about old fashioned goodness. Susie Wyshak

On the store's grand opening day, the store butcher was on hand to proudly answer questions, and staff sampled lots of house-made sausages which were priced at $3.99 per pound. To be clear, those were sausages made on site, as a butcher shop might do. 

Along with their charming barn / farmers market style branding, Sprouts is an American-owned chain that really could achieve its mission of setting people on an adventure in good eating.

10
Taste Produce Before You Buy

Sprouts produce deals
Produce deals help Sprouts fill food deserts and serve customers on budgets. Susie Wyshak

If you've ever wondered about a new fruit or vegetable but not enough to spend money on that, Sprouts has a solution: You can ask to sample produce before buying.

This is brilliant. Consumers will be more willing to buy healthy, fresh foods outside of their comfort zones. They will also know the quality of what they're buying is up to their standards.

Some produce is pre-bagged, some loose. It's all stacked up in cute farm-style bins.

The key to cheap produce prices: Sprouts runs the distribution network and works with vendors and growers to achieve volume that will lead to lower prices.

11
Teaching Customers to Fish

Sprouts Market helps customers make healthy choices
Inspiration to eat more healthily by Sprouts. Susie Wyshak

It's hard to balance a mission of getting people to want to eat well with making it possible for people with lower incomes to be able to eat well. 

Sprouts balances the two very well. Plus they donate unsold food to a local food bank — even helping non-customers eat well.

As you check out, you see signage such as Sprouts' slogan that Every Meal is a Choice. They get other healthy eating messages across in a friendly but not preachy way as you check out and marvel at your low grocery bill. 

Could this be similar to what Whole Foods has in store with their 365 by Whole Foods concept?