Sprouts Startups Successes

The Lempert Report
February 21, 2023

There's a report in Modern Retail that I found fascinating, why food startups are flocking to Sprouts Farmer's Market for their first major retail launches. It talks about a lot of the brands that are there. Also it's important to note, Sprouts has, I think it's 381 stores throughout the country. So it has become a major retailer, if you would. And it, what they did is they talked to a lot of these startups and they said that Sprouts buyers work quickly and are enthusiastic about innovative and better for you products. And then, the CEO, Jack Sinclair, great guy, met him, liked him, is saying that what he wants to do, and he has put in innovation centers in stores, is to generate buzz and to underscore the shoppers that there's always something new to get excited about. So here's a retailer that is really curating products, making it exciting for customers, and also helping up a lot of these smaller companies. 

Sally: Yes, I love the Innovation Center's idea, you know, where they have a rotating array of products that are new. According to Sprouts, they have talked about how their customers are into natural and specialty foods, and so they're a little more willing to try new brands. They're looking for new things and they're willing to pay a little more money for these products. So this is a great opportunity for these new products. Some of them are finding it, easier to get into Sprouts and get more brand awareness than in Whole Foods. Whole Foods has been known for doing this for these type of products. So, I'm really excited about this program that they're doing, and I hope that it brings some new products to the forefront and gives them an opportunity to grow within other retail stores. 

Phil: Absolutely. And, and really every retailer should be doing this. Now I know that there's a lot of retailers, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, and so on that have these events where local brands can come and pitch to get on their shelves. I think that's fabulous. And the more of these retailers that do this, it just helps everybody, to your point. It helps the consumer, helps Sprouts have something that's different, helps the brand. It's great versus just that mentality of piling it high and selling it cheap and taking whatever anybody brings you. And then, you know, if it doesn't sell, they throw it out. So Sprouts, buyers and merchandisers are really getting behind these products and helping them succeed. And I think that's a major role for retailers, especially these days, and especially as they've gotta compete online, where if you go on Amazon or any of these sites, you're just seeing product after product after product. There's no emotion to it. Sometimes the information's correct, sometimes the information isn't correct. Let's bring back some passion, if you would, to supermarkets.