Demand for natural foods has grown in recent years as people become more health conscious. New trends like juicing have boosted sales of produce and more healthy food options. Wall Street and investors have noticed as well. Sprouts Farmers Market, a 150 store natural foods chain headquartered in Arizona went public on Thursday. Sprouts (SFM) shares opened at $18 and surged 124% to close at $40.25. This was the strongest IPO since LinkedIn went public two years ago.
Sprouts Farmers Market stores are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Sprouts was founded in 2002 by the Boney family.
Sprouts is trying to fill a void in the market by offering healthy food at affordable prices. Sprouts tagline is “Healthy Living for Less”. Sprouts sells farm-fresh produce and thousands of natural and organic foods at low prices, in a non-traditional farmers market-type setting. The chain has an intense focus on providing an excellent shopping experience.
Fresh produce and wholesome grains are sold from wooden crates and barrels. The food bins, the barrels and wooden crates all serve to create the old-fashioned farmers market feel that Sprouts strives for. The spacious aisles are brightly lit to evoke the feel of a sunny afternoon outdoors. The store makes a strong impression on first-time shoppers.
50s and 60s music greets shoppers upon entrance, perhaps drawing certain demographics back to some fond memories. The piped in music makes for a fun shopping experience that’s a break from the outside world. The center of each store is the farm-fresh produce section. Shopping at Sprouts can be a fun journey in which people are encouraged to try new food and learn about nutrition. Sprouts caters to a broad demographic. Shoppers return to Sprouts because of the customer service they encounter.
One of my favorite topics in this blog has been the growing demand for organic and natural food products. It’s nice to see new brands and products emerge with a focus on providing a great customer experience. Sprout’s spends a lot of resources educating shoppers on nutrition and health issues.
Sprouts places a heavy emphasis on plain old community involvement at the local level. They believe in giving back to the communities where they do business. They support local, non-profit and educational institutions that share a common goal of improved health, nutrition and fitness.
Sprouts has created a very positive culture where employees feel they are part of something bigger. It’s easy to see why Sprouts has an exciting future. They have done a great job of staying true to their brand by focusing on customer satisfaction, employee happiness and living their core values.
Sprouts will be an interesting story to watch as it looks to expand and compete directly with Whole Foods and other large chains in the supermarket industry.
Have you shopped in a Sprouts Farmers Market store?