Last month I was invited to be part of Sprouts Influencer Retreat with 9 other influencers and attended Sprouts Fest 2017, an educational summit where Sprouts team members and vendor partners came together to learn about products that are sold at and interact with each other. In case you missed my instastories, to say it was a blast is an understatement. The 3-day event was a good balance of learning experience mixed in with down time to interact with fellow bloggers and other team members. I have been partnering + shopping personally at Sprouts for almost 2 years now so it was just fascinating to learn about behind the scene things + their philosophy behind why they do what they do. I am sharing 5 Things I Learned About Sprouts from the trip that really stood out (among many others things) and I hope you guys will find it interesting and valuable too.
Responsible Retailing : I spend a lot of time at different grocery stores but I hardly ever pay any attention to the building layout, their light source, recycling, or energy efficient efforts etc. Since we got to spend sometime with the sustainability team members, I learned that they are very committed to the whole cycle of being responsible from sourcing their ingredients to utilizing energy efficient efforts when choosing equipment and buildings. Next time you are at Sprouts, see if your location has skylights that harvests natural light into the store.
Some 2016 highlights include: donated more than 19 million pounds of fresh food (or more than 15 million meals), diverted more than 12 million pounds of food from landfills by providing it to local farms as animal feed or to composting facilities, and recycled more than 70 million pounds of cardboard!!
Sprouts Foundation : Started in 2015, Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation focuses on supporting the health and wellness causes that directly impact the neighborhoods where their customers and team members live, work and play. The foundation has been very active with school garden programs and currently doing a pilot program where the garden program integrates with school-based health nutrition curriculum!!! Here is a quick video if you are interested to learn further.
In Phoenix, Arizona one of their partnering agency is SARRC, an autism research & resource center. We got a wonderful opportunity to spend some time there….planting vegetables and bagging coffee beans!! If you are looking to support a cause, Beneficial Beans is a great one to check out as 100% of proceeds benefits adults with autism.
Sprouts In-House Brand : Did you know that there are 2000 Sprouts in-house products (550 packaged Sprouts Brand products are USDA Certified Organic & 74% of packaged Sprouts Brand products are non-GMO and/or USDA Certified Organic) to choose from and more new items arriving at your store? There is a whole team of in-house brand specialist who are constantly researching latest trends and sourcing finest ingredients to meet customers satisfaction.
In 2016, Sprouts transitioned all Sprouts Brand eggs to come from cage-free or better than cage-free facilities (i.e., USDA Certified Organic)
Customer’s Grocery Store experience : One of the reasons I started going to Sprouts (besides being affordable) was the grocery store in-itself. I do not like large stores so finding that good balance of variety + organized store is super important to me, granted I spend a lot of time there. It was reassuring to hear from the leadership team that they are constantly thinking about ways to minimize barriers for customers from the minute they walk into the door till they check out. Also, if you are curious about a certain product, you can request to sample the product (free of charge) before you purchase. That’s a really cool service if you ask me.
Great news for those of you who do not like grocery shopping or do not have time, Amazon Prime has partnered with Sprouts so now you can get FREE 2-hour delivery! There are some major behind the scene work going on to make Sprouts app more user friendly with coupons, recipes, and nutrition info.
Sprouts Butcher Shop : I do not spend nearly enough time at the meat section, but now I know that I can actually talk to trained butchers at Sprouts & request custom-cut any meat the way I want it. Their beef and chicken is never frozen and always US raised and grazed! If you are interested to learn in detail, here is a handy guide on meat products. If you are unsure about a certain cut or type of meat, their butchers can help answer your questions and also provide ice with your purchase so don’t forget to request it.
Few additional highlights:
We were tasked with a “Gift Basket Challenge” because Sprouts does have a section for bath and beauty products, supplements, magazines/books, limited selection of toys that can be utilized for gifts for your loved ones. Emily & I created (and actually won) this “Rise & Shine” basket that will be donated to those in need.
The deli section – “Market Corner” is getting a major upgrade with more grab n’ go type sandwiches/wraps & salads. We tasted some delicious creations that were seasonally appropriate for Fall. I love how it is ethnically driven and creative items such as vegan pakora wrap, chicken shawarma bowl, and variety of paninis and salads.
Last but not the least, it was an absolute pleasure to meet other influencers & learn about their brand + voice on how it all connects back to healthy living in our own unique ways.
Until next time Arizona, I will be back for sure!
Have you shopped at Sprouts before?
What are some things you like about your grocery store of choice?
Sprouts Influencer Retreat was sponsored by Sprouts, however all the opinions are 100% mine!