At the end of June, I was lucky enough to be invited to join a small group of nutritionists and bloggers to visit the Sprouts headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona! The trip was a jam-packed 3 days full of store tours, exciting challenges, and more food to sample than we ever could have imagined! I’ve been shopping at Sprouts long before I ever imagined starting a food blog. It’s been my family’s go to grocery store for years!
Until I went on this trip, I never gave a thought about what goes in to creating a grocery shopping experience, and how that impacts our health and our world. Sprouts intentionally structures its stores and it’s business model so that everyone can have a sustainable, accessible, quality, and stress-free shopping experience.
Focus on Sustainability
The value that I related to the most was the emphasis Sprouts puts on sustainability. Did you know that most stores have skylights to save on electricity use? Or that the sourcing team will visit vendors and try to select partners with sustainable business practices? Sprouts even stopped selling caged eggs in the Colorado market (to be rolled out to other stores soon).
In addition to sourcing from sustainable vendors, Sprouts has a robust sustainability program (and even has it’s own department!) The company aims to have zero food waste by 2020 – They currently donate food to local food banks, and if the produce isn’t ok for food banks, they will use it as feed given to local ranches, or finally compost the remaining food. Especially with their private label, Sprouts focuses on sustainable packaging – even having eggs packaged with recycled yogurt cups! Customers can also get in on Sprouts sustainability mission. Many locations will recycle plastic bags and if you bring a reusable bag, you can get a 5 cent credit per bag you use!
Accessible and Stress Free Shopping Experience
Sprouts has a mission to empower people to make healthier choices by providing an accessible, and stress free shopping experience. Each Sprouts store layout is strategically designed so fresh produce is front and center. Aisles are low and the center of the store is open so the store is super easy to navigate. Nick has never lost me in a Sprouts before!
In order to make sure there is something for everybody, the sourcing team makes a conscious effort to provide products at all different price ranges. They will often have sales – they even have 25% off vitamins 4 times a year! Sprouts even offers an app with plenty of coupons, the ability to save a shopping list, search for items, and they even deliver via Instacart!
Supply Chain Quality
I’ve noticed quality of produce at Sprouts is unparalleled by any other store. That’s because Sprouts has high quality standards for each of its vendors! For example, Melissa’s Produce, which supplies many Sprouts stores, uses tools such as refractometers and penetrometers to determine ripeness, sweetness, and quality of fruits and veggies they supply in store. The sourcing team also often visits vendors to ensure quality.
Giving Back to the Community
Sprouts has a HUGE focus on giving back to the communities the stores represent. In addition to the donations made via the sustainability efforts, Sprouts runs it’s own “Healthy Communities Foundation” which partners with organizations to help increase education around healthy eating. In fact, Sprouts is a great supporter of Denver Urban Gardens, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower communities to build and maintain sustainable urban gardens while running programs which teach children about nutrition and where their food comes from.
While we were on the trip, Sprouts arranged for us to pack donation bags with United Way for children at a local school who are in need of food donations. It was amazing to see all the thought that goes behind how Sprouts empowers the community. They don’t just donate, they provide education and resources for families to make healthy choices in a way that is accessible to them!
We didn’t just learn about Sprouts on the trip. We also learned about plant based eating and all the amazing foods you can eat while adding more plants to your diet! Did you know you can prepare jackfruit in multiple ways? Above, we grilled jackfruit skewers and ate them with pickled jackfruit and rice, and also sampled the fruit plain. We tried so many amazing plant based products, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Sprouts finds with you below!
10 Essential Plant Based Pantry Staples!
- Coconut yogurt. Amazing. Try it with MCT oil – GAME CHANGER. So crazy, I wrote a post on it.
- MCT Oil (see above)
- Annie’s Vegan Pasta
- So Delicious Original Organic Almond Milk. It has 6 ingredients (Water, almonds, coconut sugar, cashews, sea salt, and gelan gum (a stabilizer) and tastes AMAZING!
- Daiya Mozzarella Cutting Board Shreds. This stuff actually melts the way real cheese is supposed to!!
- So Delicious Mousse Salted Caramel. O.M.G – try this if you can, I’m obsessed. Not too sweet, just light and fluffy and delicious, this whole pint is only 300 calories!!
- Fresh Produce. Have you seen their 3 for $1 avocado deal? I live for that deal.
- Frozen Riced Veggies. Reduce waste, skip the prep. Try these burgers I made using the Riced Cauliflower.
- Leftie Wines Red & White Blends. Only available at Sprouts, these blends are perfect for any wine drinker – especially those that like fruitier flavored wines. The red has notes of raspberry and the white had notes of pineapple (and you can actually taste them!) Perfect pairing for a cheese or veggie board!
Thank you Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post! While this post, itself, is sponsored – the recommendations, tips and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here!