By Susie Bramhall
SPRING IS HERE… visions of fresh produce and a wholesome food easily gets us motivated and excited to experiment with new recipes. And the aroma of fresh picked tomatoes, along with the bold color of ripe fruits, creates a sense of healthy eating that’s not deprived of flavor.
So what if it could be spring every day? What if a magical garden of all these fresh and healthy staples were right in your own backyard…all year long…conveniently ready for picking, eating, and creating those rich and nutritious dishes you crave?
Look no further…it might not be magic, but it is as easy as a trip to your local Sprouts Farmers Market.
Sprouts Farmers Market, natural grocery store chain, prides itself on focusing on “healthy living for less.” Selling farm-fresh produce and thousands of affordable, natural organic foods, customers can have fun shopping in a non-traditional farmers market-type setting.
According to Lauren Rosenblum, spokesperson for Sprouts, the company was founded by members of the Boney family, long-time San Diego grocers, with a focus on making fresh foods affordable. Opening its first store in Chandler, Arizona in 2002 – with abundant produce and thousands of natural, organic, and great-tasting foods at remarkably low prices – the Sprouts story continued with a period of rapid growth through acquisitions and new store development
In 2012, Sprouts was named the #1 ‘Hot Retailer’ by Stores magazine. It then became a public company traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market in August 2013. Today, Sprouts operates 170 stores in nine states and has become one of the largest specialty retailers of natural and organic food in the United States.
And of course, the best part…there is no shortage to the gluten-free shopping one can enjoy at Sprouts. With so many options filling the store, your shopping list will be complete from bread to snacks to soups…and everything in between. It truly is an enjoyable shopping experience…a great outing with friends…the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Wheat Watchers had the opportunity to chat with Rosenblum to get the dish on even more reasons why it’s so easy to love Sprouts and what continues to make this company a leader in the Natural Foods shopping space.
WW: We’ve noticed there are more and more gluten-free choices at Sprouts! What is the company’s direction in continuing and expanding products for the gluten-free market?
With an estimated three million Americans suffering from celiac disease, and another 20 million estimated to be gluten intolerant, gluten-free is all the rage. Gluten-free foods are easier to find than ever before, but they’re not all created equal in terms of nutrition or taste. Our buyers are constantly scouring and sampling gluten-free foods to find the ones that taste the best and are the best for you.
WW: Sprouts has many gluten-free products under their own label. Can you name some of your most popular products?
Rosenblum: Thankfully, wheat-free no longer means flavor-free! Our buyers are bringing in thousands of gluten-free foods that are good, and good for you. Look for our gluten-free shelf tags throughout the store. The easy-to-spot shelf tags take the guesswork out of your gluten-free shopping. It’s easier than ever to find foods at Sprouts that meet your dietary needs.
We are currently developing our own gluten-free line of Sprouts brand products. In the meantime, we do have a handful of products that are certified and labeled as gluten-free. Among our most popular items, we have a line of gluten-free pasta sauces available in arrabbiata, garlic, marinara, mushroom, chunky marinara and tomato basil flavors.
We are also very excited to announce that we have frozen gluten-free mac & cheese coming soon!
WW: How have you seen the trend in sales grow over the years for gluten-free products at Sprouts?
A few years ago, gluten-free products were short on flavor and nutrients. Some might even say you were better off eating the box it came in. But now, gluten-free products are all about taste, health, and convenience, and they are infiltrating every food category in our stores. We’re seeing more whole grains and more fortification, not just empty starches and refined grains.
Rosenblum: Our gluten-free customers will be able to find Rudi’s Gluten-Free Savory Herb Stuffing in the bakery department! It’s perfect for Easter, and ready in just five minutes!