The untold truth of Sprouts Farmers Market

It really is your typical "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, the American Dream is possible, yes we can" success story. Sprouts Farmers Market has its origins in 1943 San Diego, California. You know, the year when Janis Joplin and Robert De Niro were born, a World War II P-38 fighter plane tragically crashed into a house in San Diego's Linda Vista war housing project, and the city was so short on coffee, sugar, meats, and fats that even babies were issued ration cards (via Los Angeles Times, the San Diego History Center, and The People History). That was the year an ice cream delivery man, Henry Boney, borrowed $600 to buy a truck to bring peaches back and forth to his newly opened street-corner fruit stand (via The San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego Source).

His risk paid off. The Boney family has since opened grocery store chains including Boney's, Bradshaw's, Superama, Windmill Farms, Henry's, Sprouts, and Speedee Mart. Sprouts Farmers Market had been a particular success, and as of February 2020, the grocery chain reports having opened 340 stores in 22 states (via Sprouts). 

Sprouts is on the cutting edge of green groceries

Next time you shop at Sprouts, take a peek at your receipt. It's double-sided, to save paper (via Reddit). Also, pat yourself on the back. Sprouts' commitment to becoming an environmentally-conscious supermarket is closely tied to the demands of its customer base. As Sprout's CEO, Jack Sinclair, explained to Bloomberg, the grocery store is seeing a "very significant shift" towards organic products, grass-fed beef, and specialist chicken. Just who are its target customers? "Health enthusiasts" and "innovation seekers" (via Winsight Grocery Business). 

And double-sided receipts are just one of many initiatives the supermarket has undertaken in recent years to go greener in response to its target demographic. In 2019, for example, Sprouts saved 27 million pounds of foods from landfills by donating the food to hunger-relief programs in the country. The supermarket chain is also planning to make its new stores up to 20 percent smaller in order to reduce its carbon footprint. And, according to its annual report, Sprouts sources most of its dry and frozen products from the environmentally-conscious KeHe distributors. In March 2020, KeHe distributors announced that it is making a shift from diesel to low-carbon emission trucks fueled with renewable gas, in hopes to reduce its carbon emissions by 674 metric tons (which is roughly the equivalent of planting 11,120 trees) (via PR Newswire).  

What's it like to work at Sprouts?

There was a shirt on sale in 2019 that read, "We used to smile and then we worked at Sprouts" (via Reddit). The same year, Sprouts wrote in its annual report that it was worried about the potential of workers wanting to unionize, which might "distract the management team" and "negatively affect" their business. 

What do online forums like Indeed and Quora say? Work experiences probably depend on the Sprouts location. Some employees give five-star reviews, "love what they do," and think the place is a "productive" and "fun" place to work. On the flip side, just as many complain about poor management and mistreatment. Among the most common complaints? Cutting hours "to the point you can barely pay your insurance," "screaming," "belittling," "devious," and "unprofessional" management, "unachievable goals," and a "hostile" "disorganized" atmosphere characterized by "low morale" (via Quora and Indeed).  

Wages are nothing to write home about either. If Indeed's data can be believed, the average salary for a bagger at a Sprouts supermarket is 17 percent below the national average. And according to Zippia, while the average employee at Sprouts makes $28,393 a year, the grocery chain's higher-paying competitors (think: Wegmans) pay their employees between $10,000 and $15,000 more per year. Perhaps that's why, on average, a Sprouts Farmers Market employee lasts less than a year and a half on the job, before moving on.  

Environmental sustainability is clearly a priority for the grocery giant. Workers' rights? Maybe not.  

On a diet? Sprouts has a food for that

Around 45 million of us go on a diet each year (via Boston Medical). Are you one of them? Maybe you're following a Keto diet like Kim Kardashian. If you're a Miley Cyrus fan, Paleo's probably your thing (via Hello). Then again, you might choose to go the 30-day elimination, low-Fodmap, or raw-food route. Whatever your dietary needs, Sprouts probably has a wide variety of products to meet them. Not only this, but the grocery store's website is full of tips and tricks to help you make your diet a success.

Organic kale chips for a delicious raw food snack? Find it at Sprouts. Shopping for superfoods? Sprouts offers at least 24. In search of high-quality dairy alternatives for your plant-based diet? Sprouts has you covered and will suggest some recipes while they're at it. Or maybe you're itching for some plant-based chicken? Sprouts sells the first plant-based chicken product made from only five non-GMO ingredients available in the United States (via PR Newswire). The grocery chain's wide variety of organic fresh foods is what makes them one of the top 10 healthiest-grocery stores in the United States, as ranked by nutritionists (via Women's Health).  

Don't worry if you don't have a Sprouts near you yet. 2020 may be your year. Among other locations, in 2020 the supermarket has thus far announced openings in Baltimore, Maryland; New Tampa and Miramar, Florida; Dresher, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Wilmington, Delaware, and Cave Creek, Arizona.