The specialty grocer saw exponential growth in year-over-year store visits and has been outpacing the industry average since mid-2023, according to Placer.ai data.

Sprouts sees growth spurt in store visits, report finds

Courtesy of Sprouts Farmers Market

Dive Brief:

  • Sprouts Farmers Market is outpacing the grocery industry average in year-over-year store visits with its visits up roughly 13% and 12% in February and March, respectively, compared to the industry’s approximate 8% and 8.5% growth during the same period, according to recent Placer.ai data. 
  • The specialty grocer has been outperforming the industry in visits since mid-2023 —  a trend mainly driven by its ambitious, ongoing expansion efforts, the report noted.  
  • Placer.ai also credits Sprouts’ primarily high-income customer base for “helping the chain stay ahead of the grocery pack,” as the segment is likely not as impacted by ongoing high food prices. 

Dive Insight:

Since July 2023, Sprouts has consistently managed to stay ahead of the grocery industry in terms of monthly store visit growth compared to the same time a year ago. In July the specialty grocer surpassed the industry average by 0.1% and has only gained momentum since, hitting exponential growth in February and March, when it saw monthly store visit growth hit double digits, according to Placer.ai’s recent report.

Sprouts outpaces grocery industry in store visit growth

Monthly visits compared to previous year

Sprouts’ expansion has fueled this ongoing store visits uptick, Placer.ai noted. The specialty grocer met its goal of opening 30 new stores in 2023, with its growth strategy zeroed in on meeting its core customer base of health enthusiasts and selective shoppers, entering new markets and relying on its newer small-format store model. 

By the end of this year, Sprouts aims to open 35 new stores in both new and established markets. 

While shoppers continue to be more price-conscious due to the ongoing effects of inflation, Sprouts’ strategy of catering to and attracting high-income household shoppers has supported its ongoing foot traffic gains. 

Sprouts’ median household income in the grocer’s captured market is nearly $92,000. In comparison, the nationwide median household income is $76,000, according to Placer.ai.

“The relative affluence of Sprouts shoppers means that this segment may not be as impacted by high food prices as other grocery shoppers – so the retail headwinds predicted this year are not likely to slow down Sprout’s growth potential as the chain continues expanding its reach in 2024,” Placer.ai noted in its findings.

  • Mapping Sprouts’ ambitious growth plan By Peyton Bigora, Jasmine Ye Han, Shaun Lucas • Dec. 13, 2023

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