Sprouts Farmers Market has rolled into Florida — literally.
In anticipation of 10 new store openings throughout this year, the specialty grocer hit the road, with the Sprouts Mobile Truck making more than 50 stops over the course of a 12-week Sunshine State Tour, Alisa Gmelich, the grocer’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview.
The truck began touring Florida in March, making its first stop in Jacksonville, Florida, and ending its road trip on May 27 in Sarasota, Florida. At each stop, Sprouts held a party with music, activities, giveaway items and staple products available for purchase. The grocer also promoted its overall health and wellness message to its potential future customers.
This is the first time Sprouts’ has taken its business on the road, and the tour proved to be a successful way to familiarize customers with the specialty grocer’s products and mission, Gmelich said.
Getting things rolling
The tour came to fruition with just one truck and two months of planning, Gmelich said.
Sprouts mainly promoted its tour on social media — primarily with Twitter. The grocer prompted people to follow the truck’s journey through the hashtag #SproutsOnTour, and also used the hashtag to push out its own promotions and notify followers of the truck’s next location.
Sprouts highlighted where its new store locations would be debuting throughout this year, such as one in The Villages, Florida, on 466 & Buena Vista Blvd. that opened mid-March, by having its truck visit the communities.
The Sprouts Mobile Truck carried three customer favorites from three different vendors — Mush’s overnight oats, Lesser Evil’s popcorn and Coco5’s all-natural, fruit-flavored coconut water.
The truck distributed fresh produce through Sprouts’ partner OZblu at some stops, but Gmelich noted that the truck mainly carried non-perishable products that the Florida market can expect to see in upcoming stores. For a potential future Sprouts tour, Gmelich said the grocer would consider carrying more of its private label items in addition to its partners’ products.
Connecting with the community
The Sprouts Mobile Truck did more than just bring its products to new markets, Gmelich said. The tour also served as a vehicle for the grocer to further its Healthy Communities Foundation, which supports the installation of gardens across the community, she explained.
During the first stop on the truck’s opening weekend in Jacksonville, Sprouts visited the John Love Early Childhood Learning Center and donated $10,000 to the Lift Jax organization, which focuses on eradicating poverty in the city, Gmelich said.
Other stops on the tour included the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, Gmelich said.
Though the Sprouts Mobile Truck’s Sunshine State tour has concluded, Gmelich noted that the grocer will likely roll out the truck again to more emerging markets.