The transformation is complete. Sunflower Markets have merged with Sprouts Farmers Markets. Outside signage has changed to Sprouts.
I went into Sprouts the other day and definitely noticed the change. The interior seemed more crisp or perhaps better described as less cluttered. For instance, the produce department seemed much more organized and not as helter skelter.
The wine department looked as though someone gave it a good polishing. Wines were better designated and with far more choices.
I am hoping the prepared food is more on the caliber of Whole Foods/Wild Oats than Sunflower Market. Custom-made sandwiches start at $2.99. Does that means made to order?
There were more new products and brands throughout the store including apple bread from Apple Annie’s Orchard in Willcox and individually wrapped biscuits and chunks of cornbread in the bakery case.
In the dairy case, I saw different kinds of coconut milk. Since I am lactose intolerant I have been using more almond milk and coconut milk and look forward to trying different brands. Coconut seems to be everywhere — in oils, in beauty care, in milk, in water.
Their monthly circular has coupons for more deals. According to the circular, there are four essentials supplements for healthier living — probiotics, omega oils, super foods, and multivitamins. Here’s an intriguing product — Doctor’s Best Natural Brain Enhancers featuring GPC & PS. Anyone ever try it? My brain can use a bit of enhancing and mood elevating. (better price at Sprouts). There’s even an entire line of nutrient dense products for people who have had bariatric surgery. And gluten-free products are more prominently displayed near the front of the store instead of in the rear.
Double ad Wednesdays are still in effect. I like that. According to the in-store weekly circular, Sunflower Market and Sprouts are a lot alike. How so? Both have headquarters in Phoenix. Both sell natural and organic foods. (I have a problem with the overuse of the word “natural” to describe foods but that’s another blog post entirely.) Both offer wide open floor plan with emphasis on fresh produce and great values. And both boast about their customer service. Show me; don’t tell me.
I had a negative customer service experience in Sunflower a few months ago and didn’t return until it became Sprouts. When I go grocery shopping my brain has the uncanny ability to remember the price of every item that I put into the shopping cart. Once I drive out of the parking lot, it fades but while in the store I remember the prices. At the checkout counter the clerk ran up an item at a different price than I remembered. Now I don’t remember the item nor do I remember the price but it was somewhere around the meats and deli on the west side of the aisle. The price difference was 49 cents. I mentioned what I thought was the lower price and the clerk gave me a disgusting look and called someone to the checkout who checked out the price and said I was wrong. I was embarrassed. I mostly buy what’s on sale and only what I need. I paid and left the store. Before driving away I went back in and when I was about 40 feet from the product display, I saw another employee messing with the prices. So the computer had one price but the display had the price that I claimed it was. Human error! At that point, I guess I could’ve complained but did not. My uncanny ability to remember prices was still intact but the negative customer experience lingered until Sprouts sprouted.
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