Sprouts builds community at the local level. In metro Atlanta, where I call home, a relatively new player to area’s grocery store world, is doing things a differently to gain community awareness and acceptance.
Sprouts is positioned as “… a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices…” It’s management seems to understand, along with healthy food that supports its positioning, building relationships with its customers might be the key that unlocks a competitive advantage.
The community-based tactics Sprouts is putting into play build on each other. The first is an on-going series of demos and tastings.
Integrated into these fun and informative demos Sprouts is tapping into local food influencers. Recently members of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society (I am a member) were invited to attend a Game Day Cooking Demo. The focus was on how to prepare healthy snack foods to nosh on while watching the Super Bowl Game. But of course these recipes are delicious at any time!
Marisa Moore, a registered dietician, conducted the demo. Sprouts made the perfect choice with Marisa at the helm of this event versus choosing a chef. Not only did she add additional credibility to brand positioning but Marisa has a charming presence and wonderful way of explaining and engagement without talking down to her audience.
— Diva Foodies (@DivaFoodies) February 1, 2017
At the event we were warmly greeted by both a Sprouts’ staff member Abby Rowel and Marisa. They encouraged us to enjoy a brownie while we waited for the demo to begin. In all modesty, I must admit I make a pretty good brownie that is rich with chocolate. So I think of myself as a bit brownie connoisseur. The Sprouts’ brownies were wonderful. Just the right cake to chew ratio. Nice taste of chocolate without being over the top. And something else that lingered on my palate which I could not identify but it was delightful.
Surprise ~ the brownies were made from black beans. Really! Since there was not any flour it is gluten-free and a great vegetarian dessert. Sprouts kindly shared the recipe this us. For all brownie lovers here’s a new recipe to try. Let me know if you make it.
Sprouts’ Black Bean Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.
1 can Sprouts no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Sprouts unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Sprouts extra-virgin coconut oil
½ – ¾ cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a mixer or food processor. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until the center is set. Cool, cut into serving size pieces.
Enjoy the surprised looks from your guests when they learn about the black beans.
Marisa feels making a dish “healthy” should focus on ingredients versus only using low-fat foods.
As an example, Marisa showed us how to turn the traditional spinach dip, made with sour cream, healthier and with less calories. She substitutes whipped full fat cottage cheese for sour cream.
One must have good crunch food when it comes to enjoying a game, a movie or binge watching your favorite TV show. Marisa showed us how to make popcorn more delicious by adding healthy ingredients and flavors e.g. garlic powder, hot peppers, etc.. One of her tips was fine salt will stick better to the corn and not run off to the bottom of your bowl.
Thanks to the Atlanta Morningside Sprouts for a healthy and fun tasting!
Abby Rowal, Sprouts’ Staff
The invitation to attend this free food demo at Sprouts in the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta was part of a blogger influencer program affiliated with the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society. I was given an honorarium for social media content creation and promotion. All opinions are those of the author.