Report: Kroger tops, Sprouts second in produce - The Packer

Report: Kroger tops, Sprouts second in produce

05/01/2014 01:22:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

A Wells Fargo Securities study of some of the most competitive grocery markets in the U.S. found Kroger No. 1 among consumers, with Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market popular for its fresh produce.

The study, “Grocery: The Battle For Basket Share” by senior analyst Kate Wendt, surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque — all markets where Sprouts and Kroger banners compete.

“Our goal was to see how consumers are allocating their grocery dollars when they have a wide range of options,” Wendt wrote in the executive summary, “rather than a national study that might underscore success of certain players we wanted to evaluate such as Sprouts, simply because they do not have a presence in certain states/markets.”

The report also included an in-store pricing study in Houston comparing more than 200 overlapping items from Sprouts to conventional and natural/specialty markets.

Produce was a key factor in Sprouts’ popularity, according to the study, contributing toward a “surprisingly large market share in produce.”

According to the report, Sprouts was the second-most-shopped retailer for produce among all grocery stores, with 48% of respondents shopping at Sprouts, 25% of those more over the past year.

Sprouts’ produce pricing played a big role in that popularity. The report found that “Sprouts’ prices on overlapping grocery items were well below all of the traditional and specialty competitors we examined, led by significantly lower prices on produce and other perishables.”

Produce prices were 32% below Whole Foods, 24% below The Fresh Market, 15% below Kroger, 17% below Randalls and 16% below H.E. Butt’s Central Market.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said their primary grocery shop was Kroger, more than double the second place primary shopping destination, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. No. 3 was Safeway, with 11% of shoppers saying it was their primary grocery destination.

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