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Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, with more than two dozen stores in Arizona, California and Texas, announced yesterday that it has launched a new and revamped website that is designed to provide “customers with a friendly, easy-to-use format enabling them to view Sprouts weekly ads, access health information, healthy recipes, and sign up online for events and lectures.

“The website, designed to help customers achieve vitality and maximum health, includes tools that provide customers with a better shopping experience through educational resources. Customers can access information on topics including natural remedies to help combat fatigue, ease allergy symptoms, manage menopausal symptoms with holistic methods and improve digestion.”

KC's View:
Here’s the sentence that blew me away in the Sprouts announcement:

In 2007, Sprouts hosted nearly 850 events educating customers on a variety of topics.

And, the company said, it plans even more such events in 2008 and 2009, at a time when the company plans to open another eight stores and expand into Colorado.

That isn’t a typo – 850 events.

That strikes me as a lot for a small chain. But it clearly means that the organization is committed to an information-based marketing that makes a lot of sense in the current environment.

Some will say that a chain such as Sprouts, which has a health-and-wellness orientation, needs to educate its current and potential customers. True enough. But considering all the headlines about food lately, few of them positive, it seems to me that more companies ought to seek to enlighten their shoppers and illuminate the shopping experience.