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    Sprouts Farmers Market Plants Roots in Texas

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sprouts Farmers Market, a natural foods chain with 13 locations in California and Arizona, said it is embarking on an aggressive expansion plan for Arizona and Texas in the next five years.

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sprouts Farmers Market, a natural foods chain with 13 locations in California and Arizona, said it is embarking on an aggressive expansion plan for Arizona and Texas in the next five years.

    It will open its first Texas store in Plano on July 13, with a second location in Flower to follow mid-November. The Plano Sprouts, at 33,000 square feet, will be slightly larger than its Phoenix stores, and its product-mix will differ in that it will incorporate "local produce and other products unique to the region," Sprouts spokeswoman Patti Milligan told Progressive Grocer.

    Although it is moving into Whole Foods Market's home turf, Milligan doesn't view the natural foods giant as a direct competitor.

    "We have competed successfully with Whole Foods in two other markets -- in Southern California and Phoenix, and have done well," she explained. "We really see our customers as different from those of Whole Foods. We appeal to a band of shoppers that certainly do enjoy healthy eating, but are a bit more price/value oriented, and like the atmosphere of an old-fashioned farmers market. The farmers market is a strong trend, as consumers are looking for an alternative to the big box grocery stores. We fill that unique niche."

    Sprouts specializes in farm fresh produce, offers a large selection of vitamins and supplements, all natural meats, fresh seafood, bins full of bulk foods, an extensive selection of natural and organic grocery items, rBST free milk, imported cheeses, deli meats and more.

    -- Joseph Tarnowski

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