Today I went to Sprouts Farmer's Market, a grocery store chain I had never been to before but it was high up on my list. I'd heard that they had a lot of bulk bins for package free items, and that a lot of their produce was package free as well. I decided to go check it out outside of my normal grocery shopping this week because I wasn't sure how expensive it would be. I went with a small list of things I needed but also weren't urgent so I could see how zero-waste they really were.
At the front of the store they had bread in paper bags with small plastic cut-outs saying you could track their bread from grain to loaf. They didn't have any more information but the bread did look to be made locally. On their website, I found this article about how their bread ingredients are all completely traceable, but it didn't provide more information than that.
In the produce section, I found almost everything could be bought package-free. With exceptions like green beans and brussel sprouts that were in small plastic bags. While other produce items were in packaging, it seemed that there was always a package-free option as well. One example I found exciting was package free potatoes because I can't get those package free at my local Walmart. I also found spinach package free which was exciting because spinach is my favorite vegetable!
When it came to the bulk section I was a little disappointed. Their bins were still there but instead of having all of the products package-free, they were in small plastic baggies already. I do think that this was due to the pandemic, and I want to come back afterwards to see if I am able to get any nuts completely package free. They had signs up still that said "Scoop Your Heart Out" so I am certain that these were once true bulk bins. While it was disappointing, it makes perfect sense given the times that we are living in. However, I didn't end up buying anything from there.
Two things that were still package free though were spices and coffee. I want to keep this in mind the next time I'm out of a spice. I always keep the old spice jars so when we mix up our own seasoning blend we have a jar for it. But I'm excited to be able to bring my own jar and refill it here with what they had!
It was great to see the package free coffee also, although I didn't purchase any either since I don't have a coffee grinder. I have a post coming soon on my low-waste coffee routine, but if I ever move away from my coffee shop down the street I will definitely get a coffee grinder and come back here to get coffee package free.
The last thing I saw that was really cool was both almond butter and peanut butter stations! I didn't try it today, even though I was tempted, because it wasn't entirely clear if you could use your own jar or not, and since I wasn't running low on peanut butter I didn't feel like asking. But I will definitely call in advance and find out for sure before I go next time.
In the end, I'm definitely glad I made the trip out to Sprouts and I will come back in the future. However, due to the bulk bins being temporarily packaged goods, I probably won't make this a regular trip. Do you have a Sprouts in your area? And if so, let me know your thoughts!
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