Progressive Grocer | January 11, 2017

(Full article available here.)

To help consumers live more healthfully, Earth Fare is introducing an expanded store footprint, a revamped loyalty program, new exclusive brands, and Live Longer with Earth Fare, a campaign encouraging shoppers to select “only the cleanest, healthiest foods.”

The grocer’s longtime Food Philosophy forbids hundreds of chemicals and ingredients in the products it carries, while its more recent Boot List bans hundreds more. Among the targeted items are high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial fats, trans fats, bleached or bromated flour, added hormones, and antibiotics. On the other hand, the company boasts that it has a higher percentage of fresh organic produce on offer than any other supermarket.

“If the Food Philosophy and Boot List are our constitution, then our more than 2,800 Earth Fare team members comprise our enforcement agency, constantly monitoring and filtering ingredients to ensure customers find only the cleanest foods in our stores,” noted Earth Fare President and CEO Frank Scorpiniti. “We believe, and science supports us, that the better you eat the healthier, happier and longer life you can live. Today, we are dedicating ourselves to shouting louder as advocates for healthy food and the power it has on our health and our lives.”

“Our Boot List represents the highest level of commitment to offer the cleanest selection of food for our customers,” added Justin Jackson, the grocer’s Chief Merchandising Officer. “Our entire team takes great pride in reading the labels so you don’t have to, because at the end of the day it’s about much more than selling groceries – it’s about living longer and making it easier to do so.”

To get that message to more people, Earth Fare is growing its store footprint in new and existing markets, including a store slated to open in Roanoke, Va.; rolling out dozens of new and exclusive private-brand items; relaunching its website with more healthy-living resources, including a new eight-week series with wellness videos and recipes to ease the transition to better nutrition; and offering a new loyalty program, Healthy Rewards, with what it calls “a substantially improved value proposition and [an] improved customer experience.”

Moreover, for the first time ever, the company is sharing its Boot List with competitors. “We have 40 years’ experience with what not to sell, and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of Americans, we are willing to share our commonsense criteria and the lessons we have learned with other supermarket leaders,” explained Scorpiniti. “Whether you are a conventional supermarket or one of the so-called ‘fresh and healthy’ new entrants to the market, this is where our industry needs to get to, the sooner the better. My team and I will catch the next flight to meet with any management team if it will help our competitors come clean.”

Asheville, N.C.-based Earth Fare operates 39 stores across the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

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