Gina's Checkout: Sprouts Farmers Market Cocoa-Hazelnut Filled Churros
Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Gina’s Checkout,” the first in a series of monthly features in which Store Brands Managing Editor Gina Acosta tests and reviews private brand products.
As name brand loyalty decreases among consumers, private brands are riding a wave of popularity. Retailers and suppliers are leveraging this shifting consumer landscape by offering new and premium offerings in private brands. Every month we will review private brand products that are new, innovative or even old standbys that are stalwarts of sales growth. Got an idea for a review? We want to hear from you! Please send tips and product suggestions to [email protected], and don’t forget to follow @GinasCheckout on Twitter and Facebook.
So let’s get to this edition’s product review:
Phoenix-based grocer Sprouts Farmers Market knew early on that more consumers were gravitating toward private brands. The company, which can’t open stores fast enough, has been expanding its own brand assortment, focused on innovative products that hit all the right notes when it comes to trends, taste and value. The strategy is resonating with shoppers: Sprouts’ private brand sales have been growing at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to its latest fiscal report.
The grocer’s latest private brand innovation is located in the dessert section of the freezer case, right next to the frozen apple pie and cookie dough: Cocoa-Hazelnut Filled Churros.
Churros, a popular snack or dessert that originated in Spain, are a hot trend among consumers. More restaurants are adding churros to their menus than ever before, according to market researcher Technomic. And retailers looking to attract multicultural shoppers, or consumers who love snacking on ethnic foods, are adding churros to their frozen snack assortments.
The Sprouts product caught my eye because, although many retailers sell churros and chocolate-filled churros, I’m not aware of any retailer that sells cocoa-hazelnut churros. With the popularity of chocolate-hazelnut spreads such as Nutella at an all-time high, the idea of putting that type of spread into a churro seemed like a good one. The packaging on the Sprouts product is attractive, with Spanish-style typography, a photo of churros on a plate, and “Made in Spain” displayed prominently on the box. When you open the package, there’s a plastic bag containing around nine churros, and they seem smaller or shorter than the churros displayed on the box. But size is no big deal when it comes to these beauties. After about 10 minutes in the oven, you’ve got crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside churros perfect for dipping in a cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. At $3.99 for 8 ounces, that’s a value that might prove irresistible to many consumers.
Overall score: 98/100
Tested: December 2018