This is part of Supermarket News’ 2019 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here.
If you’re not swayed by the trends toward better-for-you food and responsible sourcing, talk to Nick Green.
The co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market is one of the more enthusiastic spokesmen for natural, organic and non-GMO groceries and sustainable supply-chain practices. What’s more, he leads a company already on the cutting edge: an online-only, membership-based retailer selling “green” groceries at a 25% to 50% savings.
Launched in late 2014, Los Angeles-based Thrive now has more than 500,000 members. Its founders believe consumers should have easy access to food that’s “made of real ingredients, kind to the environment, reasonably priced, catered to our needs and delicious.” Green (left) said Thrive aims to create the “un-Amazon” e-commerce experience and not try to be the “everything store.”
“We really want to be hyper-curated and offer unique programs with really innovative products and producers — not just give utility but actually tell a story,” he said in an interview with SN. “It’s been really exciting to see the growth rate accelerate and to see consumer interest and passion for the brand grow as we’ve leaned into what we think is the right thing to do and aligned with our mission.”
In April, Thrive entered the perishables arena with the launch of Thrive Market Meat & Seafood, including frozen beef, pork, poultry and seafood. The retailer assembled its own supply chain by partnering with small and midsize farmers and fishermen around the world who use ethical, sustainable and regenerative raising practices.
“Our goal is to create an alternative to the industrial agricultural model,” Green told SN at the time. “We see this as an opportunity to have a new paradigm for protein production that’s not just based on yield and cost but also takes into account human health, animal welfare and environmental impact.”
The launch furthered Thrive’s efforts to become a full-service online grocer. Before that, the retailer sold only consumer packaged goods, such as natural and organic groceries, snacks, supplements, beauty care, home care and baby products.
More recently, in October, Thrive debuted a line of “clean” wines made from organic, biodynamic or sustainably farmed grapes sourced from small and midsize European and U.S. producers. The affordably priced wines have no added sugar, pesticides or other additives; are low in sulfites; and are curated by a master sommelier for taste.
“We view this as one of those huge opportunities to dramatically change the landscape of a category,” Green said.