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Thrive Market’s Jeremiah McElwee reflects on the retailer’s rapid rise

In just over five years, online natural retailer has half a million members and offers 6,500 different products

Looking back at the last five years since online natural retailer Thrive Market first launched, Jeremiah McElwee, its senior vice president of merchandising & product development, seems to still be in awe of the sales growth and customer reception of this little startup that could. Today Thrive Market is the largest national non-GMO food retailer in the United States, with more than 500,000 member shoppers.

That growth can clearly be seen in Thrive Market’s extensive product offering. McElwee noted that Thrive’s initial product catalog, which he and his team developed, included roughly 2,500 products. “Now we have over 6,500 products,” he said. Among the additions have been a high-quality frozen meat and seafood program that brought Thrive Market into the perishables category; a highly curated, clean wine program; and the launch of CBD supplements and topicals.

One of the most significant growth areas has been in Thrive Market’s private label business, which at last count comprised 660 items.

“We’re launching a new product just about every week, which is really exciting,” McElwee told us. “But I think for me what's been most rewarding and what's been most exciting is we've been able to really deepen supply chain partnerships. We're forming direct trade partnerships with farmers around the world, wherever it's relevant. We're working with several farmers across many different categories to move from traditional organic operations into regenerative. We're doing a lot of that groundwork ourselves, which is educating, talking to them about other diversity. Over 95% of the products we launch have been certified organic to start with.”


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