SPINS and Fresh Thyme Announce New Partnership

CHICAGO, IL October 9, 2014 – SPINS, the leading information and service provider for the Natural and Specialty Products Industry, has announced a new partnership with Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, a natural retailer that is bringing the farmer’s market concept to the Midwest and is expected to undergo explosive growth within the next five years, opening 60 locations by 2019.


The two companies are uniting to provide Fresh Thyme with information and resources to better support its stores while further enhancing SPINS’ Natural grocery channel POS reporting service, which represents a growing coalition of natural retailers throughout the US. As part of the new agreement, SPINS and Fresh Thyme will launch a key account data service, providing category, brand and item-level information specific to the chain. SPINS will also support Fresh Thyme in its merchandising decisions and in expanding its category management practices so that together, the two companies will find the optimal assortment for the retailer and maintain the integrity of its product blend.


Fresh Thyme’s store concept may be new to the Heartland of America, but it’s anything but new to CEO Chris Sherrell, who launched the company in 2012 after 20 years in the grocery business, including heading up Sunflower Farmers Markets. Visitors to new Fresh Thyme locations can expect to find a strong emphasis on fresh produce, natural meats, healthy groceries and bulk foods offerings. More than half of the stores’ real estate is dedicated to fresh food, with a ‘farmers market style’ produce department directly in the center of the store. Shelves are stocked with mostly natural and organic groceries, with extensive vitamin and body care departments rounding out the product mix.


To select the locations of Fresh Thyme stores, Sherrell took 10 years of consumer data, came up with targeted consumer profiles and searched for “hot spots” across the Midwest to find markets suitable for their stores. Fresh Thyme will have 10 stores opened by the end of 2014 and has an aggressive growth plan for 2015, including opening 16 new locations. In summer of 2015, Fresh Thyme will be planting roots in Downers Grove, outside of Chicago, for the retailer’s new headquarters.


Fresh Thyme’s planned usage of data and insights aren’t just limited to their search for suitable store locations. “We see our store concept as ahead of the curve,” says Fresh Thyme President & CEO Chris Sherrell. “In this industry, it’s essential to evolve and create excitement amongst consumers. Partnering with SPINS and tapping into their data and expertise will help keep us abreast of emerging trends, support development of the optimal product mix, pinpoint opportunities and better understand our competition to fulfill the unmet needs of consumers in the Midwest region.”


“We welcome Fresh Thyme aboard at pivotal point in terms of growth within the industry,” says SPINS CEO Tony Olson. “With natural products continuing to see tremendous gains in dollar sales and distribution, retailers entering the space have a prime opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand, given they have a deep understanding of their consumers and the evolving dynamics of the marketplace. We are excited to partner with Fresh Thyme to provide the insights and resources they need as they quickly become a key player in the space.”



At SPINS (www.spins.com), we believe there’s more than meets the eye to data. As the leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics and consulting for the Natural, Organic and Specialty Products Industry, we strive to transform raw data into intelligent and actionable business solutions. Our mission is to maximize the value of information for growing the natural products industry. We carry out our mission by providing information, insight and a common language for the industry with which to understand and analyze consumer, retail and broad marketplace dynamics.

Please direct any SPINS press-related inquiries to Jennifer Fuller at 847.242.1381 or [email protected].


About Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a new full-service specialty retailer focusing on fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings, all at amazing values. The store’s signature offering is an extensive produce department with organic, local fruits and vegetables. Fresh Thyme’s full-service offerings include a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, natural and organic groceries, dairy and frozen, as well as vitamins and body care products. Fresh Thyme is offering a NEW shopping experience to the Midwest and is scheduled to open a total of 60 stores by 2019. Learn more by visiting freshthyme.com, and be sure to keep in touch by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.