Winning Shopper Trust with Tiny Bean Sprouts

Jan 29, 2019


Zhe Zeng
Hui You Group, Baoding, China
Annual sales: $ 370m
Difficulty: Medium


The story of the humble bean sprout is hardly as simple and straightforward as it looks. In a Chinese cookery, bean sprouts are one of the most affordable sources of fiber and Vitamin C, a common material for munchy and crispy side dishes and, unfortunately, one of the perishable products that are shrouded in wrongdoings and doubts. Theoretically, beans require only time and water to sprout, but an ugly reality of the market is that many producers choose to speed up the production by adding chemical fertilizers, also known as boosters, or slash costs by using low quality beans and reusing problem-quality water without proper treatment. Shoppers kept asking, “Where can I get clean sprouts?” and our buyers were feeling insecure and desperate as suppliers kept failing in inspections and on-site reviews. Everything changed when we decided to take the game into our own hands and build an automated sprouting line.


fully automated sprouting in controlled environment

7 days
of natural growth with strict cycles of inspections

Same-day delivery 
& merchandising in cold-chain

Why it Works

For our Shoppers

Affordable & Fresh Daily
Bean sprouts are a popular and very affordable choice of freshness. Good, clean sprouts are a popular and budget-friendly source of fiber and Vitamin C. When cooked at home, a stand-alone bean sprout dish usually cost less than a quarter of a dollar (one-pound portion).

Fun Cookery
Quality bean sprouts require little cooking and go well with many meat courses. For the young generation of shoppers, it offers another reason to try new cuisine and enjoy an effortless and fun family meal.

Healthy Diet for Kids

Organic materials and chemical-free production make the bean sprout among the most recommended diet for children, especially those with weight issues and dietary disorders. It also means peace of mind and reassurance for parents concerned about the issue of antibiotics and pesticide residues.

For our Store

Good Traffic
As a high-turnover fresh item that should be consumed within eight hours, bean sprouts are popular and attract swarms of health-conscious shoppers.

Indicator of Shopper Behavior
As a high-penetration item in China, bean sprouts enjoy a large, if not the largest, household popularity on a regular basis, which means a very good entry point to collect and predict shopper behaviors and preferences. 

Boost in Confidence
The bean sprout category looks humble and not so lucrative, but it provides a huge boost in shopper confidence of the store’s commitment to food safety, operation standards, and community care.

Leads to Bigger Sales
Everyday family dinners in China always have bean sprouts, but they seldom stand alone. They sell well with profitable foods such as pork, beef, and mutton, and lead to big, family-size purchases. In fact, fried bean sprouts with tender mutton slices, seasoned with cumin is a classic dish!



  1. Use premium beans, which grow into plump, crunchy, and glistening sprouts.
  2. Reduce human effort and errors by installing an automated control of water spraying and temperature/humidity control. They are not pricey, and are worth every cent.
  3. Complete regular inspection and compliance checks.
  4. Containers can be a source of contamination. Daily sanitation and cold-chain are required.
  5. Sell all sprouts within 24 hours before they outgrow or lose water. Good prediction of product, timely order, and just-in-time delivery are the keys to daily freshness.


Regular pricing is recommended, but for good customer loyalty and premium quality, a 50 percent mark-up is common and well-received by the shoppers.

Pro Tips

  • Ensure consistency with regular quality checks, especially when you grow different batches of beans.
  • Practice good prediction of product, timely order, and just-in-time delivery.
  • Invest in marketing and customer communication, starting with the older and quality-sensitive groups to families with kids.
  • Establish trust with shoppers by offering a factory tour.

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