A few weeks ago we took a look at Kroger‘s Private Brand Simple Truth in Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. With its “free from 101″ guidelines (free of 101 artificial preservatives and ingredients), the Simple Truth line was created to tap into the health-conscious Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods shoppers.
With some natural sparkling drinks and teas the line had a limited beverage selection. But that’s about to change. Kroger has teamed with beverage incubation company L.A. Libations to be it’s “category captain” and strengthen the Simple Truth brand and provide more first-to-market innovation.
When L.A. Libations came to Kroger last year, they presented five areas for potential industry growth: chia, healthy energy, aloe, relaxation and probiotics. Now, as the only outside firm helping to strategize Kroger’s continued growth in natural and organic products through Simple Truth, they face a tough challenge in creating differentiation and innovation into a Private Brand while going bottle to bottle against the industry leaders sitting next to them on the shelf. While some store sets currently have a natural store within a store area, others have the natural products in the same set as their conventional counterparts.
One thing is certain: the market is there. Kroger has seen Simple Truth sales at 33% higher than their original target, proving consumers are willing to support Private Brand offerings when the quality and values are there. It will be interesting to see what the L.A. Libations/Kroger teaming can bring to the shelf (starting in Ralph’s stores in Los Angeles), and whether or not consumers will buy in to the Simple Truth offerings in a fast-growing grocery category.