Kroger’s Simple Truth Launches “Emerge” Plant Based Meats

Kroger announced today the launch of Simple Truth Emerge: Plant-Based Meats. Emerge is a sub-brand of Simple Truth that offers fresh burger patties and grinds at affordable prices. Simple Truth Emerge joins the Simple Truth Plant Based collection introduced last year, offering vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sour cream, deli slices, sausage, and other products.

The Simple Truth Plant Based collection was first announced, including a sneak peek of Simple Truth Emerge, last September at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, where Gil Phipps, Kroger’s vice president of Our Brands, spoke on a panel alongside other industry experts about the importance of accelerating the marketplace for plant-based foods. 

“Kroger continues to be at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation. As more of our customers explore and embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, Simple Truth Emerge is a fresh innovation that provides a flavorful meat alternative that cooks comparably,” said Phipps. “Kroger believes that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable and delicious food, no matter who you are, how you shop or what you like to eat. And Simple Truth Emerge is an illustration of the commitment that Kroger has to providing our 11 million daily customers with new choices that fit their evolving eating styles and preferences.”

Simple Truth Emerge patties and grinds offer the same taste, texture and sizzle on the grill or in a pan as beef and are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten and soy. Simple Truth Emerge patties and grinds provide 20 grams of pea-based protein per serving and are located in the packaged traditional meat case.

Last month, Kroger launched a 16-week merchandising test with the Plant-Based Foods Association in a combined 60 stores across two markets to measure the sales and engagement impact of adding plant-based meat sets within the traditional meat set. In addition to plant-based patties and sausages, the test includes deli slices, roasts, seitan, and jackfruit. The test aims to produce actionable data and insights to inform merchandising plans and optimize plant-based food sales.

“Kroger is driving the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, valued supplier partnerships, and industry-leading fresh merchandising strategies,” said Joe Grieshaber, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “Kroger anticipates interest in plant-based products to continue to grow in 2020, with the category being one of the key drivers of our natural and organic sales.”

“Customers can find plant-based foods throughout Kroger grocery aisles that can be incorporated into one meal, or every meal,” continued Grieshaber. “And Kroger is excited to launch 50 additional Simple Truth Plant Based products this year, expanding the selection we offer to our customers and growing our Simple Truth brand, which exceeded $2.3 billion in sales last year.”

With new Simple Truth Plant Based products arriving in stores throughout the year, the collection includes easy-to-identify packaging, featuring a distinct plant-based icon that helps customers locate the items.

The entire Simple Truth product portfolio includes more than 1,550 natural and organic products, with new items launching monthly.

Kroger Launches Simple Truth Sales Promotion

Through Jan. 22, Kroger is hosting a natural and organic sales promotion, featuring Simple Truth products, 5x digital coupons offering more than $100 in customer savings and in-store food sampling events. During the promotion, customers can download coupons via Kroger.com or the Kroger app to receive 75 cents off Simple Truth Emerge patties and $1.50 off Simple Truth Emerge grinds.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.