grocery Kroger

Kroger\’s Simple Truth To Innovate In Beverages

\"SIMPLEA 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.



Social Media A-Buzz About Kroger

\"KrogerKroger is in the middle of a BzzAgent social media promotion for their Kroger Private Brand products, and word is getting around. The campaign is designed around bringing the family together for an easy to prepare Spring Dinner using Kroger\’s simple to prepare entrees and side dishes.

BzzAgent is a social marketing company that connects people and their favorite brands. They put products in the hands of hundreds of thousands of real consumers and help them share their opinions about them with friends and family via reviews, Facebook posts, photos and videos, blog posts and more.

BzzAgents, the people who receive coupons, try the product and then spread the word to their immediate circle, have posted recipes for what they\’ve done with the pork tenderloin they tried. Everything from a Mississippi Mud Roast to a Brown Sugar and Dijon Pork Loin has made the list. The reviews have been overall strong for the Private Brand products.

A sampling of reviews on BzzAgent:

KROGERS has a handle on it!
March 26, 2013 by katrina777
Krogers has come such a long way. When my children were small I purchased their products because of the price. the taste back in the day was not so great. Well…..May I say wow, wow, and wow. Krogers has come a long way baby with their taste and are still a great price in comparison to other products. Cake and frosting just as good as the competitors. Biscuits and mashed potatoes…cannot tell the difference in brands. I hope they will keep producing such great items.

Kroger = Yummy
March 26, 2013 by firenice03
Where to start isn\’t hard here… I will begin as I walked through the door the day my bride cooked up this tenderloin. This time \’round, with winter still having a hold on us here in Ohio, the Crock Pot was the solid choice. She takes a garlic seasoning (I\’ll go into detail in the recipe section) and lets it simmer a majority of the day and as soon as walk up to the house you can begin to smell that tenderloin, as you enter through the threshold its over, I have to sample. Lean, moist and tender; yes it is… We have a local Kroger which is typically our grocery of choice and do buy the tenderloins frequently. I have had these cut down to 1\” thick or better for chops, have smoked these on the grill as well and make for good pulled pork. But back to this meal along with the potatoes and crescent rolls. I want to add that we have been trying to eat better watching bad carbs and sugars, so ts been a while since we\’ve had rolls, but MAN they were good, my 4 year loved them too. The potatoes were good, though I suggest spicing to your liking. We finished the meal off with a cake. It was my oldest birthday (turned 7), cake/icing was good – cake moist and light, my wife added \”cotton candy\” flavoring to the icing which mixed up well. Again, watching the sugars, but was good. Timing; the tenderloin does take the most time but if using a Crock Pot, toss it in early, let it go all day – then its just minutes for the rest of the meal. A delicious meal from first whiff to last bite. I would highly recommend for anyone. If you haven\’t tried the Kroger brand, give it a try its right up with any name brand…

\"TwoStay at home mommy blogger, Meredith, of the Two Texas Sisters blog, shared her experience on her blog to help build buzz. She included pictures of all the meals she was able to make with the samples and mentioned the pass-along coupons she was given to share.

Today more than ever, consumers are using social media to learn about other consumers\’ experiences with a product. And they\’re more likely to listen to a friend\’s recommendation of a product than a standard newspaper circular. Kudos to Kroger for stepping outside the box and capitalizing on BzzAgent and social media as a brand building opportunity.


Kroger Tells the \”Simple Truth\” on TV

\"KrogerIn mid November of this past year Cincinnati based grocer Kroger announced the launch of its newest Private Brand Simple Truth. Launch components have included an integrated marketing campaign, involving both in-store and online components. In-store communications include branded shelf signs, stanchions in produce and meat sections and front-of-store standees and banners in more than 2,200 Kroger and Banner Brand stores. Online elements include a Simple Truth website and a social media presence on branded Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. The last element is this fully branded Simple Truth commercial- the spot moves well beyond the traditional grocery price/value and attempts to evoke a brand-centric emotive lifestyle. The spot has been in medium rotation on broadcast and cable TV as well as Hulu.



Private Brand Wine – Peter Byck Speaks

\"\"This month wine and grape industry trade magazine and website Wines & Vines features a fascinating and detailed article featuring Peter Byck, co-founder, president and CEO of Winery Exchange, a provider of Private Brand wine, beer and spirit brands for retailers. The article recaps a presentation Byck gave to an audience of students, faculty and wine industry professionals at the University of California, Davis (UCD).

\"\"According to the article: Byck’s talk, presented through the UCD Robert Mondavi Institute and the Department of Viticulture and Enology, was the eighth annual presentation in the Walt Klenz Lectureship Series sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates (formerly Beringer Blass Wine Estates) in honor of former Beringer CEO Walt Klenz. In his introduction, Klenz said, “Winery Exchange is a new type of wine company that is looking at the wine business in a different way, building intellectual capital instead of asset-based capital.”

The theme of Byck’s talk was “Entrepreneurship in the Wine Industry—Balancing Risk and Reward in an Ever-Changing Market.” Byck discussed business lessons learned during the course of his career and tied them to what were inevitably Private Brand focused highlights in the company history.

Winery Exchange owns no winery facilities or vineyards, and just recently it started entering into grape-purchasing contracts. “We’re a non-asset-based wine company for the world and act as a one-stop shop for retailers to come to us,” Byck explained. Winery Exchange develops and manages Private Brands for U.K. retailers Tesco and Sainsbury’s—and for U.S. retailers such as Supervalu (brands include Jenica Peak, Pacific Flyway, Q Vineyards), Whole Foods (carries H&G, Grandmaster, PushPin Rose and others), Cost Plus World Market (Foodies), and many other brands for other retailers.

One of the company’s largest Private Brand wine  clients is the Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger supermarket chain with more than 2,400 U.S. stores that include Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food4Less and others. Kroger’s private-label wine brands include Hawkstone, Parkers Estate and Arrow Creek.

Winery Exchange has a five-year plan to grow Kroger’s control wine brand share from 2% in 2012 to 15% in 2017. A recent Kroger wine brand launch was Acronym GR8 Red Wine, dominated by Pinot Noir and Syrah, which hit the shelves in October 2012 in the $9-$15 per bottle price range. Byck said 30,000 cases of Acronym sold in its first two months on the market.

Read the entire article.


Kroger Announces Official Launch of Simple Truth

\"\"Almost eleven months after we first wrote about Cincinnati, Ohio based grocer Kroger brand consolidation and subsequent introduction of their new Private Brand Simple Truth the retailer officially announced nationwide availability of its new Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands. Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products are free from 101 artificial preservatives and ingredients that some customers have said they do not want in their foods. Simple Truth Organic products are certified organic by the USDA. In addition, the Simple Truth brand offers several USDA-certified natural products, including meat, chicken and eggs.

The launch of these brands comes at a time when consumer demand for organic food is on the rise, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which notes that 78% of U.S. families – more than ever before – say they are choosing organic foods. Together, Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands offer customers access to nearly 250 \”free from 101\” items and organic products for simply better living.

\”While organic products are available in most conventional grocery stores, our customers told us that labels can be confusing, and there\’s a general belief in the marketplace that organic means more expensive,\” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Vice President of Natural Foods for Kroger. \”At Kroger we understand these challenges, so we\’re offering our shoppers the Simple Truth Organic brand, an easy, more clearly labeled and affordable way to buy organic products.\”

Spanning more than 30 product categories, Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products provide much of the U.S. population access to reasonably priced \”free from 101\” items and certified-organic products. Categories include a wide variety of foods such as milk, salads, dried fruit, sodas, yogurt, chips and quinoa.

All Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products are clearly marked with the brand\’s green circular logo and contain straightforward ingredient statements. Simple Truth Organic items display the USDA organic seal on the front of packaging, while Simple Truth products have highly visible identifiers that indicate their category.

\”Most shoppers don\’t have time to browse grocery stores for quality food, and no one wants to spend more money than necessary,\” said Carolyn Brown, MS, RD, Simple Truth spokesperson and nutritionist at Foodtrainers, a private practice in New York. \”Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic flips shoppers\’ expectations by delivering value-priced products that can be found in almost every aisle at their neighborhood Kroger store.\”

About the Simple Truth Launch Program
Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands are being introduced to customers nationwide through an integrated marketing campaign, involving both in-store and online components. In-store communications include branded shelf signs, stanchions in produce and meat sections and front-of-store standees and banners in more than 2,200 Kroger and Banner Brand stores. Online elements include a Simple Truth website and a social media presence on branded Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands will be rolled out in phases beginning this month with new food introductions, including cereals, frozen pizza, and vegetarian options, happening regularly. By January 2013, both brands will collectively expand to more than 40 product categories and appear in many aisles at Kroger\’s Family of Stores.

For additional product information, including local store availability, product assortment and the full list of the 101 artificial preservatives and ingredients which are not found in Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products, please visit