Kroger Lowers Private Brand & CPG Brand Prices in Houston

\"Kroger\"This past week Kroger, announced that Houston, Texas shoppers will find new lower prices on thousands of popular food and household items along with a renewed emphasis on shopping experience, fuel discounts, local products and community relations.

“We\’re a strong brand and company but we\’ve achieved that status because we\’re always looking for improvement opportunities. Kroger currently serves 820,000 households every week in the Houston area with 107 locations but we\’re eager to expand those numbers,” says Bill Breetz, president of the Kroger Southwest Division. “We know that price is important to every customer, and at times, can be a deciding factor where to shop. With our Refresh initiative, we\’re making a multi-million dollar investment to reduce prices across the store and reengaging our employees to offer highly-satisfied customer service.”

Through the new investment, Kroger has lowered prices on items customers purchase most frequently ranging from natural and organic foods to fruits and vegetables to grocery and household staples. National and Private Brands are included in the widespread price reduction.

For years, Kroger has supported locally produced and sourced products to help strengthen our economy and community while minimizing the company\’s environmental footprint. Kroger has a year-round commitment to supporting Texas farmers, ranchers, food producers, wineries and breweries. In stores, shoppers can now find shelf tags that read \”From Texas for Texans\” promoting local products.

To Kroger, local also means supporting communities and neighborhoods. Kroger Community Rewards is a new $1.5 million fundraising program supporting schools, non-profits and faith-based groups in Texas and Louisiana. Organizations and their supporters can enroll in the program using their Kroger Plus Card to earn funds. Every time an enrolled customer shops, they help their charity of choice raise money.


Harris Teeter Kroger

Kroger To Acquire Harris Teeter

\"Kroger\"The Kroger Co. and Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. today announced a definitive merger agreement under which Kroger will purchase all outstanding shares of Harris Teeter for $49.38 per share in cash.

The transaction price represents a premium of 33.7% to the Harris Teeter closing share price on January 18, 2013, the day of the first media report that Harris Teeter was evaluating strategic alternatives. The terms of the agreement were approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

Harris Teeter brings to Kroger an exceptional brand and complementary base of 212 stores in attractive southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets and in Washington, D.C. The stores are located primarily in high-growth markets, vacation destinations and university communities in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia. Harris Teeter also operates distribution centers for grocery, frozen and perishable foods in Greensboro, NC and Indian Trail, NC and a dairy facility in High Point, NC. Harris Teeter had revenues of approximately $4.5 billion for fiscal year 2012.

\”We are excited to welcome Harris Teeter to the Kroger family,\” said David B. Dillon, Kroger\’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. \”Harris Teeter is an exceptional company with a great brand, friendly and talented associates, and attractive store formats in vibrant markets run by a first-class management team. They share our customer-centric approach to everything we do – from store format and merchandising to innovative loyalty programs. This is a financially and strategically compelling transaction and a unique opportunity for our shareholders and associates. We look forward to bringing together the best of Kroger and Harris Teeter while continuing to operate and grow the Harris Teeter brands. Together, we can continue to deepen our connections with customers across all of our markets.\”

Thomas W. Dickson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Harris Teeter stated, \”Harris Teeter has a long track record of creating shareholder value and this merger is the culmination of those efforts over many years. We are excited about becoming part of The Kroger Co., one of the best food retailers in the U.S. while maintaining the Harris Teeter banner, our management teams, our new store growth plan, our distribution and manufacturing facilities in North Carolina as well as our headquarters in Matthews, NC. As part of Kroger, Harris Teeter will be well equipped to continue to provide our customers outstanding quality and customer service as well as excellent value in an increasingly competitive market.\”

Financial Highlights – High Performance Combination
Kroger will finance the transaction with debt. Kroger also intends to assume Harris Teeter\’s outstanding debt of approximately $100 million. Consistent with Kroger\’s and Harris Teeter\’s shared long-term commitment to returning cash to shareholders, Kroger intends to continue its quarterly dividend and share repurchase program while managing free cash flow to reduce the leverage taken on from this merger. Although the ratio will increase at the time the merger closes, Kroger expects to allocate some free cash flow to debt reduction to re-establish and maintain its 2.00 – 2.20 net debt to EBITDA ratio over the next 18-24 months. Kroger is committed to maintaining its current investment grade credit rating.

Including the effect of allocating some free cash flow to debt reduction, Kroger expects net accretion to earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.06 – $0.09 in the first full year after the merger, excluding transition and transaction expenses. Kroger expects to maintain its current 8-11% long-term net earnings per share growth rate off of this higher earnings base.

Kroger expects to achieve annual cost savings of approximately $40 to $50 million over the next three to four years. Much of the savings is expected to come from the benefits of Kroger\’s scale. Kroger has a strong history of achieving synergy goals. Being patient in achieving those goals reduces the risk of the transaction and sets the stage for sustainable growth.

Operational Profile – Complementary Teams and Operations Together the company will operate 2,631 supermarkets and employ over 368,300 associates across 34 states and the District of Columbia. Following closing, Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. and will continue to be led by key members of Harris Teeter\’s senior management team. There are no plans to close stores, and associates will continue to have employment opportunities with both companies. Kroger headquarters will remain in Cincinnati, and Harris Teeter will keep its headquarters in Matthews, NC.

Kroger and Harris Teeter both strive to play a vital role in all of the communities they serve. In 2012, Kroger invested more than $250 million in local communities to provide hunger relief and support for the military and their families, breast cancer awareness programs and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Harris Teeter similarly focuses community investments on feeding the hungry, supporting the military, and investing in local schools and community organizations. Harris Teeter\’s 2012 donations totaled $9.1 million.

Additional Information The merger is expected to close following the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including approval by Harris Teeter shareholders and regulatory approval. The transaction includes customary breakup fees.

BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Kroger and Arnold & Porter, LLP is acting as legal advisor to Kroger. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Harris Teeter and provided a fairness opinion to its Board of Directors. McGuireWoods LLP is acting as legal advisor to Harris Teeter.

Conference Call Today Kroger chief financial officer Mike Schlotman will host a conference call for analysts and investors today, July 9, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss this announcement in further detail. To join this conference call, visit An on-demand replay of the webcast will be available from approximately 11:00 a.m. (ET) today through Tuesday, July 23, 2013.



Kroger Promotes A \”Private Selection Great American Summer\”

\"PrivateCincinnati based grocer Kroger is marketing its premium tier Private Brand Private Selection through the \”Private Selection Great American Summer\” promotion.

The promotion is hosted at and showcases recipes for regional dishes. Customers are asked to submit their own recipes, which include Private Selection products to be showcased on the site. The site also offers approximately $5.75 in digital coupons for Private Selection products. BzzAgent, the social marketing arm of Kroger agency Dunnhumby USA, is promoting the campaign by distributing coupon booklets to bloggers from May 30 through July 25.

A few of the recipes featured on the site include: Montana Bison Burgers, Utah Dutch Oven Blueberry Cobbler, California Tri Tip Santa Maria Steak, New Hampshire Corn Chowder, Tennessee Lynchburg Lemonade Floats and Oklahoma Pork Chop Sandwich.

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.