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Kroger To Donate 200,000 gallons of Private Brand Milk to Feeding America

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Kroger announced last week the launch of an expanded Dairy Rescue Program, designed to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic through the summer months. In partnership with its dairy cooperative suppliers and farmers across the Midwest and South, Kroger will process and donate about 200,000 gallons of additional private brand milk to Feeding America food banks and community organizations through the end of August, uplifting its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative. 

\”Kroger recognizes the growing need for fresh, highly nutritious food in our community, especially for children as schools remain closed during the pandemic to flatten the curve,\” said Erin Sharp, Kroger\’s group vice president of manufacturing. \”At a time when dairy farmers have surplus raw milk, we\’re doubling down on our mission to reduce hunger and waste.\”

The Dairy Rescue Program is expanding on an existing partnership model between Kroger and its dairy cooperative suppliers to direct even more fluid milk — one of the most requested but harder to stock items at food banks — to food-insecure communities. Through the expanded program, during the pandemic dairy cooperatives will donate surplus milk normally sold to restaurants, schools and hotels, while Kroger will donate the processing and packaging of the donated milk. Additionally, in some areas, Kroger\’s logistics team will also donate the transportation of the milk to local food banks.

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\”As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses like restaurants and hotels across the country to close, some of America\’s farmers are left without buyers for their dairy supply,\” said Heather J. McCann, director of public affairs for Dairy Farmers of America\’s Mideast Area. \”Kroger\’s Dairy Rescue Program is an invaluable resource for the dairy industry during this crisis and beyond, helping distribute and process surplus milk to communities who need it the most.\”

The expansion of Kroger\’s Dairy Rescue Program builds on the existing partnerships with the Michigan Milk Producers Association and Dairy Farmers of America, which already donate a combined 129,900 gallons throughout the year. Through the expanded program, Kroger\’s dairy processing plants and suppliers will be donating an additional 50,000 gallons of milk per month to local food banks and community organizations. Feeding America member food banks and other partners will help transport the gallons and half-gallons to local hunger relief agencies.

From May through August, four of Kroger\’s manufacturing facilities will process the rescued milk to benefit several food bank organizations and communities:

  • Tamarack Farms in partnership with Dairy Farmers of America will donate milk to benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, YMCA Van Buren, and the Salvation Army in Columbus, OH; New Beginnings in Youngstown, OH; and the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima, OH.
  • Kroger Michigan Dairy in partnership with Michigan Milk Producers Association will donate rescued milk to Michigan food banks supported by Food Bank Council of Michigan.
  • Winchester Farms Dairy in partnership with Dairy Farmers of America will donate milk to benefit Feeding America Kentucky\’s Heartland in Elizabethtown, KY; Dare to Care in Louisville, KY; God\’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, KY; and the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati, OH. Transportation will be donated by Penske Logistics.
  • Vandervoort\’s Dairy in partnership with Select Milk Producers will donate milk to benefit the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, TX and the Houston Food Bank in Houston, TX. Transportation will be donated by Quickway Carriers.
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The program is further enhanced by Kroger\’s Centennial Dairy partnership in Atlanta, GA with Dairy Farmers of America, to direct 24,000 half-gallons of milk to support health care workers and first responders in Augusta, Macon, and Savannah, GA during the pandemic over the next month. Kroger kicked off the Great Georgia Give milk donation campaign in Metro Atlanta last week with Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black.

\”With so many families struggling with unemployment and food insecurity today, providing access to fresh, nutrient-rich milk has never been more important,\” said Blake Thompson, chief supply chain officer, Feeding America. \”Kroger\’s Dairy Rescue Program is keeping America\’s farmers productive, avoiding unnecessary food waste, and helping families in need.\”

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Kroger Private Brand Home Chef Creates \’Home Chef Helps\’

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Home Chef, a leading meal solutions company, announces the creation of its ‘Home Chef Helps’ initiative in support of hunger relief efforts and to help communities in need during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Kroger subsidiary, private brand meal solutions provider Home Chef announced last week the creation of its \’Home Chef Helps\’ initiative in support of hunger relief efforts and to help communities in need during the COVID-19 Crisis The newly created \’Home Chef Helps\’ initiative is an extension of the brand\’s continued dedication to alleviating hunger in local communities in which it operates through regular local food bank donations.

Home Chef will make a donation of $100,000 to Feeding America, the nation\’s largest hunger-relief organization, to aid food banks in supporting people impacted by the public health crisis. This contribution to Feeding America\’s COVID-19 Response Fund will be distributed throughout communities where the need is the most significant.

\”We are extremely grateful to Home Chef for their commitment and efforts towards alleviating hunger in communities throughout the U.S.,\” said Lauren Biedron, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America. \”During this time of increased need, their support will make a difference for our neighbors who are struggling to put food on their tables.\”

Feeding America is committed to serving communities and individuals facing hunger across America. As demand increases due to the COVID-19 crisis, food banks are responding by doing what they do best – feeding people in need. Donations help ensure that Feeding America can continue to be there for people in need during these times of uncertainty.

Enabling Customers to Give Back 

Home Chef is also calling on its customers to aid in this effort. Customers who skip their Home Chef order for a week can donate to help raise additional funding for Feeding America\’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Additionally, Home Chef is encouraging donations from all its customers via emails, homechef.com and social posts.

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Pat Vihtelic, founder and
CEO of Home Chef

\”As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Feeding America is committed to serving communities and individuals facing hunger across America and we, at Home Chef, want to do what we can to support their critical work during this unprecedented time,\” says Pat Vihtelic, founder and CEO of Home Chef. \”Everyone is in this together and we want to make sure to be there for our neighbors in need.\”

Saying Thank You to Home Chef Heroes

To honor those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, Home Chef announces a new program in partnership with ID.me, offering exclusive discounts for teachers, doctors, nurses, military, first responders and all of the employees at more than 5,000 hospitals nationwide.

\”We are thrilled to be able to support those who are supporting us,\” said Vihtelic. \”Now more than ever, we realize the importance of these critical front-line workers\’ call-to-duty and how it affects all of us.\”

Available for eligible new customers, the program can be accessed at homechef.com/heroes where eligible participants can use the \”Verify with ID.me\” button at checkout to start receiving their exclusive discount. 

Vihtelic added, \”We feel very fortunate to have a product that is helping to bring people together during these uncertain times.\”

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Kroger Sparkles With Unicorn Cookies

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Loyal Kroger shoppers know and love the retailer\’s private brand cookies Kaleidos. Similar to Trader Joe\’s iconic Joe-Joe’s and of course Oreos, which are a traditional sandwich cookie with a creamy middle. Kaleidos come in a range of both every day and intriguing flavors including Original, Popping Candy, Mint, Golden, and Raspberry Crème, Not to mention the newest flavor Kaleidos Sparkly Unicorn Cookies. The sweet treat starts with purple cookies that are embellished with blue edible sparkles. The magical confetti cake batter flavor creme in the middle is light pink with blue and red specks.

These cookies seem to be tailor-made as a social media viral darling so it is no surprise that they have gotten some buzz.

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Kroger Private Brands Exceed $23.1 Billion in Sales

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Kroger today reported its fourth quarter and Fiscal Year 2019 results and will update investors on how the Restock Kroger framework is repositioning the company to create value for shareholders, customers and associates.

\”We are pleased with our 2019 results and improving trends in our supermarket business. We delivered on our commitments for ID sales without fuel, adjusted FIFO operating profit, and cost savings in addition to generating over $100 million of incremental operating profit through alternative profit streams in 2019. We also delivered strong adjusted free cash flow during the year, consistent with the total shareholder return model outlined at our Investor Day.

More importantly, the way that we delivered the year is consistent with our long-term financial model and sets us up to connect with customers in a deeper way. Restock Kroger is the right strategic framework to position the company for sustainable growth in the future, continue to improve the core business, and deliver strong total shareholder return. This transformational foundation supports our competitive moats today – Fresh, Our Brands and Personalization – as well as building a seamless ecosystem of the future.\” Said Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen.

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Total company sales were $28.9 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to $28.3 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel and dispositions, sales grew 2.3%.

Gross margin was 22.1% of sales for the fourth quarter. The FIFO gross margin rate excluding fuel increased 6 basis points. This increase resulted from improvement in costs of goods, accelerating alternative profit streams and cycling of investments that were disclosed in the fourth quarter of 2018, partially offset by investments in price and personalization, continued industry-wide lower gross margin rates in pharmacy and continued growth in the specialty pharmacy business.

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Fourth Quarter 2019 Restock Kroger Private Brand Highlights

  • Private Brand achieved its best year ever, exceeding $23.1 billion in sales. Introduced 39 new Private Brands Plant-Based products in 2019
  • Private Selection brand eclipsed $2 billion in sales for the first time and is Kroger\’s third $2-billion-dollar brand
  • Expanded to 1,989 Pickup locations and 2,385 Delivery locations, covering 97% of Kroger households
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The 12 Best Kroger Private Brand Products!

Late last week cooking and recipe website All Recipes published a story looking at the best of Kroger’s private brand products.

We Tried 47 Kroger Store-Brand Products — These Are the Best

These aren\’t your average \”store-brand\” products.

We know — store-brand products aren\’t usually worth getting excited about. But Kroger is changing that. According to a press release, Kroger offers over 30,000 Our Brands items, and we\’ve found a few we\’re excited about.

The company\’s Our Brands lineup of private-label products is made up of the following brands: Kroger, Private Selection, Simple Truth, Simple Truth Organic, and HemisFares. This line-up provides a rich variety that\’s rare in the world of store-brand products. From the economical Kroger brand products to the gourmet-quality Private Selection products to the health-conscious Simple Truth products, there\’s a lot to choose from.

Lucky for you, we put the products to the test. We tried 47 products from Kroger\’s store-brands, and we\’ve determined our favorites. From pantry staples to snack food and beyond, keep reading to see our picks for the 12 best store-brand products from Kroger.

  1. Private Selection Black Forest Trail Mix
  2. Simple Truth Original Oatmilk
  3. Private Selection Black Truffle and Olive Oil Kettle Chips
  4. Private Selection Memphis Seasoning Rub
  5. Private Selection French Goat Cheese & Marinated Vegetable Thin Crust Pizza

Read the entire article…