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Kroger\’s Launches Plant-Based Simple Truth® Brand Range

\"\"Late last week Kroger announced the expansion of their mega private brand Simple Truth with the addition of a new plant-based range. The collection will include fresh meatless burger patties and grinds as well as plant-based cookie dough, pasta sauces, sausages, deli slices, dips, and other items.

\"\"With new Simple Truth Plant Based products arriving every month this fall into 2020, the collection will include easy-to-identify packaging, featuring a distinct icon that will help customers locate the items as they navigate through store aisles or when shopping on kroger.com.\"\"

The new range was announced on stage by Gil Phipps, Kroger\’s vice president of Our Brands, at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, where he was a featured speaker. The Conference, hosted by the Good Food Institute, focuses on accelerating the marketplace for plant-based food.

\”Since its launch in January 2013, Simple Truth has become the leading natural and organic brand in the country, with annual sales exceeding $2.3 billion,\” said Phipps. \”As more of our customers embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, choosing to prioritize healthier food choices and reduce their environmental footprint, we are excited to meet their needs. We are introducing our Simple Truth Plant Based collection to offer even more fresh, remarkably delicious, animal-free food to provide shoppers with a greater selection of choices that are more accessible and affordable.\”  \"\"

Increasing numbers of U.S. consumers, especially millennials and women, are following a flexitarian style of eating, as Kroger reported in its 2019 food trends outlook. Studies show that nearly one-third of the country\’s population is integrating more plant-based food into their lifestyle and reducing their daily meat and dairy intake.

Kroger\’s team of chefs, food scientists and nutritionists collaborated to develop the collection\’s recipes that offer 100% plant-based alternatives.

The Simple Truth Plant Based Collection includes:

  • Meatless Burger Patties
  • Meatless Grinds
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Alfredo Pasta Sauce
  • Bolognese Pasta Sauce
  • Deli Slices (Black Forest Ham and Salt & Pepper Turkey)
  • Sausage (Kielbasa and Chorizo)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • French Onion Dip
  • Queso

\”Kroger\’s commitment to innovating and creating new plant-based food mirrors the growing number of customers exploring meat and dairy alternatives,\” said Nicole Davis, Kroger\’s senior category strategy and innovation manager for Our Brands (Private Brand). \”Taste is and will always be our number one focus, and you can expect Kroger to continue to invest in this category as we are committed to providing our customers with products that support their eating preferences and health and wellness goals.\”\"\"

\”We are thrilled to see Kroger continue to embrace plant-based foods, particularly plant-based meat in this way,\” said Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute Executive Director. \”It\’s a defining moment when America\’s largest grocer launches an entire collection of plant-based meat and dairy products and is clear proof that plant-based has truly gone mainstream. We look forward to other grocers following Kroger\’s lead.\”

\”Kroger is at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation. Our customers are really open right now to exploring plant-based alternatives, and we\’re responding with our new collection,\” added Phipps on stage.

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Simple Truth Shines in Krogers Q1

Late last week Cincinnati based grocer Kroger reported its First Quarter 2019 results and provided a Restock Kroger progress update on the company\’s three-year transformation plan.

Total company sales were $37.3 billion in the first quarter, compared to $37.7 billion for the same period last year. This decrease is due to the sale of Kroger\’s convenience store business unit. Total sales, excluding fuel and the effect of selling the convenience store business unit, increased 2.0% from the same period last year.

Gross margin was 22.2% of sales for the first quarter. FIFO gross margin, excluding fuel, decreased 40 basis points from the same period last year, primarily due to industry-wide lower gross margin rates in pharmacy.

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Identical-store sales edged up 1.5% excluding fuel, compared with a 1.9% gain in the prior-year period.

gSales from the Kroger Private Brand portfolio up 3.3% vs. prior year, led by double-digit growth in their natural and organic brand Simple Truth. The retailer also launched 219 new Private Brand products.

Kroger also introduced a test of new Home Chef Private Brand meal solutions, including oven-ready options, Heat & Eat choices, and lunch kits.

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Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen noted \”Because the retail industry is constantly transforming, we proactively launched Restock Kroger to deliver for our customers and shareholders. It all starts with our customer obsession, which is why Kroger is assembling a platform to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere.

We are building momentum in the second year of Restock Kroger, which is off to a solid start. The entire company is focused on redefining the grocery customer experience, improved upon by exciting partnerships that will create value. We are on track to generate the free cash flow and incremental adjusted FIFO operating profit that we committed to in 2019 as part of Restock Kroger. We are confident in our ability to deliver on our plans for the year and our long-term vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift.\”

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Kroger Goes Social With Simple Truth

In mid-January, Cincinnati based Kroger began supporting its now $2b private brand Simple Truth with a social media push that included partnering with various mommy bloggers and social media influencers. A quick google search reveals numerous bloggers gushing over very large boxes of Simple Truth Products.

Check out a few of the unboxing videos.

 

 

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Kroger\’s Simple Truth Brand Reaches $2 Billion

\"\"Kroger announced this past week that its Simple Truth private brand has achieved $2 billion in annual sales.

\”Simple Truth is a brand that has earned our customers\’ trust through clean labels, fantastic flavors and affordability since its launch five years ago,\” said Robert Clark, Kroger\’s senior vice president of merchandising. \”Simple Truth has become the second-largest brand sold in our stores, and Kroger is proud to have led the way in making this category more mainstream and accessible, feeding our customers\’ appetites for natural, organic and free-from products.\”

Earlier this month, Kroger launched its largest-ever private brand customer sales promotion, featuring savings on thousands of Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic items.

\”If Our Brands (private label) were on the Fortune 500, it would rank number 138,\” Mr. Clark added. \”Our Brands is shaping the way we are redefining the customer experience as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan.\”

The Simple Truth brand now offers more than 1,400 products across multiple categories, including grocery, meat, produce, deli, bakery, baby, household essentials, personal care and Fair Trade Certified.

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Kroger Grows Simple Truth With Fair Trade

\"\"Kroger, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, announced this week that its Simple Truth private brand will expand in 2018 to offer more Fair Trade Certified products. The Simple Truth brand\’s current portfolio of Fair Trade products spans multiple commodities, including coffee, cocoa, coconut, tea, sugar and agave, and leads the private label grocery industry in Fair Trade offerings. In 2018, Simple Truth will expand its Fair Trade collection by introducing 10 new products.

Kroger presently carries nearly 300 Fair Trade Certified products representing 60 brands.

To earn the Fair Trade certification, farms must meet and adhere to a rigorous set of social, environmental and economic standards. Once certified, farmers and workers earn a premium on top of every sale which goes into a community-managed bank account. These funds are then used on projects in areas like healthcare, education, water and food security to foster advancement in the community.

Since the inception of the Simple Truth brand in the fourth quarter of 2012, Kroger has purchased Fair Trade Certified ingredients, and these global supply partnerships positively impact the lives of farmers in countries like the Philippines, Colombia and Dominican Republic. In 2016, Kroger purchased 1.2 million pounds of certified ingredients.

\”Kroger\’s partnership with Fair Trade USA supports our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision and allows us to Live Our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit,\” said Gil Phipps, vice president of Our Brands. \”The Fair Trade model supports income sustainability, environmental stewardship, empowerment and the well-being of every participating farming community. As customer interest in Fair Trade products grows, Kroger is proud to be leading the industry with our Simple Truth offerings and increasing our product selection every year.\”

Kroger\’s Fair Trade purchases have benefited many farmers and their families. At Peter Paul, a coconut producer in the Philippines, nearly 250 young people have received scholarships for continued education. At FIECH, a coffee cooperative in Mexico, farmers are using their community development funds to diversify their crops, improve farming practices and launch a micro-lending program to help natives start new businesses to support their families.

\”Kroger\’s commitment to Fair Trade is a powerful example of responsible sourcing in the retail industry,\” said Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA. \”The impact is felt across the many Fair Trade communities where they source and reflects Kroger customers\’ growing desire to shop their values.\”

Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic can be found exclusively at The Kroger Co. Family of Stores, and the brands make it easy for customers to find delicious and affordable organic, free-from and natural foods.