Kroger launches new portal to find local suppliers
Earlier this week Kroger announced the launch of a new website designed to engage small businesses and lower the barrier to entry for local companies to get their products onto Kroger shelves.
According to Fooddive.com, Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocer, no doubt made this move to capitalize on growing demand for local products. Just how big is that demand? According to research firm Packaged Facts, local food sales grew from $5 billion in 2008 to $12 billion in 2014, and are expected to top $20 billion by 2019.
Here’s what Kroger’s recent press release had to say:
“Kroger has always had a commitment to supporting small-business owners and local vendors,” says Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president of merchandising and procurement. “Our business has a track record of successfully blending centralized and decentralized decision making to promote local products while also enjoying economies of scale. Since Kroger’s day one, we have had a longstanding, 365-day-a-year commitment to support and source from local farmers, ranchers, food producers, wineries, breweries and product makers. There are tastes and products that are unique to every region.”
As America’s grocer, Kroger recognizes the importance of carrying local and regional brands that are meaningful to the nearly nine million customers served in its family of stores daily. Kroger sources from thousands of local suppliers today.
Kroger’s team of buyers continuously look for opportunities to purchase regionally that allow the company to expand its product portfolio for customers, stimulate the local economy and enhance product freshness. Sourcing locally also supports the company’s sustainability commitments, including Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative launched earlier this week.
“Kroger has led the way for over a decade in making local, natural and organic products more affordable and accessible to America — especially for shoppers on a budget,” said Mr. Donnelly. “We’ve always believed that our customers shouldn’t have to pay higher prices just because a product is local, natural or organic. There are a lot of headlines about making local, natural and organic foods more affordable. The truth is, we’ve always been affordable. That’s why we developed our Simple Truth brand, which today is the biggest natural and organic brand in the country by volume.”
At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are 450,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers daily in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our Family of Companies operates an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized order online service – in addition to 2,258 pharmacies, 783 convenience stores, 307 fine jewelry stores, 222 retail health clinics, 1,472 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Our Company has been recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. As a leader in supplier diversity, we are a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.