Kroger to increase local produce in stores
The Kroger Co. plans to make more local products available to its customers following its proposed merger with Albertsons Cos. Post-close, the combined company will increase the number of local products in its stores by 10 percent, which equates to at least of 30 new local products in each store.
"Local farmers, bakers and producers are important parts of our Fresh for Everyone brand promise," said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO for The Kroger Co. "Every local product we stock has a unique producer with their own story standing behind it. Since the beginning, this merger has been about growth — and we look forward to inviting our local suppliers to grow alongside us. We are dedicated to supporting the innovation that only a small business owner can create."
Today, Kroger offers a number of ways local suppliers can sell their products in stores:
- Stores sell a variety of produce items from local farmers. By reducing the distance between the farm and the store, customers have more days of product freshness in their homes.
- Many stores have shelf space dedicated just to local products, with special signage highlighting the regional connection.
- Farmers and local producers work directly with Kroger to understand the best techniques to ensure customers are aware of their products.
"From Stemilt cherries in Washington and Sun Pacific citrus in California to Talbott Farms Palisade Peaches in Colorado and Southern Press blueberries in Georgia, we know just how important local products are to our customers," said Stuart Aitken, senior vice president and chief merchant and marketing officer, The Kroger Co. "Our customers know we offer the freshest local products, and they will ask our teams when their favorite seasonal items will be on shelves. We are excited to provide more opportunities for local producers to grow their businesses."