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Kroger doubles down on Simple Truth plant-based line
October 16, 2020
Source: Store Brands

The plant-based category is growing at Kroger as the retailer expects to debut more than 50 new items under its Simple Truth Plant Based line, including new Emerge meatless chicken items.

The Emerge meat-free patties and grinds first launched in January and the latest offshoot is a chicken option with patties and grind called Simple Truth Emerge Chick’n. The broader Simple Truth Plant Based portfolio first hit stores last September with around 20 items such as vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sour cream, deli sauces, sausage and more. Over time a few more items were added to account for vegan and flexitarian-friendly eaters and now by the end of the year there will be more than 75 total products.

Highlighting the latest drop is the Emerge fresh chicken-less patties and grinds that offer the same taste, texture and sizzle as a chicken product and are free of GMOs, dairy and soy. The items provide up to 21 grams of wheat-based protein per serving and are located in the traditional meat case. The beef-centric Emerge product provides pea-based protein.

Other standouts in the larger Simple Truth Plant Based extension are dairy-free options like cheddar and mozzarella cheese shreds and cheddar and hot pepper cheese slices; oat milk ice cream in flavors like Strawberry Graham, Peanut Butter Chip and Maple Pecan; almond milk yogurts; and Caesar and ranch salad dressings. There are also more trend-forward items like ready-to-eat chocolate truffle brownie batter, ready-to-eat chocolate chip cookies and cauliflower dips in flavors like buffalo, tzatziki, spicy queso and cilantro with jalapeno.

"We look forward to continuing to drive the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, which exceeded $2.5 billion in sales last year, and we anticipate increased interest in our plant-based selection in 2021 and beyond," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s chief merchant.

Kroger’s chefs, nutritionists and food scientists and collaborated on a collection of recipes that offer 100% plant-based alternatives. The retailer said a new report from The Good Food Institute named Kroger as a leader in plant-based products and crowned King Soopers as having the “best plant-based store-brand assortment.”

"As our customers' eating styles and health and wellness goals continue to evolve, Simple Truth will continue to deliver an unmatched combination of quality and value for natural, organic and plant-based foods," said Brad Studer, Kroger's senior director of Our Brands. "We believe that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable and delicious food, no matter who you are, how you shop or what you like to eat, and we will continue to innovate and inspire our selection of products to deliver on that very promise for our customers."

Caroline Bushnell, director of corporate engagement at The Good Food Institute said the nonprofit is happy see Kroger “double down” on plant-based food products. “Kroger is really driving own-brand innovation forward with products like their new Simple Truth Emerge Chick'n. As the nation's largest grocer, Kroger's commitment to plant-based meat and dairy is a clear signal that plant-based is a mainstream way of eating that is here to stay."

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