News & Media

Kroger Launches Plant-Based Private Label Collection
September 6, 2019
Source: Winsight Grocery Business

Responding to the growing number of its shoppers pursuing alternatives to traditional meat and dairy products, The Kroger Co. is launching a plant-based offshoot of its Simple Truth private brand line featuring everything from meatless burgers to plant-based cookie dough.

The Simple Truth Plant Based collection was announced by Gil Phipps, Kroger’s VP of Our Brands, on stage at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco. The confab, hosted by the Good Food Institute, focuses on accelerating the marketplace for plant-based food.

“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,” Phipps said. “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, Kroger reported in its 2019 food trends outlook. It also cited studies that show 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.

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. Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Good Food Institute, said Kroger's launch of a plant-based line was “a defining moment” for the trend and “clear proof that plant-based has truly gone mainstream. We look forward to other grocers following Kroger’s lead.”

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

Products in the new line, which will arrive in stores beginning this fall and continue through 2020, include:

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
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 online. The entire Simple Truth portfolio includes more than 1,550 natural and organic products.

The news follows on the heels of Boulder, Colo.-based Lucky’s Market’s announcement late last month to add a variety of Kroger’s Simple Truth products in all of its 39 stores across 10 states.