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Kroger's embraces plant-based push with new products

The Kroger Co. announced the launch of Simple Truth Emerge: Plant Based Fresh Meats. An expansion of Simple Truth, a natural and organic brand, Simple Truth Emerge is a line that offers fresh burger patties and grinds at more affordable prices. Available exclusively at Kroger Family of Stores, Simple Truth Emerge joins the Simple Truth Plant Based collection introduced last year, offering vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sour cream, deli slices, sausage and other products.plantbased

The Simple Truth Plant Based collection was first announced, including a sneak peek of Simple Truth Emerge, last September at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, where Gil Phipps, Kroger's vice president of Our Brands, spoke on a panel alongside other industry experts about the importance of accelerating the marketplace for plant-based foods.

"Kroger continues to be at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation. As more of our customers explore and embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, Simple Truth Emerge is a fresh innovation that provides a flavorful meat alternative that cooks comparably," said Phipps. "Kroger believes 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 Simple Truth Emerge is an illustration of the commitment that Kroger has to providing our 11 million daily customers with new choices that fit their evolving eating styles and preferences."

Simple Truth Emerge patties and grinds offer the same taste, texture and sizzle on the grill or in a pan as beef and are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten and soy. Simple Truth Emerge patties and grinds provide 20 grams of pea-based protein per serving and are located in the packaged traditional meat case.

Last month, Kroger launched a 16-week merchandising test with the Plant Based Foods Association in a combined 60 stores across two markets to measure the sales and engagement impact of adding plant-based meat sets within the traditional meat set. In addition to plant-based patties and sausages, the test includes deli slices, roasts, seitan and jackfruit. The test aims to produce actionable data and insights to inform merchandising plans and optimize plant-based food sales.

"Kroger is driving the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, valued supplier partnerships and industry-leading fresh merchandising strategies," said Joe Grieshaber, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising. "Kroger anticipates interest in plant-based products to continue to grow in 2020, with the category being one of the key drivers of our natural and organic sales.

"Customers can find plant-based foods throughout Kroger grocery aisles that can be incorporated into one meal, or every meal," continued Grieshaber. "And Kroger is excited to launch 50 additional Simple Truth Plant Based products this year, expanding the selection we offer to our customers and growing our Simple Truth brand, which exceeded $2.3 billion in sales last year."