The Kroger Co., the nation’s biggest supermarket chain and one of the nation’s largest natural food retailers by sales volume, said it is launching a new line of plant-based foods under its Simple Truth natural and organic brand portfolio.
Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger (NYSE: KR), with $121 billion in annual sales, said its Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands, the largest U.S. natural and organic brand, contributed $2.3 billion toward its total of $17.6 billion worth of natural and organic products sold in 2018.
Kroger operates nearly 2,800 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, QFC, City Market, and Dillons.
Each store, on average, carries about 4,000 natural and organic items. Kroger said the entire Simple Truth portfolio, which launched in 2013, includes more than 1,550 natural and organic products, with new items launching monthly.
The new plant-based Simple Truth branded food offerings, set to launch this fall, are a response to “increasing consumer trends towards flexitarian diets,” and will include meatless burger patties, meat-free sausages and deli slices, as well as non-dairy beverages, chocolate chip cookie dough, cream cheese, sour cream, and Bolognese pasta sauce.
“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,” said Gil Phipps, Kroger’s vice president of private label brands.