After what appears to have been a successful play to bolster its network of suppliers, Kroger has announced the second annual launch of its Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator. Through this event, the grocer looks to grow its selection of local items offered in the Kroger Family of Companies' stores by welcoming new providers to its network.
"Kroger is fully committed to supporting a diverse group of innovative, local suppliers who can bring a great assortment of fresh products to our customers," said Stuart Aitken, Chief Merchant and Marketing Officer. "Kroger committed to investing $10 billion in diverse suppliers by 2030, and the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is a successful way to catapult Kroger closer to that goal. We are excited to meet this year's suppliers who will help us advance our commitment to fresh in our nearly 2,800 stores."
The Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator provides a pathway to entry for local businesses of all sizes. Through this launch, Kroger is looking to expand its fresh departments, including deli, dairy, bakery, meat, seafood, and more.
"Last year, the Go Fresh and Local cohort brought fresh ideas and innovative new products to the table that blew our judges away," said Dan De La Rosa, Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising. "Every single one of last year's cohort has now seen their products on Kroger shelves, helping us bring the tastes and flavors our customers love straight to local stores. We look forward to building on last year's success and are excited to bring in new suppliers to participate in the opportunity to join the Kroger family."
As of May 4 through May 23, suppliers can apply to be considered for the two-day event held in Cincinnati, Ohio, this August. Kroger's category management and fresh director team, in collaboration with ECRM and RangeMe, will review applications in multiple rounds, according to a press release, selecting 30 finalists to attend the event.
The top 15 finalists will be invited to present to a panel of Kroger executives where five winners will be named and achieve product placement on Kroger shelves, recommended partnerships with sponsors, and business development coaching from Kroger merchandising and sales leaders.
To apply or find out more about the event, click here.
Curious to see what new products will find a home on Kroger store shelves? Only time and Deli Market News will tell, so stay tuned.