Kroger has had its Simple Truth® brand in the ring for quite some time now. Even so, the retailer is continuously finding ways to refresh the line of products. Last we heard, the brand was expanding to offer more Fair Trade Certified™ products, as reported by our sister publication AndNowUKnow. This week, though, Kroger made another big move, announcing the launch of Simple Truth Emerge™: Plant Based Fresh Meats. According to a press release, the Simple Truth Emerge line offers fresh burger patties and grinds at more affordable prices.
"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 Gil Phipps, Vice President of Branding, Marketing, and Our Brands. "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."
Now, Simple Truth Emerge is joining the Simple Truth Plant Based collection, which was introduced last year, bringing plant-based products to the forefront at Kroger.
The Simple Truth Plant Based collection was first announced last September at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, where Phipps spoke on a panel alongside other industry experts about the importance of accelerating the marketplace for plant-based foods. The new plant-based patties and grinds offer the same taste, texture, and sizzle on the grill as beef and are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten, and soy, in addition to providing 20 grams of pea-based protein per serving.
"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, 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."
Last month, Kroger launched a 16-week merchandising test with the Plant Based Foods Association within 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.
"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."
The Simple Truth Plant Based collection includes easy-to-identify packaging, featuring a distinct plant-based icon that helps customers locate the items as they navigate through store aisles or when shopping on Kroger.com. The entire Simple Truth portfolio includes more than 1,550 natural and organic products, with new items launching monthly. All in all, Kroger's expansion of this line only further highlights the increasing popularity of good-for-you and plant-forward foods—which extends beyond the private label crowd as well.
Team plant-based for the win! To see more innovative products making their way to the market, stick with us at Deli Market News.