Kroger’s recent efforts to support local businesses and increase diversity across its supplier network have not gone unnoticed. Recently, the company revealed its Small Business Resource Guide to boost supplier inclusion. Now, the retailer is doubling down on its efforts, as it recently announced its new Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, a partnership that invites American growers and producers to join its network.
“Kroger is committed to offering the best assortment of fresh products enabled by an innovative portfolio of suppliers,” said Chief Merchant and Marketing Officer Stuart Aitken. “In 2020 alone, we invested $4.1 billion in diverse suppliers—a 21 percent increase versus the previous year—and we’re working with the intention to scale that number to $10 billion by 2030. The Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator will help us achieve our goal as well as advance our freshness commitment in our nearly 2,800 stores and across our Kroger.com e-commerce services, including Pickup, Delivery, and Ship.”
The new program, which is sponsored by Gourmet Foods International, will allow Kroger to discover new suppliers to continue its commitment to being Fresh for Everyone™, as noted in a press release.
“At Kroger, our Fresh for Everyone mission is anchored in consistently and creatively providing fresh and affordable food to our customers,” said Dan De La Rosa, Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising. “We’re dedicated to fostering innovation and investing in local, regional, and small businesses that make the best of food accessible to all. Our first Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is an extension of our commitment, and we’re eager to invite suppliers of every size to participate, providing the potential to grow our businesses together.”
Now through May 31, suppliers can apply to join the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio, this August. Kroger’s category management and fresh director team will review the applications in multiple rounds and select 15 finalists—one finalist per region per category—to attend.
Finalists will then present to a panel of judges, and the five overall winners will win a prize package including product placement on shelf within Kroger’s Family of Companies; recommended partnerships with Gourmet Foods International; and business development coaching from Kroger merchandising and sales leaders, as well as PearlRock Partners CEO Brian Kelley.
For more information about applying for the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator in your region, click here.
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