Grocery shopping during the pandemic has accelerated sales of Kroger's private label offerings as the retailer's Simple Truth line saw a 20% increase in sales in Q2 2020 compared the same period last year, according to the retailer.
Speaking during the company's Q2 2020 financial earnings call, Kroger president and CEO Rodney McMullen, commented, “A recent third-party industry study reconfirmed that Simple Truth is the most-loved natural and organic brand in the US. Simple Truth significantly outperformed competitors on strength of brand, which is a combination of awareness, willingness to recommend and strength as the driver of store selection.”
McMullen continued, “Our brands continues to tap into emerging trends and evolving customer needs, delivering new flavors and innovative new items like the new plant-based Emerge grinds and patties (sold under the Simple Truth brand), which launched in late 2019.”
Simple Truth brand generates $2.5bn in sales
Kroger's Simple Truth plant-based collection launched last September with more than 20 products featuring vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, non-dairy sour cream, and meatless deli slices and sausage. Since its launch, the line has grown to meet customer demand for plant-based alternatives across several categories including snacks, spreads, dips, desserts, burger patties and grinds, and more.
Kroger's in-house chefs, food scientists, and nutritionists tested numerous recipes to perfect the taste and texture of its non-dairy cheeses, oat milk ice cream and almond milk yogurt in order to to mirror their dairy counterparts, while ensuring the products remained free of GMOs and artificial preservatives.
By the end of 2020, the collection will feature more than 75 new products including:
- Cheese shreds (cheddar and mozzarella)
- Cheese slices (cheddar and hot Pepper)
- Oat milk ice cream (strawberry graham, sea salt caramel, peanut butter chip, black raspberry chip, and maple pecan)
- Almond milk yogurts (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and mango)
- Cauliflower dips (buffalo, spicy queso, tzatziki, cilantro with jalapeño)
- Caesar and ranch salad dressings
- Ready-to-eat chocolate chip cookies
- Ready-to-eat chocolate truffle brownie batter
Available exclusively at Kroger banner stores, the expanded Simple Truth Plant Based collection also features the launch of Simple Truth Emerge Chick'n, a plant-based alternative to fresh chicken patties and grinds created in response to increased demand for the Simple Truth Emerge burger patties and grinds that the retailer introduced earlier this year.
"We look forward to continuing to drive the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, which exceeded $2.5bn in sales last year, and we anticipate increased interest in our plant-based selection in 2021 and beyond," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger's chief merchant.