Kroger hosts first Natural Foods Summit
The Kroger Co. held its first Natural Foods Innovation Summit on Thursday in Cincinnati, where the retailer is based, and said it will begin to host other such events a few times per year. Joy Bauer, NBC’s “TODAY” Show nutrition and health expert and founder of Nourish Snacks, was the keynote speaker of the event.
“Kroger is proud of the role we’ve played in making natural and organic products more affordable and accessible to America,” said Jill McIntosh, Kroger’s vice president of natural foods, in a press release. “This category was a $16 billion business for us in 2016, and today’s company-produced expo is an innovation platform that allows us to continue to expand our natural foods product portfolio by partnering with emerging brands on micro and macro levels.”
Kroger’s Simple Truth private brand, which consists of organic and free-from products, is a $1.7 billion brand and growing.
Top trends in natural foods are holistic health, convenience and sustainability, according to Kroger. Consumer insights show that customers are adopting a 360-degree approach to health and wellness, including greater consumption of natural foods to prevent illnesses. A growing number of customers are seeking healthier on-the-go snacks and meals, and nutritional drinks are increasingly becoming meal replacements, Kroger stated.
Kroger said its team of buyers continuously look for opportunities to purchase regionally that allow the company to expand its product portfolio for customers, stimulate the local economy and enhance product freshness.
“Customer lifestyles are evolving, and we understand the importance of carrying relevant products at affordable prices that are meaningful to the nearly 9 million customers we serve daily in our family of stores,” McIntosh said.