Kroger testing plant-based meat retail concept

The 3-foot plant-based meat sets will be placed within the meat department in 60 Kroger stores.

The Kroger Co. is teaming up with the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) on an innovative plant-based meat retail concept in 60 stores across the county.

The test stores will create a plant-based meat set within the conventional meat department for 20 weeks to determine the impact on plant-based and conventional meat sales and on customer engagement.

The 3-foot plant-based meat sets will be placed within the meat department in 60 stores across two divisions and three geographies: Denver, and parts of Indiana and Illinois. The stores selected serve broad and diverse customer groups, which will enable representative and scaleable results to be captured. The test is being conducted in partnership with Kroger's data analytics subsidiary, 84.51°, which uses a proprietary suite of tools and technology to turn customer data into actionable knowledge.  

“We’re excited to team up with the Plant Based Foods Association to study this category,” said Marcellus Harris, assistant commodity manager in the meat department for Kroger. “The test, which emerged from our partnership with PBFA, will allow us to unearth rich insight regarding how to best merchandise the category and connect with consumers.”

This news comes just a few days after Kroger revealed that it's rolling out an extension this fall of its popular Simple Truth private brand, called Simple Truth Plant Based, which will include fresh meatless burger patties and grinds, as well as plant-based cookie dough, pasta sauces, sausages, deli slices, dips and other items.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kroger on this innovative and exciting project," said Julie Emmett, senior director of retail partnerships for San Francisco-based PBFA. "Plant-based meat sales have been increasing dramatically year over year, even while most of them are placed where only the most dedicated consumers are likely to find and purchase them. We are confident that this test will demonstrate that plant-based meat sales will increase even more when consumers have easier access to them. We applaud Kroger for taking the lead on plant-based meat merchandising, and we are confident that the outcome will be a win for retailers, suppliers and especially for consumers.”