Kroger Hosts Fourth Natural Foods Innovation Summit

Seth Goldman, executive chairman of Beyond Meat and co-founder of Honest Tea, delivered the keynote presentation at the latest Kroger Natural Foods Innovation Summit

Continuing to lead efforts to drive innovation in natural and organic foods, The Kroger Co. hosted its fourth Natural Foods Innovation Summit this past week.

Held in Cincinnati, in partnership with Kroger’s insights arm 84.51°, the Nov. 8 gathering featured Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea and executive chairman of plant-based protein brand Beyond Meat, as keynote speaker. Goldman discussed the importance of sustainability in the food industry and shared best practices for operating a mission-driven company.

"It's been one year since Kroger launched our Natural Foods Innovation Summit," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior VP of merchandising. "The interactive model has proven to be successful, creating a new channel for enterprising small businesses and startups to engage Kroger, America's largest grocery retailer, with innovative ideas and products for our customers."

Nearly 60 brands participate in the expo, bringing the total to more than 200 different small businesses Kroger has engaged combined across its four summit events.

"Kroger has experienced five consecutive years of double-digit growth in the natural and organic foods category," Clark said. "We know today's customer wants better-for-you products, and Kroger will continue to make natural, organic, and free-from products accessible and affordable through Simple Truth and supplier partnerships."

Kroger experts recently introduced its top food trend predictions for 2019. From digestive health to plant-based alternatives, the year ahead will focus on flexible eating styles.

Kroger plans to host additional summit events in 2019. Natural, organic and local brands can visit Kroger.Com/WeAreLocal to learn how to join Kroger's family of suppliers.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, which operates 2,800 retail food stores across the United States  under a variety of banner names, is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 ranking of top grocers in the United States.

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