Kroger Plans PL Expansion

The Kroger Co. has announced plans to expand its lines of exclusive products, which currently comprise 30,000-plus SKUs, following news that its private brands posted a record 8.2 billion units sold in 2016.

This figure "equates to customers choosing to add 1.25 million of our exclusive products to their shopping carts every hour that our stores are open," said Gil Phipps, Kroger's VP of Our Brands. "Through innovation, we are committed to introducing new items monthly that give our customers a wide selection of choices and price points, and always guaranteed quality."

Kroger plans to introduce new foods and other items monthly, having added about 55 to 60 new foods and household items per month over the past 18 months, spokesperson Kristal Howard told Progressive Grocer. However, she was unable to reveal how large the total planned expansion will be.

Many of the products under the Our Brands umbrella are manufactured in one of Kroger’s 38 plants nationwide. So far this year, Kroger has added 1,000 SKUs to its portfolio, including new flavor-forward and specialty products such as HemisFares Japanese Dry-Aged Red Miso, HemisFares Double Brewed Soy Sauce, Kroger Simply Baked French Fries with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Kroger Deluxe Funnel Cake Ice Cream, Private Selection, Moroccan BBQ & Basting Sauce, Simple Truth Dairy-Free Paletas (fruit bars), Simple Truth Organic Blueberry Ginger Kombucha, and Simple Truth Organic Cold Brew Coffee. The grocer also recently launched its Prep+Pared meal kits pilot in select Cincinnati stores. The kits offer restaurant-quality meals that are easy to cook in about 20 minutes, competing with such subscription services as Blue Apron and Plated, as well as kits from other grocers.

Early next month, Kroger will add Simple Truth Low Cow Lite Ice Cream, a low-calorie (240 to 280 calories per pint) high-protein (24 grams per pint) ice cream in six flavors: birthday cake, chocolate, lemon cake, mint chocolate chip, sea salt caramel and vanilla bean. 

The Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. employs 443,000 associates in 2,792 stores under various banner names throughout 35 states and Washington, D.C.