Kroger goes beyond meat and looks for impossible growth with private brand
Look out Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and all the other brands with plant-based meat alternatives. Kroger is rolling out its own private label meatless brand, one that can compete on taste and at a lower price than national brand alternatives.
Yesterday, the grocery giant announced the national launch of Simple Truth Emerge: Plant Based Fresh Meats.
Gil Phipps, Kroger’s vice president of Our Brands, said the grocer is positioning itself “at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation” with the goal of helping the millions of customers it serves “explore and embrace a flexitarian lifestyle.”
The introduction of Simple Truth Emerge, which will be displayed in the meat cases of Kroger-owned stores, is just the start of plant-based product introductions from the company. The grocer announced plans to roll out 50 additional plant-based foods in 2020.
The rollout of the first two meat alternatives from Kroger comes about a month after it began a 16-week test of meat alternatives. The pilot, which involves 60 stores in two markets, is being conducted in cooperation with the Plant Based Foods Association. The grocer and trade group are looking to quantify customer interest and purchasing behavior of a wide variety of meat alternatives using various ingredients and coming in various forms including deli slices and roasts in addition to grinds, links and patties.
“Kroger is driving the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, valued supplier partnerships and industry-leading fresh merchandising strategies,” said Joe Grieshaber, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising.
Mr. Grieshaber said the company expects plant-based products to be “one of the key drivers of our natural and organic sales” this year.
Kroger’s Simple Truth brand generated more than $2.3 billion in sales last year. The grocer is kicking off the launch of the new Emerge plant-based meats with a coupon for 75 cents off the patties and $1.50 off the grinds.
Earlier this week, Impossible Foods maker of the Impossible Burger, introduced plant-based pork and sausage at the CES Show in Las Vegas. The company’s founder and CEO Pat Brown said it is also working on alternatives to bacon and fish.
“Our mission is to completely replace animals in the global food system. We’ve been serious about that from day one,” Mr. Brown told USA Today.
UBS forecast last year that the plant-based meat market would grow from $4.5 billion to $85 billion over the next 10 years.
- Kroger’s Simple Truth Brand Launches Emerge: Plant Based Fresh Meats – The Kroger Co.
- Impossible Foods adds plant-based pork and sausage, continues to test bacon and fish alternatives – USA Today
- Disruption at the dinner table – UBS
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will Kroger’s private label entry into the plant-based meat market mean for the future prospects of the category and the grocery chain operator’s business? Do you see other large food retailers developing their own plant-based meat private label lines?