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Kroger hosts third Natural Foods Innovation Summit

BY David Salazar

In partnership with its customer insights division 84.51⁰, Kroger on Friday hosted its third annual Natural Foods Innovation Summit. The event, held Cincinnati — home of the retailer’s HQ — featured Justin Gold, founder of nut butter brand Justin’s as a speaker.

More than 50 brands participated in the expo, bringing the total number of companies Kroger has engaged through these events to 150.

“Establishing and deepening partnerships with brands that are innovative, unique, and trending, is just one way we are redefining the customer experience through Restock Kroger,” added Mr. Clark. “Resulting from the success of this small business engagement model, we have introduced our customers to new products exclusively from participating brands.”

Kroger noted that its summits have coincided with a surge in natural and organic product sales.

“Kroger’s natural and organic category achieved $16.7 billion in sales last year, including $2 billion in Simple Truth sales,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “It’s clear today’s customer wants better-for-you options and are increasingly turning to Kroger as a food authority for natural, organic, and free-from products.”

Kroger said its We Are Local site has information for natural, organic and local brands to join its supplier base. It also has slated another Natural Foods Innovation Summit for the fall.

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