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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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Epic Performance Peanut Butter Chocolate (PRNewsfoto/General Mills)
Epic Performance Almond Butter Chocolate (PRNewsfoto/General Mills)
Epic Performance Lemon (PRNewsfoto/General Mills)
Epic Performance Peanut Butter (PRNewsfoto/General Mills)
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Epic Provisions intros non-GMO performance bars

BY DSN STAFF

Epic Provisions, a snack brand focused on creating humanely-raised animal-based foods, has debited its new line of non-GMO protein bars.

Made from cage-free egg white, nuts and dried fruit, each bar contains 12 g of protein and is made with six ingredients or less, the Austin, Texas-based company said.

“With all Epic products, we purposefully innovate and produce in order to positively impact the animal supply chains we source from,” said Epic Provisions co-founder, Taylor Collins, said. “The launch of Epic Performance Bars is only the start. Creating a product made from cage-free, non-GMO egg whites is the first step to taking on our commitment to lead and improve the development of premium, pasture-raised laying hen supply chains.”

Available in four varieties — peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate, almond butter chocolate and lemon — each of the bars can be found at such natural, organic and traditional grocery stores as Kroger, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods for the suggested retail price of $2.29.

Further information on the line, which is part of the General Mills family, can be found on the company’s website.

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Spindrift taps Kristen Bell to front first national campaign

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Spindrift, a beverage brand that is known for its flavored sparkling water, has announced the launch of its first multi-million-dollar campaign, which will be fronted by actress Kristen Bell.

The initiative is aimed towards educating consumers about the drink’s ingredient differences and will feature product-forward print, out-of-home, digital and social media spots that will star the House of Lies starlet.

“In 2018, we are focused on scaling awareness and trial as distribution expands, and bringing our brand point of view and personality to life in a meaningful and memorable way,” Caroline Kibler, Spindrift’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “The campaign strategy honors both the simple product truth and brand conviction: that it’s the real and authentic slow-down moments that truly make life fulfilling, especially in our increasingly fast-paced and complex world. We are delighted to have Kristen on board as someone who lives our core value of authenticity and shares our brand of humor.”

Print and out-of-home ads will focus on celebrating the simplicity of real-squeezed fruit, while the digital video component pokes fun at traditional ads via a super fan, the Newton, Mass.-based company said.

“For years, I’ve been mixing sparkling water with citrus from the trees in our yard. I could never find a packaged sparkling water that compared to the freshness of real squeezed fruit. Discovering Spindrift has been a game changer,” Kristen Bell said. “Not only is it delicious, but as a mom and conscious eater, it gives me such peace of mind knowing that the fruit in Spindrift comes from family farms and that all of the ingredients are completely traceable. I am thrilled to partner with Spindrift to help drive awareness of this unique brand.”

All of the ads starring Bell are now live on the brand’s social media channels.

Spindrift’s beverages can be found at such grocery retailers and café-style restaurants as Whole Foods Market, Target, Kroger, CVS, Chipotle, Panera and Amazon.

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