Dollar General has surpassed its latest milestone, now offering fresh produce options in more than 5,000 stores across the country.
The stores that carry produce provide consumers with fresh fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, apples, strawberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemons, limes, salad mixes and more.
First announced in the company’s Q4 2022 earnings last March, DG has continued to make strides toward reaching this milestone and now, more than 5,000 DG stores also carry the top 20 items typically sold in traditional grocery stores which cover approximately 80% of the produce categories most grocery stores traditionally provide.
“We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our customers and one of our top priorities is to ensure the communities we call home have access to fresh, affordable, and convenient food options,” said Emily Taylor, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Dollar General. “We have exceeded our goal of having 5,000 total stores with fresh produce by January 2024. We’re proud to leverage our footprint to meet the need for healthy food options in more communities than any other retailer across the U.S.”
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Communities now benefitting from DG’s fresh produce offerings include:
- Hitchcock, Tex.: DG brought fresh produce to Hitchcock, a small Texas town of 7,000, after the town was without a grocer for 10 years before the mayor reached out to DG for help.
- Bluford, Ill.: This small community of 700 sent a letter to DG to express gratitude for its store and request an expansion to include produce which DG fulfilled in December 2023.
- Kingston Township, Mich.: Despite being in a populous region, Kingston is a remote and rural community of approximately 400 people, all who have appreciated having close access to fresh produce at their local DG, as their next closest grocery store is 17 miles away.
With this expansion, these stores and thousands of others now carry the top 20 items typically sold in traditional grocery stores which covers approximately 80% of the produce category.
The company also has recently invested in a partnership with Shelf Engine, an AI company providing retailers with technology to improve perishable food forecasting and ordering. The partnership will evolve Dollar General’s process to optimize in-stock produce levels, helping automate the ordering process while providing customers with the freshest food possible. As this tool continues to roll out, it will support the company on its meaningful produce growth journey while improving operational efficiency.
Approximately 80% of Dollar General stores serve communities of 20,000 or fewer people, and residents in these communities often rely on the retailer for their everyday essentials including components of a nutritious meal. Every Dollar General provides customers with healthy food options such as milk, eggs, bread, cheese, frozen and canned vegetables, grains, lean proteins and more, including Dollar General’s exclusive Good & Smart private brand.
As part of the company’s commitment to provide convenient and affordable access to foods, in 2023 it announced its “Food First” initiative, which includes the customer feedback-driven expansion of its private label brand, Clover Valley, welcoming over 100 new items to shelves including a wide range of entrees, sides, sauces, condiments, snacks and more at affordable price points.
[Read more: Dollar General, Bayer partner on increasing access to fruit, vegetables for children]
Additionally, Dollar General partners with local and national nonprofit organizations, including food banks, as part of its on-going efforts to help alleviate food insecurity. DG’s operational partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, provides in-kind food donations from stores and distribution centers across the country with a goal to contribute up to 20 million meals each year. To date, Dollar General has donated more than 23 million meals and over $3 million to Feeding America.