Skip to main content

'No longer niche,' Kroger increases presence at NatExpo West

Kroger on Tuesday shared its participation in the NatExpo West event in Anaheim, Calif. as part of its effort to continue building relationships with emerging brands.

"This is Kroger's 16th year to participate in Expo West," Jill McIntosh, Kroger vice president of natural foods, said. "Through our exclusive First Pitch and Town Hall events, we are increasing our presence and accessibility at the NatExpo West. This year is our biggest activation. We will have more than 40 Kroger representatives participate, ranging from buyers and category managers to merchandising executives."

Kroger anticipates a robust number of suppliers engaging with the company's representatives during its First Pitch event, which provides innovative, ready-to-go-to-market businesses the opportunity to present their products to the retailer.

"Our customers' appetite for better-for-you products continues to grow year-over-year. The natural foods category has become mainstream — it is no longer a niche market," added McIntosh. "Along with growing our Simple Truth brand, which reached $2 billion in annual sales in 2017, we will continue to focus on developing new partnerships at micro and macro levels to expand this category. Innovation is key in this space and this is one of the reasons we have attended Expo West since 2002 and recently started our Natural Foods Innovation Summit series."

Kroger's Town Hall will focus on its merchandising leaders sharing the Restock Kroger plan along with hosting discussions about ecommerce and Kroger Precision Marketing powered by 84.51° in front of an anticipated group of 500 individuals representing more than 270 suppliers. During the event, industry leaders, including CPGs and Kroger's own Simple Truth and sustainability experts, will lead a panel about sustainable practices, a focus of the natural foods industry.

The Town Hall will also feature a celebrity chef tasting that spotlights Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, which aims to end hunger in its communities and eliminate food waste in its company by 2025. Kroger is partnering with three distinguished chefs — Roy Choi, Phillip Frankland Lee and Chelsea's Messy Apron — to host the event.

Kroger will host its third Natural Foods Innovation Summit this June in Cincinnati, Ohio.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds