CINCINNATI, Feb. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today is hosting its second Natural Foods Innovation Summit, in partnership with 84.51°, in Cincinnati, Ohio, following the success of its inaugural event last October. Dr. James Rouse—naturopathic doctor, award-winning author, media personality, and speaker—will present at the event.
"Kroger's Simple Truth®, our brand of natural, organic and free-from products, has achieved $2 billion in annual sales and our organic produce sales have reached $1 billion annually since we hosted our first summit. These are just two examples of our customers' growing desire for clean products – and our ability to deliver for them," said Jill McIntosh, Kroger's vice president of natural foods. "Kroger's Summit is an exciting innovation platform that promotes discussion about natural food trends and provides a stage for emerging brands to get their products in front of our buyers and category managers."
More than 40 brands participated in the initial Summit, representing different U.S. regions and categories, including snacks, beverages, yogurts, vitamins and supplements, and protein bars and powders.
"New brands and products are key components of Kroger's growth strategy," added Ms. McIntosh. "In 2018, Kroger will continue to focus on developing new partnerships at micro and macro levels and sourcing locally and regionally. These are just a few of the ways we are redefining the customer experience as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan."
Kroger's next Natural Foods Innovation Summit will take place in June and the company will participate in the Natural Products Expo West event in March, giving brands the opportunity to pitch their products to a panel of Kroger merchandising leaders and influencers.
At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. We are 453,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers daily in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our Family of Companies operates an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized order online service – in addition to 2,258 pharmacies, 783 convenience stores, 307 fine jewelry stores, 222 retail health clinics, 1,472 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Our Company has been recognized as one of America's most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. As a leader in supplier diversity, we are a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.