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Kroger to Invest in New Product Incubator

Retailer partners with private investment firm to identify and develop new brands
Kroger
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Kroger Co. is betting that its data on brands its customers bought will predict the brands they want to buy.

The Cincinnati-based retailer said it has entered a partnership with private investment firm Lindsay Goldberg to create a platform to identify, invest in and help grow emerging consumer brands. The new entity, to be known as PearlRock Partners, will be one of the largest data-driven investment vehicles focused on consumer brands, Kroger said. The platform will be a part of Kroger’s alternative profit streams portfolio.

Kroger said its new platform will leverage its merchandising capabilities and predictive analytics with Lindsay Goldberg’s deep consumer expertise and nearly 20-year track record of investing in and supporting family-owned and founder-led companies.

“We are excited to add PearlRock Partners to our portfolio of high-growth alternative profit businesses that generate additional value from our core grocery business. We are confident this partnership with Lindsay Goldberg will help discover and cultivate new brands that Kroger customers will love,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s SVP of alternative business and CEO of its 84.51 analytics arm. “We are transforming from grocer to growth company by deploying our assets to serve even more customers and create margin-rich alternative profit streams.”

Lindsay Goldberg, is a New York-based private investment firm that focuses on partnering with families, founders and management teams seeking to actively build businesses.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kroger to help grow tomorrow’s most successful consumer brands alongside the entrepreneurs who built them,” said Brian Kelley, a partner with Lindsay Goldberg who previously served as CEO of Keurig Green Mountain and president of Coca-Cola’s North American operations. “Backed by a state-of-the-art predictive data platform, real-world consumer product expertise and unparalleled merchandising resources, these next-gen brands will be poised for growth and offer Kroger’s broad customer base greater choice, convenience and innovation.”

The partners are now seeking interested brands and can be reached for inquiries via email at inquiries@pearlrockpartners.com.

 

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