A newly launched private line of plant-based fresh meats known as Simple Truth Emerge is hitting Kroger stores nationwide this week as the retailer jumps on exploding consumer interest in alternative proteins.
New pea-based meatless burger patties and grinds under the Emerge label—a line The Kroger Co. says will be priced more affordably than branded counterparts—joins the Simple Truth Plant Based collection introduced last year, offering vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sour cream, deli slices, sausage and other products.
Kroger said Emerge patties and grinds offer the same taste, texture and sizzle on the grill or in a pan as beef and are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten and soy. Simple Truth Emerge patties and grinds provide 20 grams of pea-based protein per serving and are located in the packaged traditional meat case, the Cincinnati-based retailer said.
“Kroger continues to be at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation. As more of our customers explore and embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, Simple Truth Emerge is a fresh innovation that provides a flavorful meat alternative that cooks comparably,” Gil Phipps, Kroger’s VP of Our Brands, said in a release. “Kroger believes that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable and delicious food, no matter who you are, how you shop or what you like to eat. And Simple Truth Emerge is an illustration of the commitment that Kroger has to providing our 11 million daily customers with new choices that fit their evolving eating styles and preferences.”
Kroger is supporting the launch with a natural and organic sales promotion through Jan. 22, featuring Simple Truth products, digital coupons offering more than $100 in savings, and food sampling store events. During the promotion, customers can download coupons via Kroger.com or the Kroger app to receive 75 cents off Simple Truth Emerge patties and $1.50 off Simple Truth Emerge grinds.
As previously reported, Kroger is testing merchandising of plant-based foods at 60 stores in two markets. The test, made in partnership with the Plant Based Foods Association, will measure sales and engagement impact of adding plant-based meat sets within the traditional meat set. In addition to plant-based patties and sausages, the test includes deli slices, roasts, seitan and jackfruit. The test aims to produce actionable data and insights to inform merchandising plans and optimize plant-based food sales.
“Kroger is driving the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, valued supplier partnerships and industry-leading fresh merchandising strategies,” said Joe Grieshaber, Kroger’s SVP of merchandising. “Kroger anticipates interest in plant-based products to continue to grow in 2020, with the category being one of the key drivers of our natural and organic sales.”