May 06, 2022
Kroger is bringing back an accelerator program designed to help local fresh food suppliers across the country gain access to the supermarket giant’s store shelves.
The Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is part of Kroger’s continued expansion of its fresh departments across the store.
Kroger encourages suppliers to apply for the program between today and May 23. Those selected will be invited to a two-day event to be held in Cincinnati in August. Kroger will invite a total of 30 finalists to attend, with the top 15 having the opportunity to pitch to chain executives. In the end, five winners will be named.
Winners will receive their products on the store shelves of Kroger-owned chain stores. They will also benefit from recommended partnerships with sponsors and business development coaching from leaders from Kroger’s merchandising and sales teams.
“Kroger is fully committed to supporting a diverse group of innovative local vendors who can bring a great assortment of fresh produce to our customers,” Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s director of sales and marketing, said in a statement. statement.
Suppliers wishing to be considered for the accelerator program are invited to apply as local or regional suppliers. Kroger distinguishes companies based on the following criteria:
- Small producers;
- Located in immediate state or market;
- Articles inspired by the community and locally relevant;
- Marketed in less than approximately 100 stores.
- Large producers;
- Crossing state and divisional borders;
- Always relevant locally for customers;
- Marketed in approximately 100 or more stores.
“Last year, the Go Fresh and Local cohort brought fresh ideas and innovative new products to the table that blew our judges away,” said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising. “Each of last year’s cohort has now seen their products on Kroger shelves, helping us bring the tastes and flavors our customers love directly to local stores. We look forward to building on last year’s success and are excited to bring new vendors on board with the opportunity to join the Kroger family.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are accelerator programs like Kroger a good way to onboard local and regional vendors? In your opinion, what are the appropriate roles for central purchasing agencies and local stores when it comes to attracting new suppliers?
“Localization is hot on the minds of consumers. Farmer market attendance is at an all-time high, and Kroger is smart to capitalize on this trend.”