CINCINNATI, March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is excited to return to Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California with two exclusive events for entrepreneurs and emerging brands.

The Kroger Co. Logo (PRNewsFoto/The Kroger Co.) (PRNewsFoto/The Kroger Co.)

«This is Kroger’s 17th consecutive appearance at Expo West and one of our largest activations,» said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. «Expo West offers Kroger access to thousands of natural and organic suppliers, and we look forward to creating and expanding partnerships at our First Pitch and Town Hall events.»

Kroger will kick off the multi-day expo with its First Pitch event, offering brands the unique opportunity to present innovative and trending products to the company’s category managers, buyers and merchandising leaders. Along with providing real-time feedback on products, Kroger will invite three standout brands from the First Pitch to its Natural Foods Innovation Summit on April 17 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

«Natural and organic products remain one of Kroger’s fastest growing categories, and based on our 2019 food trends insights, we expect continued growth in this area,» added Clark. «From natural sweeteners to plant-based foods, customers are increasingly turning to Kroger as the authority on organic and free-from foods and products. In response, we continue to expand Simple Truth® through product innovation and leverage events like Expo West to bring new tastes, trends and experiences to our customers.»

More than 500 individuals representing 250 brands are expected to attend the Town Hall event for a roundtable discussion with leading Kroger experts, including:

  • Kate Meyer, Director of Grocery and Natural Foods Merchandising
  • Allison Kuhn, MS, RD, LD, Director of Retail Nutrition
  • Stephanie Herbert, Promotional Planning Specialist, Natural Foods
  • Holly Adrien, Senior Category Manager, Baby
  • Alexandra Trott, 84.51° Natural Foods Merchandising Lead Consultant (Moderator)

The expert panel will discuss consumer trends and profiles, retail insights, merchandising and marketing tactics, pricing strategies, nutrition and more.

To view Kroger’s 2019 food trends, curated by the company’s product developers, chefs and innovators, visit KrogerStories.com.

At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. We are nearly half a million associates who serve nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

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SOURCE The Kroger Co.