Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in America, recently participated in a trial with PBFA to determine the effects of plant-based meat sales when placed next to animal meat. The results from Feburary showed a 23% uptake in plant-based sales and since then, Kroger reveals a continuous increase to a current 75%. Here we analyse the factors.
The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) reported that: “From March to June 2020, Kroger increased its plant-based meat customer count by more than 50% compared to last year at this time. In addition, customers purchased more often and in greater quantities than before, which led to sales growth of more than 75% during this time.”
In May 2020, the mighty Impossible Foods accelerated its retail expansion by distributing its flagship product at more than 1,700 Kroger owned stores nationwide. Joe Grieshaber, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising stated this at the time: “Plant-based food remains one of the fastest-growing categories at Kroger. We’re excited to continue growing our selection, especially as more customers than ever are purchasing meat products made from plants.”
So there are multiple factors involved in this colossal jump in sales for plant-based meats at Kroger:
- Kroger participated in a trial with PBFA to study the effects of positioning plant-based meats next to animal meats – the trial was very successful; PBFA reported that trial increased plant-based meat sales by 23% on average.
- Impossible Foods have established a presence in Kroger stores, which brings with it its own huge publicity and sales.
- Kroger rebranded and launched 58 new vegan products through its home label, Simple Truth late last year and increased other plant based lines including Emerge and more recently Garden Inspirations.
- The general rise of plant-based foods as consumers shift from animal products, witnessed pre pandemic.
- The global pandemic; further accelerated sales; Kroger’s trends mirror the total U.S. retail sales of plant-based meats which was at a growth of 61% post-panic buying through to the end of April, according to the PBFA.
Sean Brislin, merchandising director for Kroger, commented on the trial with PBFA: “This test provides one more proof point that plant-based meats have moved from niche to mainstream. Kroger continues to experience double-digit growth in the plant-based category, and this test demonstrates the viability of shifting product placements to reach even more customers. We thank the Plant Based Foods Association for partnering with us on this insightful merchandising research project.”