Supply Chain:

Our Food and Products

The importance of "supply chain" is rising among Kroger stakeholders—from customers and associates to investors and NGO's. By "supply chain" we mean the entire food growing and distribution system from farm or ocean to our stores. Shoppers will always care about price, service, shopping experience, product selection and quality. More and more, people also care and want to know how Kroger positively influences the supply chain—from raw materials and ingredients, manufacturing inputs, labor practices and animal welfare. Kroger has programs in place to address many aspects of a complex and dynamic food system.

Kroger is quickly becoming a top destination when customers are looking for affordable, accessible organic and natural foods. We offer thousands of natural, organic and eco-friendly product choices to meet our customers' needs and preference for their families and homes.


Organic

Kroger is a leader in providing our customers fresh organic fruits, vegetables and salads. Our organics section has grown and expanded in response to our customers' interest in these products.

Organic Produce Supplier

Domenico Farms, located in Platteville, Colorado, is a family owned and operated farming business that began in 1922 and has supplied Kroger for almost 50 years. In 1995, Domenico Farms became certified Organic. Each year, from May through December, they supply many fresh produce items including organic beets, summer squash, bell peppers, kale, chard, parsley, cilantro, green onions, beans, lettuce, cabbage, eggplant, onion, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, winter squash and leeks.


Simple Truth Organic™

Our natural and organics store brand, Simple Truth®, reached a milestone $1.5 billion in annual sales in 2015—this was within three years of launching the brand exclusively in our stores. There are over 2,000 Simple Truth® or Simple Truth Organic™ items. Both product lines have clearly defined product standards in order to clearly communicate to shoppers.

These products are made using methods that the USDA includes in its definition of organic. What does it all mean? Please visit our Simple Truth website to learn more (www.simpletruth.com).

Kroger Manufacturing operates several certified organic processing facilities, including: Tamarack Farms Dairy in Newark, OH; Kenlake Foods in Murray, KY, which produces Kroger nuts and oatmeal; and Hutchinson Dairy in Hutchinson, KS, which produces ultra-pasteurized organic milk and soy milk.

There is growing interest from our customers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Customers seeking to avoid GMOs, can choose from hundreds of Kroger's organic offerings that are identified as non-GMO. The National Organic Program standards do not allow GMOs in the production of organic products.


Natural Foods

Kroger continues to be one of the largest natural food retailers in the U.S. by sales volume. Natural foods have seen double-digit growth for the past several years. Natural food products in Kroger are sold not only in the 1,300 Nature's Market departments, but increasingly are found integrated throughout the store. Kroger offers 20,000 natural products nationwide, with each store offering between 4,000–9,000 curated items. All of the products within this department must adhere to Kroger's strict natural food ingredient standards which mean they must refrain from using 101 ingredients our customers tells us are "undesirable." Natural foods continues to offer our customers products that are made with the ingredients they want while offering customers the option to buy from companies that engage in business practices that are important to them. Third-party certifications such as Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council are just a few of the trusted third-party certifications that help our customers purchase products that align with their values.


Simple Truth™ "Free From 101+"

This phrase—Free From 101+—means that these products are free from 101+ artificial preservatives and ingredients that our customers have identified as being "undesirable." Click here to see the entire list.


Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill was founded in 1978 by Bob and Charlee Moore with a mission to promote "whole grains for every meal of the day." Our line of over 400 wholesome products is made from grains, beans and seeds grown by farmers who, in many cases, have had relationships with our company for decades. Each Bob's Red Mill product is handled with care to ensure the highest quality. All of our products are kosher, many are USDA certified organic, and our extensive gluten-free line is produced in a dedicated facility.

Bob Moore is more than just a purveyor of top-quality foods; he is also a benevolent man who shares with his employees and the community. In 2010, on Bob's 81st birthday, he announced that he would be giving the company to the employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). As Bob puts it, "It was just the right thing to do. I have people that have worked with me for over 30 years, and each and every one of them deserves this."

Bob Moore and Bob's Red Mill are also committed to many philanthropic efforts, including major donations to university facilities such as the Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness at Oregon Health and Science University; the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health at Oregon State University; and a number of programs at the National College of Natural Medicine, including the Ending Childhood Obesity Project.

When you buy Bob's Red Mill products, you are not only investing in your own wellness—you're also supporting an employee-owned company that puts people before profits.


Locally Grown

For many years, Kroger has worked with farmers and suppliers to bring locally produced goods to our grocery stores. Our customers value our "locally grown" and "locally produced" programs as these products are very fresh and help lessen the impact on our environment through reduced transportation and minimized handling.

We participate in many state programs that support local and regional farmers, including: Kentucky Proud, Ohio Proud, Colorado Proud, Michigan Select, Buy Texas, Virginia's Finest, and Goodness Grows in North Carolina.

Kroger's Louisville Division expanded their commitment to local in 2015. Kroger will sell 125 products from 34 Kentucky Proud producers in 88 stores throughout the division.

One of Kroger's most popular products is local too—our 18 dairies throughout the U.S. process milk from local farmers and deliver it fresh to all of our retail stores. See more about milk and the dairy industry in Dairy later on.


Simple Truth Non-Food

Kroger's Simple Truth™ and Simple Truth Organic™ line of products continue to grow and expand into new categories each year. Most recently, Kroger launched a variety of Simple Truth™ non-food products in rolled tissue, laundry, cleaning and health and beauty care. These products do not contain parabens, sulfates, triclosan, phosphates and ammonia. Additionally, these products do not allow any animal testing on ingredients.


How Kroger Delivers on Fresh and Locally Grown

Ken Chrisco, a regional produce specialist, delivers local produce to our stores. Like other regional produce specialists, Ken is our eyes in the field for our procurement team, travelling to farms across the United States. His number one priority for produce is "fresh"—delivering product to our customers at its absolute peak. Everything he looks for must meet Kroger specifications, grown under the USDA Good Agricultural Practices and backed by the growers' food safety programs.

"Regional produce specialists help ensure that not only is the produce that our customers buy FRESH but that it is grown and sourced nearby," said Chrisco.


Recyclable & Renewable

The bottles for Simple Truth™ and Simple Truth Organic™ laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner and dish soap are made from 50 percent sugar cane. Sugar cane is a rapidly renewable resource and reduces the amount of petroleum-produced resin needed for these bottles. And just as important, the bottles are readily recyclable throughout the U.S. Our consumers can feel good about reducing their environmental footprint and recycling in their local community.


Gentle on the Planet

At Kroger, we continue to develop products that meet the needs of our customers. We recognize our customer's interest in purchasing sustainably sourced products and the use of recyclable packaging whenever possible.

As a result, Kroger's Simple Truth bath tissue and paper towels are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Rainforest Alliance Certified. In addition, the tissue is made from 100 percent recycled paper with a minimum 60 percent post-consumer recycled content. The inner corrugate tube can be recycled in U.S. curbside recycling programs and the plastic overwrap can be brought back to our stores and recycled in our in-store plastic bag recycling program.

Kroger's Home Sense™ bath tissue, facial tissue and rolled paper towels are FSC and Rainforest Alliance Certified. These certifications ensure that the wood pulp used to make these rolled tissue products is sourced from well-managed forests that adhere to responsible forestry practices.

Our Simple Truth cleaning wipes are also FSC and Rainforest Alliance Certified.


FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED™

Fair Trade Certified™ is an approach to sustainable development that can help family farmers in developing nations gain better access to international markets. Kroger first brought Fair Trade products to its stores in 2000, and we continue to search for certified products that are of interest to our customers. The number of Fair Trade Certified™ products that we carry, including different varieties of coffee, tea and chocolate, increases every year. These products can be found in our natural foods department and nutrition centers, depending on the store. Simple Truth® continues to increase the availability of products. Kroger is proud of Simple Truth's Fair Trade Certified™ products that empower farmers, spark sustainable business and support thriving communities.


RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED™

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works around the world to conserve forests, natural resources and biodiversity while advancing sustainable livelihoods. By offering products that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, Kroger helps ensure a future where planet and people prosper together. Millions of acres of working forests and farms are managed according to rigorous standards for sustainable environmental, social and economic practices. Farms that meet the comprehensive criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal that helps consumers make an informed purchasing decision. You'll find that many items in our stores feature the "green frog" seal, like our Private Selection coffees, Home Sense™ tissues and other rolled tissue products, and many of the flowers we sell.


Endangered Species Chocolate

Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate is a mission-driven company that is passionate about chocolate and at-risk wildlife.

Endangered Species Chocolate commits to full traceability standards for its chocolate, ensuring that every bit of cocoa purchased comes from Fairtrade Certified farms. In fact, Endangered Species Chocolate is the 1st American-made chocolate to use fully traceable Fairtrade cocoa from West Africa, a region that grows 70% of the world's cocoa. Choosing Fairtrade supports fair prices and wages for farm workers, audits for child and forced labor, and sustainable farming practices. This translates into social, economic and environmental benefits for West Africa's farming communities and wildlife.

Endangered Species Chocolate combines its premium chocolate with a promise to help at-risk species rebound and thrive. The company's annual 10% GiveBack of net profits fuels the work of the world's leading conservationists and wildlife protection programs. With every Endangered Species Chocolate purchase, we're helping to protect the diversity of life on our planet and promote true global change.

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