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Kroger expands Simple Truth

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger on Wednesday announced the expansion of its Simple Truth brand and launch of its largest-ever Our Brands customer sales promotion, featuring savings on thousands of Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic items.

"We're proud of the high-quality ingredients that go into our Simple Truth products. We're equally proud of what's not in these foods. Simple Truth products are free from 101-plus artificial preservatives and ingredients," stated Robert Clark, Kroger senior vice president of merchandising. "Instead of GMOs and antibiotics, Simple Truth offers clean labels and fantastic flavors. Kroger has led the way for more than a decade in making natural and organic products more mainstream and accessible. We've always believed that our customers shouldn't have to pay higher prices just because a product is natural or organic. The truth is, we've always been affordable."

Kroger introduced Simple Truth in its fourth quarter 2012, and the brand now offers more than 1,400 unique products across multiple categories, including grocery, meat, produce, deli, bakery, baby, household essentials and personal care. Simple Truth also offers more Fair Trade Certified products than any other private label grocery brand in the country.

With the help of 84.51° insights, Simple Truth will continue to innovate and introduce new affordable items in 2018 that align with customer trends, including increasingly popular categories like beverage, snacking and non-animal proteins. These growing trends have already inspired the Our Brands innovation team to develop exciting new items like Simple Truth Organic sports drinks, Simple Truth Organic sparkling coconut waters, Simple Truth fruit and nut bars and Simple Truth meatless entrees.

In Kroger's third quarter 2017, Our Brands delivered strong performance, making up 28.2% of unit sales and 25.6% of sales dollars, excluding fuel and pharmacy. Simple Truth continued to grow in popularity the same quarter, with sales growing 19%.

"Our Brands is shaping the way we are redefining the grocery customer experience as outlined in our Restock Kroger plan," Clark said.

Simple Truth products are exclusive to the Kroger Family of Stores and customers can purchase the brand in a variety of ways: in a store; through ClickList; or Vitacost.com for ship-to-home delivery.

 

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McKesson closes RxCrossroads deal

BY Michael Johnsen

McKesson on Wednesday completed its previously announced acquisition of RxCrossroads. RxCrossroads has become a part of the company’s McKesson Specialty Health business.

According to the wholesaler, the acquisition is expected to enhance McKesson’s existing commercialization solutions for manufacturers of branded, specialty, generic and biosimilar drugs, including comprehensive patient support (“hub”) services, custom pharmacy solutions and third-party logistics, allowing McKesson to grow its end-to-end offerings for manufacturers.

In addition, the acquisition adds plasma logistics to McKesson’s manufacturer services, complementing the company’s established customer-facing plasma offerings.

Originally announced in November, McKesson purchased RxCrossroads from CVS Health in a deal valued at $735 million.

 

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Walgreens Flu Index tracking uptick in activity across the nation

BY Michael Johnsen

There may have been plenty of cough and cold products in the Christmas stockings of residents in the Lone Star State, as Texas markets continue to top the Walgreens Flu Index list for flu activity, the Deerfield, Ill.-based chain announced Wednesday morning. As many as nine of the top 10 markets exhibiting flu activity were in Texas, though flu incidence may be gaining traction across the nation as gains in flu activity were recorded from San Diego to Lafeyette, La.

With the ability to generate hyper-local data across most U.S. markets, the Flu Index is an online, interactive resource allowing anyone to search and find information regarding the most current state of influenza in their community. The Flu Index provides insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity

The Walgreens Flu Index  is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country.

The top 10 designated market areas with flu activity for the week ending Dec. 30 were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas;
  4. Houston;
  5. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas;
  6. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  7. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  8. San Antonio;
  9. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; and
  10. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.

             
For the same week ending Dec. 30 the top 10 DMAs with the greatest flu activity gains were:

  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Des Moines-Ames, Iowa;
  3. San Antonio;
  4. Montgomery-Selma, Ala.;
  5. San Diego;
  6. Reno, Nev.;
  7. La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis.;
  8. Phoenix (Prescott), Ariz.;
  9. Lafayette, La.; and
  10. Wausau-Rhinelander, Wis.

             
 

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