- The 1,000th Murray’s Cheese shop in a Kroger banner store has opened, according to a Wednesday announcement, bringing the specialty cheese shop to over 30 states.
- The gourmet retail brand, which originated in the New York neighborhood of Greenwich Village, began showing up in Kroger stores in 2008 and was bought by the grocer in 2017.
- This milestone for the partnership comes as specialty products, such as gourmet cheese, bakery goods and prepared foods, continue to pay off for grocers.
Murray’s Cheese shops have nearly tripled their presence in Kroger's stores since the grocer bought the company in early 2017, when it had about 350 shops in Kroger locations.
The cheese shop offers more than 150 cheese varieties as well as charcuterie, olives, crackers and other specialty food items, according to the press release, with shoppers able to speak with cheesemongers to better understand the products.
Foodservice in grocery, which struggled in the early stages of the pandemic, rebounded significantly according to a November report from the Food Industry Association (FMI). Deli cheese sales this year are up 3.2% from a year ago, with dollar sales hitting $6.6 billion, FMI reported.
In 2021, the specialty food market, including bakery goods, cheeses, seafood and deli meats, hit $175 billion in sales, up 7.4% from a year ago, according to the Specialty Food Association’s 2022 State of the Specialty Food Industry report.
More grocers are including specialty sections in stores, with Chicago’s Dom’s Kitchen & Market serving as a destination for meals and gourmet foods, and a Manhattan Whole Foods Market offering a meat-cutting room and a comprehensive cheese department.