- Kroger has launched a new brand of plant-based meats, Simple Truth Emerge, according to a press release. The line is an extension of the retailer’s Simple Truth brand and joins its Simple Truth Plant Based collection, which launched in September.
- The new pea-based meatless burger patties and grinds have 20 grams of protein per serving and are free of GMOs, gluten, soy and dairy. The retailer says Emerge, which will be available in store meat cases, offers the same taste, texture and sizzle when cooked as traditional beef.
- To lead the launch, Kroger is hosting a promotion featuring Simple Truth products and in-store sampling events. Customers can download coupons via the website or app to receive 75 cents off Simple Truth Emerge patties and $1.50 off Simple Truth Emerge grinds.
Kroger is innovative among major retailers in developing plant-based private label meat. But it's also jumping into a quickly crowding category, with startups and mainstream suppliers all developing new products at a rapid clip. In addition to pioneers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Nestlé, Kellogg, Smithfield and Tyson have all rolled out plant-based meats recently. Tofurkey on Wednesday announced a new soy-based burger that will roll out to 600 Target stores this month.
In December, Kroger began adding plant-based meats inside the meat departments at 60 stores, including King Soopers in Denver and Kroger stores in Indiana and Illinois. The 16-week test incorporates jackfruit, seitan, roasts and other products like deli slices and sausages from the retailer’s Simple Truth Plant Based collection. The results of the test will show how Kroger's new line stacks up, and if plant-based meats can truly compete alongside beef burgers, steaks and other cuts.
According to Statista, 60% of Millennials identify as flexitarian, as do 40% of Gen Xers. As these shoppers look for more sustainable options to traditional meats, UBS expects the market for plant-based protein and meat alternatives to grow 28% a year, to a whopping $85 billion in 2030.
Kroger's Simple Truth Plant Based line also includes plant-based cookie dough, pasta sauces, sour cream, and more. The company said it plans to roll out 50 additional items this year.
Simple Truth has become a key asset for Kroger as it fights for margins and customer loyalty. The retailer has even extended the line's footprint beyond Kroger stores, with products available at select Walgreens stores as well as Lucky’s Market locations (Kroger closed its strategic investment in Lucky's late last year).