- Kroger has entered a partnership with Kipster Farms, which runs environmentally friendly poultry farms, to produce carbon-neutral, cage-free eggs under the grocer's Simple Truth line, according to a Wednesday press release.
- The grocer is relying on Kipster Farms' closed-loop production system and expects to have the eggs available in select stores in late 2022. MPS Egg Farms, a Kroger partner based in North Manchester, Indiana, has started building the first production facility using Kipster's system.
- The announcement comes as Kroger furthers its sustainability efforts, while also growing its $26 billion private brands business.
Kroger said the partnership with Kipster advances the grocer's Environmental, Social and Governance strategy, which includes a phased transition to cage-free eggs.
Founded in the Netherlands, Kipster Farms uses upcycled food as chicken feed, aims to offer improved air quality by minimizing fine particle emissions and relies on rooftop solar panels for power. Kipster is also focused on animal welfare and makes sure its chickens receive a lot of variety, daylight and outdoor space, the announcement noted.
Kroger claimed the partnership brings "the world's first carbon-neutral, cage-free eggs to retail shelves in the U.S."
Carbon-neutral eggs have already gained ground in the United Kingdom. Earlier this year, Sainsbury's debuted Respectful, the first carbon-neutral eggs sold in the U.K. Also in the U.K., supermarket chain Morrisons is reportedly working to launch own-brand carbon-neutral eggs next year and later introduce carbon-neutral produce and meat choices.
Other recent efforts by Kroger to reduce its environmental footprint include aiming to work with more local suppliers, expanding indoor farming and pledging to make its private label packaging more sustainable by 2030.
On the private label front, the eggs are the newest addition to Kroger's own brands portfolio, which includes more than 10,000 products and generated more than $26 billion in sales in 2020. Kroger recently brought on Juan De Paoli, who previously oversaw private label for Ahold Delhaize, as its new head of store brands.
As part of its work to make its private label offerings more sustainable, Kroger nearly doubled the volume of its Fair Trade Certified ingredient sourcing in 2020, which reached more than 108 Simple Truth products. Meanwhile, the grocer aims to have its Private Selection brand achieve 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee sourcing from international growing regions by mid-2022.