- Kroger is stocking a mobile grocery store bringing fresh groceries to several Lexington, Kentucky, neighborhoods with limited access to fresh foods, according to the city’s mayor’s office.
- The Mobile Market will make around 20 stops between July and September as part of its pilot run and, during that time, city officials will study its routes, inventory and more to identify food accessibility problems.
- This initiative comes as grocers continue to bolster accessibility efforts to reach more consumers.
The 60-foot trailer operated by God’s Pantry Food Bank and stocked by Kroger has a single aisle layout that will sell fruits, vegetables, dairy and non-dairy milk, chicken, beef, pork, deli meat, cheese, yogurt and a small selection of household products like toilet paper, detergents and cleaning products, per the announcement.
While cash payments will not be accepted, the Mobile Market’s goods can be purchased with debit or credit cards as well as SNAP payments.
The Mobile Market stems from Mayor Linda Gorton’s October 2020 Commission for Racial Justice and Equality which consists of more than 50 recommendations to address systemic racism in the city. The commission noted that a majority of Black residents in Lexington are not near a grocery store and cannot afford transportation to travel to one.
“The introduction of our Mobile Market represents a significant step forward in enhancing convenience, accessibility, and sustainability in the realm of grocery access, and making Lexington a more equitable city leveraging resources and partnerships, like the one we’ve forged to make this a success,” Tiffany Brown, the city’s equity and implementation officer, said in a statement.
Kroger rolled out its own mobile grocery initiative in Louisville, Kentucky, in January 2019 to bring fresh produce, meat and other grocery staples to areas with limited access to healthy food.
Mobile grocery stores continue to make appearances in the grocery industry as grocers try to improve their accessibility reach. In 2017, mobile grocery store Rollin’ Grocer served a Midtown Kansas City community after two neighborhood grocery stores, Thriftway and Apple Market, closed, creating a food desert.
However, mobile grocery stores are often a short-term solution to food deserts rather than a replacement for traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores.
Sprouts Farmers Market currently has a mobile grocery store touring numerous Florida cities where new Sprouts stores are slated to open later this year. The truck is bringing the grocer’s best-selling items to its new customer base.