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Kroger releases new budget private label line

Smart Way Kroger green beans
Kroger is rolling out a private label brand called ‘Smart Way.’

America’s largest grocery retailer is revamping its private label branding strategy.

The Kroger Co. is introducing Smart Way, a new opening price point product line in its “Our Brands” private label portfolio. This line brings together 16 legacy brands into a single assortment of products.

Smart Way is part of the Kroger ‘Our Brands’ private label brand portfolio, which also includes the namesake Kroger brand, Simple Truth, Private Selection, Home Chef, and Heritage Farm, among others. By consolidating a number of legacy brands into the budget-priced Our Brands line, Kroger hopes to ensure that customers searching for opening price point items will be able to easily find what they are looking for on store shelves.

Customers can currently shop approximately 150 Smart Way products on shelves nationwide, with additional items scheduled to become available during fall 2022.

“As our customers face an ongoing inflationary environment, we know they are looking to stretch their dollars further than ever before," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger senior VP and chief merchant and marketing officer, Kroger. "Smart Way is an exciting, eye-pleasing product line that will be easy for customers to find. By adding a simplified opening price point brand strategy to ‘Our Brands’ portfolio, we will further cater to every customer, every time."

"We are confident Smart Way will have something for everyone," said Juan De Paoli, VP, Our Brands for Kroger. "From canned vegetables and bread to juices and staples, this new product line features the products families need to put an even more affordable meal on their table."

Private label helps fuel Kroger financial success
Kroger credited the generally strong performance of its private label brand portfolio as a significant contributor in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. During the quarter, the company introduced 170 new Our Brands items, including the expansion of its Simple Truth plant-based line and seasonal fresh products.

According to Kroger, its private brand sales were up 10.2% in the second quarter, led by record growth of its namesake Kroger brand and Home Chef brand (Kroger acquired Home Chef in 2018 for $200 million). 

[Read More: Kroger beats Street with Q2 earnings, revenue]

“We are applying technology and innovation to improve freshness, grow Our Brands, and create a seamless shopping experience so our customers can get what they want, when and how they want it, with zero compromise on quality, selection and affordability,” said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co. “We will continue to focus on providing affordable, fresh food to our customers.”

Based in Cincinnati, Kroger operates 2,800 stores, including more than 100 stores in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, under a variety of banners across the U.S., including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC, City Market, Owen's, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker's, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, Pick 'n Save, Metro Market, and Mariano's.

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