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Kroger Names Go Fresh, Local Supplier Accelerator Cohort


Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. has announced the winners of its second annual Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator. The cohort consists of five new and emerging brands, each selected to join Kroger’s Fresh suppliers and enhance the selection of local items available across the Kroger Family of Companies.

The 2022 Go Fresh & Local Accelerator winners are:

  • Coro Foods (Kent, Washington) – Providing culinary-driven charcuterie for more than 20 years in the Seattle area, this women-owned company has worked to master the art of old-world salumi without being bound by its traditions.
  • The Ugly Company (Kingsburg, California) – Turning healthy fruits with an imperfect appearance into an opportunity to turn “ugly” produce into dried fruit snacks.
  • Hiatus (Baltimore, Maryland) – Offering a number of flavors, Hiatus provides consumers with cheesecakes made of natural ingredients.
  • j. berry Nursery & Genetics (Grand Saline, Texas) – The j. berry team combines hibiscus, crape myrtles and begonias with the science of plant genetics.
  • Zacca Hummus (Boise, Idaho) – Serving from the family farm to your table, the Zacca company makes traditional-style Mediterranean hummus in a variety of flavors that are all non-GMO, gluten-free and made with no artificial preservatives.

Kroger received more than 1,600 applications to participate in the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator. A committee of judges led by Kroger, in collaboration with ECRM and RangeMe, narrowed the applications to a group of 15 brands. The final event, held in Cincinnati, was a pitch competition, requiring each company to deliver a 15-minute presentation and provide samples to a panel of judges.

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s Go Fresh & Local cohort to our extraordinary portfolio of fresh local and regional suppliers,” said Dan De La Rosa, group VP of fresh merchandising.

“Go Fresh & Local was created to bring the best, most innovative, and freshest local and regional products from new and diverse small businesses to our customers across the U.S. This innovative group surpassed our expectations at every step. Their commitment to excellence and the unique blend of products they’ve created will help us expand our local footprint and deliver on our mission of being fresh for everyone.”

Kroger invited sponsors to participate in the event and serve as mentors to the winning suppliers, cultivating their growth and development. Gourmet Foods International returned for the second year as a platinum-level sponsor and was joined by first-time silver-level sponsor DPI Specialty Foods.

GFI and DPI share Kroger’s commitment to build relationships with local and regional brands, bringing customers the freshest local products on the market.

The Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is a key part of Kroger’s broader commitment to invest $10 billion in diverse suppliers by 2030. Each winning company receives product placement on shelves in-store and online within Kroger’s Family of Companies, as well as sponsor support and business development and coaching opportunities from Kroger. Products from this year’s cohort will be placed in Kroger stores in 2023.

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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