Summer 2018: Kroger’s Top Food Trends

Here are the top Kroger food trends of summer 2018 to watch out for and enjoy.

1 – Snacking that’s Better for You

With a busy summer, consider raising your standards for on-the-go snacking especially when out and about during road trips, soirees, and picnics. You can take your pick from hydrating with the new sparkling coconut water, fun twists on seltzers, and healthy snack bars. You can choose from Kroger’s Simple Truth Date Bars, Simple Truth Seltzer waters, or Simple Truth Sparkling Coconut Water.

2 – Alcohol Flavored Foods

Summer brings together families and friends to enjoy the sunshine outside and partake in good food. And what better way to imbibe on alcohol without the side effects of being tipsy? Enjoy alcohol-infused food and flavors, of course! Enjoy booze-infused eats, bourbon-infused cola, and even wine-infused steak sauce. Check out Brown Butter Bourbon Truffle Ice Cream to beat the heat or Private Selection Wine Infused Steak Sauces to add oomph to your BBQ parties!

3 – International Flavor

Gustatory delights are just around the corner with new and exciting flavors all over the world. Delight your senses and palate from African Peri Peri to Korean inspired sauces. Try Kroger’s General Tso’s Chicken Potato Chips, Private Selection Wing Sauces, and Private Selection 24-Hr Marinated Jerky to name a few.

4 – Comfort Food

Get nostalgic and remember your childhood days with traditional dishes reinvented to wow your palate. Now that you are a grown-up, you also want to try grown-up renditions of old-school soda pop flavors, pimento cheeses, and even mac & cheese. Interested? Try out Kroger Real Sugar Sodas, Private Selection Mac & Cheese sauces and Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream.

5 – Cocktails and Meals—No Waste

What does that even mean? Well, America is widely known to be wasteful, and to minimize food waste, this is the solution to the dilemma. Did you know that 40% of the food produced each year in this country goes to waste? And did you also know that 1 out of 8 American is hungry? To combat this, consumers are getting more creative when it comes to repurposing ingredients, storing food to extend freshness, buying only what you need, meal planning, and even getting inventive with leftovers.

6 – Flexitarian Lifestyle

Flexitarian is a person who is primarily a vegetarian but sometimes eats fish or meat. It was noted that flexitarian practices are in the trend where people tend to eat vegetables as a significant part of their diet. However, they also enjoy poultry, fish, meat, and dairy on occasions. However, with the innovation in the food industry, there’s so many to choose from the meat-free and dairy-free alternatives that ooze with flavorful enjoyment with each bite. With these options, buyers can have a better-for-me and flexible decisions due to the options available. Kroger choices can be Simple Truth Meatless Crispy Tenders, Simple Truth Meatless Stuffed Cutlets, and Simple Truth Meatless Patties and Crumbles to name a few.

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Nielsen: Private Label Sales Grew 3X Faster Than National Brands

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In a recent report released by Nielsen and cited by Food Navigator, private label sales surpassed the sales of national brands. Private labels are manufactured by one company under another company’s brand or private label. Also called OEM products, they can add margin to stores as well as provide more credibility to shoppers.

The Benefits of Private Labels

Whether it is a bottle of orange juice or a bottle of ketchup, today’s shoppers are comfortable with private labels, which they also called “generic” brands.  There are a lot of benefits to using private labels. Private skip the big brand name, so there is no added cost which allows vendors to add cost or value to their product in other areas to make it more reliable. It is also a solid strategy for retailers as it can reduce competition in different categories.

The Growth of Private Label Sales


The Nielsen report has shows that private labels have experienced a complete reversal regarding its growth, sales, and popularity. In fact, future projections indicate that there will be continued growth for such products and that the market share could hit 25.7% by 2027. This translates to an 8% growth rate over the next ten years.

The popularity of private labels has resulted in retailers like Lidl, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s to earn more revenue and build customer loyalty. In fact, such retail companies have emphasized these products in their online and brick and mortar stores with much success.

National Brands Vs. Private Labels

Big food manufacturers are watching this trend with alarm. And even the brands that remain strong and unsurpassed by private label products are still watching with keen eyes and ready to react. Most national brands are working on convincing shoppers that national brands have been tried and tested and worth the extra cost. But in reality, market experts noted that longtime legacy brands could get an extra boost especially if they continue to innovate and do not rest on their laurels.

While the private label brands are not yet posing too much threat to national brands, there is still a possibility that it can happen. If national brands cannot keep up with the private labels, the market scene in the United States will look more like in Europe where private label commands more loyalty from consumers.  In fact, in the UK, private labels hold 45% of the market share within the grocery sector. The reason why private labels are popular in Europe is that they provide more value for the money and that they offer more choices to shoppers.

Private labels will be huge in the following years. If private labels keep up with the changes as well as offer more value and choices to shoppers, they can ride the current trend for a long time to come.

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Daymon Report: Private Label Brands Are Booming

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Daymon, global consumer retail, and private label brand agency, recently published its first Private Brand Intelligence Report. In the report, Daymon analyzes how retail brands and private label brands are competing based on proprietary survey data, category research, and expert insights.

Significant Findings in the Private Brand Daymon Report

Daymon’s analysis found some interesting insights for private label brands and some dangerous ones for national brands. The agency found that 81% of shoppers buy private label brands on every or almost every shopping trip. 85% of consumers in the study indicated that they trust store brands as much as their national counterparts. On top of these shopper stats, private label brand sales are up 4% over national brands in the past 12 months.

Daymon CEO, Jim Holbrook, believes that this is a “renaissance period” for store brands. He attributes this growth in private label to the way retailers are creating one-of-a-kind brands that national competitors are even having a time emulating. Grocery discounters like Aldi and Lidl are causing turmoil for traditional retailers because of their low cost, organic private label brands. The report concludes that the majority of shoppers (60%) want retailers to create more private brands in the fresh products category. Consumers can expect retailers to listen and start competing more aggressively in this category over the next 36 months.

Private Label is Disrupting Retail in a Big Way


The Private Label Manufacturer’s Association reports that store brands make up 17% of all grocery sales with a market size of $150 billion. Retailers like Aldi and Target have changed the way consumers think about private label. They now often recognize these store brands with quality and trust. National products are finding it tougher and tougher to compete with lower cost alternatives that are built on transparency and trust.

However, the private label market is facing some inside challenges. Brandless, San Francisco-based e-commerce startup, offers 115 “brandless” private label brands for the same price. For only $36, consumers can get free shipping all year on all orders.

As private label gets more competitive, it’s imperative for retailers to get savvy and compete even more. Simple ingredients and clean label products will be a win-win for store brands. Download our GrandFusion R&D Resource Kit to learn more about how our products can help you stand out from the crowd.

Private Label Innovation: Connecting To Millennials

Private label brands are manufactured by a particular company under another company’s brands. Over the past few years, private labels have seen a growth in market share. In fact, during the Private Label Manufacturer Association show last year in Chicago, the association indicated that the business continues to grow by 5%.

Private labels are available in different types of industries from cosmetics to food. They are mostly lower cost alternatives to other types of brands. Nielsen noted that the store sales of private labels are estimated to be at $120 billion. Private label company giants like Aldi and Save-A-Lot have catered to retail store companies like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, most consumers tend to patronize private label brands because they are cheaper than others.

Why Private Label Is Innovating

The popularity of private labels has presented opportunities to manufacturers of major brands to create products that appeal to private label shoppers. For example, Hormel Foods is launching its latest commercial retail team to help partners grow their private label strategies.

Private labels also need to take a step further to meet the demands of their customers. Private label brands are also venturing into healthier products. For instance, Ohio-based SmithFoods have started producing almond milk aside from traditionally manufacturing milk and other dairy products.  On the other hand, Perrysburg from Ohio manufactures not only private label frozen pizza and snacks but also “better for you” products with organic and gluten-free ingredients.

Millennials Are The Future Consumers

Neil Stern, a senior partner from McMillanDoolittle, noted that most food retailers in the United States are updating their private label offerings to meet the demands of their customers. For now, these private label brands are focusing on producing organic and natural products.

The direction towards healthier options is being driven by younger consumers in the market. Younger or millennial shoppers are now warming up to startup brands especially those that offer healthier choices. Millennials are considered the most aggressive of all types of consumers.


In a recent survey conducted by the PLMA, millennials agreed that they have the knack to try food created in different ways. Meaning that they opt for healthier options that are prepared in the most sustainable way. Their food choices have also reflected their eating habits. However, Millennials do not like to spend an exorbitant amount of money to buy their food. According to the same survey, 75% of millennials tend to shop in the supermarket, where bakery goods and dairy items top their list.

With this data, supermarkets can experience big payoffs by innovating their private labels to meet the eating habits of Millennials.  Store brands have the opportunity to compete with the well-recognized national brands and in some cases, win.

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Premium Packaging: The New Trend in Private Label

The food manufacturing industry is highly competitive right now, and private label brands are keeping big brands on their toes. Aside from using clean ingredients, another industry trend is premium packaging.

Packaging is considered by most the brand and forms the first impression of products at the shelf in stores and online. Private label is adopting premium packaging to increase the perceived quality of their products and increase brand loyalty.

What Is Premium Packaging?

Big retailers are relying on cutting-edge packaging to enhance their brands. Premium packaging is all about improving the presentation of the product to make it distinguishable from competitors. It reinforces the identity of the brand, thereby making the products more appealing to the consumers. But it is important to take note that premium packaging is not only about using heavy-duty and expensive materials, but it also considers convenience and sustainability.

The Elements of Premium Packaging

Creating premium packaging can be a challenging task. Companies need to consider many things in the design of the packaging to sell their product, identity, and brand. Certain things should be taken into consideration when creating premium packaging, and these include the following:

  1. technical design innovation
  2. the durability of packaging
  3. convenience
  4. consumer health and wellness
  5. eco-friendly materials

For instance, thinking about the use of eco-friendly materials is necessary for creating premium packaging since so many people are now conscious of the green movement. Today, many manufacturers look into the sustainability of their packaging as they aim to produce less waste.

Convenience is also another factor especially if the product is designed for a particular target market. For instance, products that are created for the elderly should be convenient enough so that they can open the packaging without the help of others.

The Benefits of Premium Packaging in Private Label

The idea of presenting a product or brand as “luxurious” depends on the type of packaging used. People opt for luxury products to maintain a certain social standard. But more than social standards, luxury packaging can also improve the consumer experience. Private label companies are interested in premium packaging for this primary reason. They are already beating competitors on price, but they want to compete on experience now.

For instance, when the first microwavable meals became popular, demand increased because of the attractiveness of quick meals. Today, microwavable meals are no longer attractive and are commonplace. The use of ceramic pots to contain microwavable meals are used to create a better eating experience.

It is inevitable for companies to change their product packaging. It is one of the marketing strategies that companies should do to ensure success. With the constant evolution of product packaging, it will continue to push private label manufacturers to innovate and stand out from the crowd.

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