Late last week, supermarket chain Kroger announced its new partnership with plant-based food brand Impossible Foods and Custom Made Meals, LLC, which prepares fresh starters and appetizers for retail. .
As of now, neither company has revealed the specific details about what kind of products are in the works. But what we do know so far (based on what was said at Kroger’s Investor Day) is that they will be made for the supermarket’s Home Chef brand. Kroger acquired Home Chef for $200 million in 2018 and today it’s worth $1 billion. The delivery service offers more than 500 products, including meal kits, heat-and-serve meals, ready-to-eat products and seasonal dishes.
Theoretically, Impossible Foods could fit into any of these categories. The Silicon Valley company is experienced in developing products for the food industry, ranging from the wildly popular Burger King Impossible Whopper to ready-to-eat Buitoni Ravioli. Its own line of products includes plant-based burgers, meatless ground beef and vegan chicken nuggets.
Kroger is also no stranger to the plant-based food industry. The retailer, which is the largest supermarket chain in the United States, launched its Simple Truth Plant Based line in 2019 to woo vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian customers. It now includes more than 50 vegan products such as oat milk ice cream, plant-based cheese and dairy-free yogurt, as well as vegan burgers, nuggets and deli slices.
Is co-branding the latest plant-based food trend?
Robert Moskow, food and food retail analyst at Credit Suisse, New York, speculated that the line could feature co-branded plant-based meat products, “similar to the strategy co-branding that Costco’s Kirkland brand uses for fresh meat with big suppliers like Tyson.
He added: “We view this test as a threat to Beyond Meat, as it demonstrates a major competitor’s desire to ‘cut’ the margin in co-branded private label products in order to maximize its products.”
The partnership between Impossible Foods and Kroger is another recent example of co-branding in the plant-based food industry. Competitor Beyond Meat last year revealed its partnership with PepsiCo, the world’s second-largest food and beverage company. She has also developed plant-based meat for large chains such as McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut. Earlier this month, Chilean food tech startup NotCo and Kraft Heinz announced their own co-branding team.
Co-branding could be the next big industry trend. Working with bigger brands is helping companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and NotCo put more plant-based foods in front of people. And this is vital at a time when UN reports suggest an urgent shift away from industrial animal agriculture, which is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, for the good of the planet. .
The co-branded products of Impossible Foods and Kroger could potentially launch in the chain’s approximately 2,800 stores in 35 states. It’s a small step, but the planet needs every step it can take.
About the Author
Chief Editor | New York City, NY Kat writes about sustainable food, fashion and food technology. They have a BA in Film and Cultural Studies from Stony Brook University.