Kroger and Fareway's takes on local


By Andy Nelson, Supermarket Perimeter



Midwestern retailer Fareway Stores Inc. has always been fortunate when it comes to local, says Jeff Cook, vice president of market operations for the 123-store chain.


That’s because Fareway is headquartered in Boone, Iowa, the heart of U.S. meat production. Fareway has hung its hat on locally-produced meat for decades.


“We’re lucky where we’re located in upper Midwest, where some of the world’s best beef and pork are produced,” he says. “Almost everything is local. Our national suppliers are right in our backyards — we’re within 75 or 100 miles of their plants.”


In the past, Fareway was more low-key about emphasizing the sources of its products. Now the chain is focused on being more aggressive, with the hiring of a social media manager and a boost in digital instore signage among the efforts in that direction.


Fortunately, being located where they are, Fareway stores have an easier time getting that local message across — at least comparatively.


“You get to the coasts, a lot of consumers aren’t sure where their beef and pork are coming from,” Cook says. “We need to devote more information to training, pamphlets, etc. Here in the Midwest, people have more direct relations to the agriculture industry.”


Fareway distributes its locally and regionally grown beef and pork products from its central warehouse in Boone and partners with plants in Omaha and Dakota City for beef and Dennison, Storm Lake and Waterloo for pork.


The chain’s latest partnership is with Comfrey Farms in southwest Minnesota, a pork operation founded by Minnesota Timberwolves owner and billionaire businessman Glen Taylor.


Fareway first launched its branded duroc pork program using Comfrey product in 16 of its 123 stores. It’s since expanded to 34, Cook says. Comfrey Farms sources its heritage pork from multi-generational family farms, which fits right in with Fareway’s commitment to local.


“We’re hopefully helping these generational farms to stay in the family and actually expand,” Cook says.


Before the partnership was sealed, every one of Fareway’s management teams from its different stores went to Comfrey Farms and toured the processing facility and met with the family farmers who raised the hogs, Cook says.


Old-fashioned face-to-face meetings with one’s grower and producer partners can’t be beat, but Fareway also relies on more modern techniques...


At Kroger, local suppliers make their case


The Kroger Co. connects  local and small-business suppliers through a dedicated website,


Through the site, local farmers, ranchers and other food and beverage producers are invited to connect with Kroger and make their case for supplying stores in the Cincinnati-based chain...





Kroger presents USO with $1 million donation during recent ‘Honoring Our Heroes’ campaign


Special to the Opelika Observer

July 10, 2019


Kroger presented the USO with a $1 million donation as a part of the company’s Honoring Our Heroes campaign, an initiative that demonstrates Kroger’s commitment to veterans, service members and their families.


The check presentation was made at this year’s culinary event at Fort Stewart that brought together teams from Kroger, the USO and Chef Robert Irvine to entertain 1,500 troops and their families.


“Honoring Our Heroes is our way of saying thank you to our active duty service members and our nation’s 23 million veterans,” said manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Atlanta Division Felix Turner.


The Atlanta Division includes Georgia, Eastern Alabama and South Carolina. “To date, Kroger, along with our customers and associates, have raised $25 million in support of the USO.”


Kroger is committed to a nationwide initiative to help veterans and transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities. Kroger has hired more than 45,000 veterans since 2009.


About Kroger


The Kroger Co. is dedicated to their purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. The company focuses its charitable efforts on hunger relief, K-12 education, women’s health initiatives and local organizations in the communities it serves. Kroger’s Atlanta Division is headquartered in Atlanta and is one of the Southeast’s largest retail grocery chains with more than 183 stores, covering Georgia, Eastern Alabama and South Carolina.


About The USO


The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, they are united in their commitment to connect service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Their programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of corporate partners and the dedication of volunteers and staff.


About The Robert Irvine Foundation


The Robert Irvine Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization that honors the men and women defending our country, first responders and the many other heroes in their lives. The foundation’s mission is to support individuals and organizations committed to enriching the lives of American heroes and their families.


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