Kroger's Simple Truth brand will add a number of plant-based products to its portfolio, in an attempt to appeal to the growing number of consumers looking to reduce their meat consumption.
Simple Truth's plant-based collection will launch this fall. It will include meatless burger patties and ground imitation meat as well as plant-based cookie dough, pasta sauces, sausages, deli slices, dips and more.
"Since its launch in January 2013, Simple Truth has become the leading natural and organic brand in the country, with annual sales exceeding $2.3 billion," said Gil Phipps, vice president of Kroger's private label brands.
Phipps noted that more consumers have been adopting a flexitarian lifestyle, where they reduce meat consumption for health or environmental reasons.
Branded food companies, Kellogg and Hormel on Wednesday announced new plant-based product lines, while Tyson Foods said it would invest in a plant-based seafood company. Kellogg's product line Incogmeato includes plant-based patties and imitation chicken tenders and nuggets. The flagship product in Hormel's Happy Little Plants brand is ground plant-based meat alternative.
Barclays has projected sales of the plant-based products will reach $140 billion over the next decade. But they'll also need to compete with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two companies already at the forefront that have been rapidly securing deals with fast-food chains like Dunkin' and Burger King.
Shares of Kroger rose 1.8% Thursday, but are down 9% since January. The company is valued at $20 billion.