CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co.’s Simple Truth line of products is proving to be a success story. Launched in September 2012, the company said recently that sales have grown at an “astonishing pace.”

“Simple Truth continues to grow at an astonishing pace, and we now expect it to reach billion-dollar brand status by the end of fiscal year ’14,” said Mark Ellis, president and CEO, during a March 6 conference call to discuss the company’s latest earnings release.

Ellis noted that Kroger added more than 100 items to the line during fiscal year 2013, ended Feb. 1, 2014.
Both the Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic lines of products have simple ingredient labels and the non-organic products are free-from 101 ingredients Kroger has identified as of concern to its customers. The product line includes natural beef, pork, chicken and eggs.

All Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic products are marked with the brand’s green circular logo and contain ingredient statements. Simple Truth Organic items display the USDA organic seal on the front of packaging, while Simple Truth products have visible identifiers that indicate their category.

Consumer demand for products perceived as “cleaner” or fresher also is having an impact on Kroger’s in-store mix. During the conference call, Ellis noted the retailer is constantly evaluating space allocations for products and they are changing.

“When we look at space allocation, especially in some of our new stores, you'll find that we are allocating more and more space to perishable, refrigerated, and the categories that the customer really cares about,” he said. “And the customer is telling us that’s what they’re interested in. But we can’t ignore the center store, and health and beauty care products and grocery, that is still a big part of our business. But we constantly look at space allocation and make adjustments based on what the customer is telling us they want.”