EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Tom Sargent has joined Supervalu as vice president of meat merchandising. He most recently led efforts in protein strategies and case-ready meats for Kroger, which led to a significant increase in annual sales.

Sargent will lead innovation and growth for Supervalu’s overall meat and seafood capabilities, including enterprise buying, vendor negotiations and product quality, plus he will lead efforts to increase the company’s private-label brand meat sales. He will be based at company headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Supervalu Inc. is one of the largest grocery wholesalers and retailers in the US with annual sales of approximately $17 billion. It operates a network of approximately 3,420 stores throughout the US composed of 1,900 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food-distribution business and 1,332 Save-A-Lot stores.