What is Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit?
The Kroger Co.’s Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit objective is to provide a clear path of entry to Kroger’s Fresh Departments for regional and local suppliers, creating a robust portfolio of diverse product offerings that delivers a best-in-class shopping experience for our customers.
The Kroger Co. Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit will accept applications from May 12, 2021, through May 31, 2021, 11:59 PM PST.
ECRM & RangeMe are our vendor partners, hired to conduct the review process, which will provide selected applicants the opportunity to meet virtually with our Fresh Department Category Managers and Directors.
The Kroger Co. Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit is evaluating applications based on 5 identified regions across the United States. 15 finalists will be selected to present in person at our 2021 The Kroger Co. Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit hosted in Cincinnati, Ohio, in August.
Region 1: QFC, Fred Meyer, Ralphs and Food 4 Less
Region 2: Fry’s, Smith’s, King Soopers, City Market and Dillon’s
Region 3: Kroger Houston, Kroger Dallas, Kroger Delta, and Kroger Nashville
Region 4: Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pick n Save, Kroger Central, Kroger Michigan, Kroger Columbus
Region 5: Kroger Atlanta, Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Kroger Louisville, Harris Teeter and Kroger Cincinnati
What to Know Before You Apply:
1. Is Kroger seeking certain types of products for Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator?
- The Kroger Co. is seeking innovative FRESH new items to expand our local and regional offerings across the country. This includes the following commodities: Produce, Floral, Deli, Bakery, Specialty Cheese, Meat & Seafood.
2. Does my product need to be manufactured before I submit my application?
- It is not a requirement for your product to be manufactured before submitting, although it is preferred.
3. Will Kroger Co. help me manufacture my product?
- In an effort to find the best new FRESH innovation, Kroger has developed a partnership to help small, local companies grow and expand the right products. Select “Need financially viable manufacturing options” on the question “Is this product purchase order ready?”
4. Is there a fee to apply?
- There is no fee to submit your application.
5. May I speak with a Kroger Category Manager to discuss my product?
- Due to the volume of product submissions, Category Managers are unable to speak directly with applicants. You will be contacted directly by a member of ECRM if there’s interest in discussing your product further.
Completing and Submitting your Application
6. Can I submit my product via email, fax, or US Mail?
- All product submissions must be completed electronically through RangeMe. (www.rangeme.com/krogerfreshlocal)
7. Where do I ship my samples?
- After reviewing your application, if a Category Manager wants to learn more about your product, he or she will reach out directly, through RangeMe, to discuss the need for samples, including the quantity and where to ship them. We cannot guarantee that your samples will be returned to you.
8. Do you have any tips on completing my application?
- Make sure to provide a complete and accurate description of your product and product line. Additionally, we want to hear your story, so be sure to fill out your brand profile so that our Category Managers can learn more about your brand. Make sure to complete the entire product submission form. Incomplete product submissions will not be considered.
9. Can I save a partially completed application to edit at a later time?
- If you exit your partially completed application, you will be able to edit your draft and complete your entry under the “My Submissions” tab of your submission page at a later time. You will not be able to make any edits to your application once it has been submitted.
10. Can I change my application after I submit it?
- Updates to your RangeMe profile will be reflected after a submission is complete, however, you are not able to edit any answers to application questions. We recommend ensuring your details are accurate and complete before submitting.
11. Which web browser should I use?
- RangeMe recommends using the most current version of Microsoft Chrome for an optimal experience.
12. Will Kroger enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement for my product submission?
- The Kroger Co. will not enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or otherwise have any obligation to maintain the secrecy of any products or materials you submit.
After You Apply:
13. How do I know if my application was successfully submitted?
- You will receive an automated email from the product submission website confirming receipt of your application. Please check your spam/junk folder as the email is sometimes caught there.
14. How long will it take to receive a response from Kroger regarding my application? What are the next steps?
- We will begin reviewing submissions immediately upon completion and will conduct 1st round meetings beginning July 12, ECRM will be communicating with all suppliers selected to participate in The Kroger Co.’s Go Fresh & Local, Supplier Accelerator Summit.
- If Kroger is not interested in pursuing your product further, you will receive an automated email via RangeMe alerting you of the status update.
15. Can I resubmit a product that was rejected by The Kroger Co. in the past?
- Yes! We encourage all suppliers to continue to innovate and engage with us.
Local & Regional at The Kroger Co. – what does it mean?:
Mission Statement: Be known as a retailer who is connected to our customers through our commitment to offer an assortment of products from local suppliers and growers.
Definition of Local Items
Our local definition should be remembered in a similar fashion as how our customers define local, which is local to their own community. However, it’s still important to us that we recognize the great regional brands that exist as well as any local/regional items we have cultivated and grown over the years.
We’ve broken “local” items into two categories – Local vs. Regional:
Local: Small producers, located in-state or the immediate market (truly local/community items), merchandised* in less than 100 stores (approx.)
- Desire to have community/market name recognition and strong brand equity with customers
- Present unique items that exhibit artisan craftsmanship, or be a distinct “signature” item in the community/market
- Must have the ability to keep a consistent supply to the stores
- Could be produced by a large producer/national brand supplier, but only sold in less than ~100 stores
Regional: Larger producers that cross state boundaries (and Divisions at times), yet are still locally relevant to our customers, merchandised* in 100 or more stores (approx.)
Importance of Local Items
- Supports trend towards sustainable products (farm-to-table, reducing carbon footprint)
- Supports the local community
- Important to our customers’ overall shopping experience at The Kroger Co. and assortment
- Helps The Kroger Co. by building an emotional connection with our customers and local suppliers/growers through storytelling
- Enables our customers to connect with and support the community
- Enhances our credibility for fresh, quality, and seasonality
- Provides boost to the local economy and suppliers/growers