Kroger Working to become the King of Health Foods in Kentucky
Ivan Potter, story and photos
Yesterday, May 14th, I walked into the future of food. My adventure with food took place in the newly remodeled Kroger store in Murray, Kentucky. Just two weeks ago, this Murray Kroger had been reborn from its 1970s look into the 21st Century feeling of health and wellness.
This dramatic transformation occurred at the first space of encountering the serious food section of the store. Past the flowers, past the fruit and vegetables, past the deli is now the first exposure to the new Kroger for most shoppers.
The first 12’ x 80’ of the store has been changed from cereal boxes over to health and wellness products. Now, where once over 200 boxes of cereal and sugar sweet morning food has been shelved, have all been removed to make way for healthy food products.
This new commitment to health was displayed on four foot long shelving units stacked in seven feet high space. Allowing for 8 foot isle space, the entire shopping experience was over 80 feet in length. Stored within these boundaries were around 1800 separate brands, boxes, and bags.
Examples included 80 dispensers for nuts, 160 separate bags and brands of potato chips, 140 boxes of vitamins, 78 ice cream brands, and over 500 liquid products like soy or no soy milk.
Kroger staff said that this display did not include all the normal health foods like raisins, already on the shelves.
The staff also said that a major reason for the store moving into the health foods arena was the demand from local customers who wanted to have more choices in their daily diets that wasn’t based upon salt or sugar.
As the millions of Baby boomers reach toward ages in their 60’s, they are having more and more health issues relating to heart, lungs, and muscle problems. Their doctors are saying “Get off salt foods. Watch your daily calorie intake. Move away from highly processed foods with little health value.”
Kroger seems to be developing a new way to dominate the food market for the next ten years. Kroger planners seem to be staking out the 40 to 70 aging block in America. This is the time in many lives for the right choices with food.
Instead of fast food, drive through take out and massive meals of 2,000 plus calories, many Americans with health issues are and will be more incline to shop at stores that offer more and more selections for healthy and wellness food choices.
In West Kentucky, at least at the Murray Kroger Store, the choice for healthy is winning over the Wal Mart offering of more salt base products or sugar structured foods.
If the Murray Kroger Store is indeed a prototype, then Kroger may very well become King of the food wars in Kentucky based upon early marketing reviews. It seems that when the people (customers) speak, Kroger is listening and moving to offer better choices for an aging America.