US-based retail company Kroger has committed to increasing the shelf space for local products after completing its proposed merger with Albertsons.
The newly merged entity will increase the number of local products in its stores by 10%, which it says is equivalent to at least 30 new local products in each store.
Selling products from local farmers reduces the distance between the farm and the store while customers can also maintain product freshness for more days.
Several Kroger stores will also feature shelf space dedicated to local products, with special signage highlighting the regional connection.
In addition, the retailer will directly work with farmers and local producers to find the best techniques to raise awareness about their products.
The Kroger co-chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said: “Local farmers, bakers and producers are important parts of our Fresh for Everyone brand promise. Every local product we stock has a unique producer with their own story standing behind it.
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“Since the beginning, this merger has been about growth – and we look forward to inviting our local suppliers to grow alongside us. We are dedicated to supporting the innovation that only a small business owner can create.”
The announcement comes after Kroger and Albertsons agreed to divest some businesses to C&S Wholesale Grocers to complete the previously announced merger.
In October 2022, Kroger entered an agreement to acquire all Albertsons’ outstanding shares for $24.6bn in cash and combine the two companies.
However, the proposed merger faced a private antitrust action filed on behalf of 25 consumers in the US in February 2023.