How to Win at Kroger

Six tips for building effective strategic partnerships with the nation’s largest — and still-growing — grocer.

The grocery industry is anxiously awaiting the FTC’s final decision on the planned merger of Kroger and Albertsons, which the companies are hopeful will close in first-quarter 2024. Even after the proposed divestitures needed to gain government approval, the massive deal would give the new company an operational scale rivaling that of Walmart in terms of both food sales ($200+ billion) and store count (4,300).

Not that Kroger isn’t already a critical business partner for every CPG in the U.S. As the nation’s largest pure grocer (and 4th-largest food retailer), Kroger commands roughly 10% of the “food at home” market, according to company estimates. The retailer already operates more supermarkets than any other retailer and is now using its growing ecommerce prowess and partnership with supply chain specialist Ocado to extend that reach beyond its physical footprint to other regions.

Kroger is now also working hard at aligning physical and digital platforms to create a “perfectly seamless” experience that lets shoppers “bounce back and forth” across all of the sales and fulfillment channels that are available, CEO Rodney McMullen told the Groceryshop audience in September.

The following are 6 “must do’s” for brands looking to forge a more strategic partnership with Kroger and build a winning engagement plan for its shoppers:

1. Think Customer First: Synch with Kroger’s go-to-market strategy (see left) by helping to elevate the shopper experience.

2. Work the ‘Flywheel’: Navigate Kroger’s Value Creation Model (see below, right) to leverage best-in-class targeting and stronger ROI (return on investment) for your brands via the Kroger Precision Marketing platform.

3. Go Above the Brand: To be considered at all during sell-in, bring solutions that will drive category growth and market share gains — in addition to sales for your brand.

4. Execute “Seamless-ly”: Develop solutions that drive engagement both in-store and online, helping Kroger deliver products whenever and wherever customers choose to shop.

5. Personalize: Leverage the rich data available through KPM and the retailer’s 84.51° data arm to personalize your engagement with loyal shoppers.

6. Paint the Full Picture: Bring the full story to Kroger, showing in detail how your shopper, trade and national support are working together.

The Mars Agency’s Customer Development practice is an unrivaled team of in-market commerce experts who simplify the complexity of retail. Located in Bentonville, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and the “backyards” of other key retailers, they provide deep knowledge of the retailer, expertise in key business areas (like strategy, media and creative), and door-opening personal relationships with key executives to deliver an unmatched level of business success for clients across accounts, channels and shopper engagement platforms. For more information, contact SVP-GM Kandi Arrington. 

Also Read:
How to Win at Walmart
How to Win in the Club Channel
How to Win at Target
How to Win at Dollar General

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