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Kroger Begins to Extend Private-Label Items to Its C-stores

CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. is bringing its Simple Truth private-label brand to its convenience division.

Citing a report by Oil Price Information Service, NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, said some of the store-branded food items are now in shelves in the retailer's convenience stores.

"On a few select items, [Simple Truth products are] … in a lot of our convenience stores," Michael Schlotman, Kroger chief financial officer and executive vice president, told Oil Price Information Services during a second-quarter earnings call. "We're really trying to learn how broad the brand can go and who all connects with it. As you know, historically, a convenience store isn't a place you go to for healthy offerings and we are trying to make sure that the customer, if that's what they want, they can find what they want."

Schlotman didn't provide any details on how long the pilot program would run before Kroger added more private label items to its 782 c-stores. The stores operate under the Kwik Shop, Loaf N' Jug, Quik Stop Markets, Smith's Express, Tom Thumb Food Stores and Turkey Hill Minit Markets banners.

Currently, the convenience stores stock a small selection of private-label products from Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organics.

The Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic lines include more than 400 products across categories including bakery, beverages, canned goods, dairy, frozen, meat, produce and snacks. All proclaim to be "Free From 101," made without 101 artificial ingredients and preservatives on many consumers' hit lists.

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