Engaging retailers to increase the availability of plant-based foods is my primary objective as the senior director of retail partnerships. In the past few months, I have received an incredible amount interest from major retail chains, as plant-based food sales continue to soar. I recently had the opportunity to speak at Kroger’s Wellness Your Way Festival, their annual event for Kroger employees and consumers. This year 50,000 people attended the festival!
I spoke during the opening ceremonies about PBFA’s efforts to advance the plant-based foods industry. I was able to thank each of the members who stepped up to sponsor our presentation: Arivia, Longéve, Milkadamia, The Meatless Farm, Nadamoo, Oatly, Peatos, and Sweet Earth. These 8 sponsoring members sampled their food and were featured in an informational brochure. The audience was primarily composed of Kroger executives and category managers, giving our members an incredible amount of exposure.
Blair Jackson, VP of finance and business development for Milkadamia said the following about their sponsoring this session and participation:
“Warren Buffet’s advice is to ‘surround yourself with people who push you to do and be better.’ We feel like this advice is never truer than when we hang out with the PBFA folks. As pioneers and genuine advocates for making our grocery world a better place, we can think of no better place to be than by their side.”
Greg Johnson, SVP of NadaMoo, also shared:
“Hearing insights from Kroger executives about their plans to grow in the plant-based food space and their true passion to educate and offer consumers better choices for wellness was truly inspirational. The Wellness Your Way event is a MUST attend if you are desiring to learn more or if you have products that were created for improving everyone’s Health and Wellness!”
We are so grateful to our members who made this session possible and are glad that we could provide opportunities for them to engage with the Kroger Wellness Your Way event and audience.
I also had the opportunity to speak on a panel talking about the various benefits of plant-based foods. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people dedicated to the idea of using food as medicine.
Also, a number of PBFA members were featured for two of Chef Mark Reinfeld’s events for Kroger executives and Wellness Your Way VIP invitees. Our Membership Director Sara O’Leary coordinated with Mark and his team to curate a menu featuring foods from these PBFA members: Beyond Meat, Coconut Cloud, Effi Foods, Field Roast, Follow Your Heart, Herbivorous Butcher, Hodo, Hope & Sesame, House Foods, Lavva, La Fauxmagerie, Miyoko’s, and Tofurky.
Overall, the event provided an invaluable opportunity for PBFA members to sample their foods for Kroger decision makers. We hope to see our partnership with Kroger and other retailers continue to grow! I am so thrilled to be part of this exciting movement to increase more plant-based foods in grocery stores.