The Kroger Co. announced the launch of its Small Business Resource Guide as part of its Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan.
According to the grocery retailer, last year, Kroger introduced 107 new diverse suppliers, a 91% increase versus 2019. Of these suppliers, five played a leading role in supplying Kroger’s personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 public health crisis peak.
“In 2020, Kroger achieved $4.1 billion in diverse supplier spend, representing an increase of 21% versus a year ago and build on our commitment to reach $10 billion in diverse supplier spend by 2030. We remain committed to doing the work to advance our longstanding and nationally recognized supplier inclusion program, reflecting partnerships with entrepreneurs of color, women, and veterans as well as companies founded by the LGBTQ+ community and business operators with intellectual and physical disabilities,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.
Small Business Resource Guide
In honor of National Small Business Week, Kroger is publishing a Small Business Resource Guide developed to help brands and producers establish and grow retail partnerships.
The free downloadable resource shares best practices on product development, pricing, supply chain, promotion, research and preparation, outreach, and partnership development.
“Through Kroger’s supplier inclusion program, we support, mentor, promote and grow diverse-owned enterprises across our thriving operation. We currently work with more than 1,600 diverse suppliers, ranging from food and beverage to health and beauty and product distributors to service providers,” said Angel Colón, Kroger’s senior director of corporate and supplier diversity.
“We believe our recently published Small Business Resource Guide, featuring partnership success spotlights from companies like Cacique, 4Sisters Rice, TrueChoicePack, and True Shea, will be a useful tool for many companies and help us as we continue to seek out new partners and expand existing relationships,” continued Colón.
Multicultural Entrepreneurship Development Program
Kroger has also recently joined P&G and MORTAR – a Cincinnati-based accelerator providing historically marginalized entrepreneurs access to resources to start and run successful businesses – to pilot the Multicultural Entrepreneurship Development program on enabling entrepreneurs to reach their fullest potential. The multi-month program launched last month and ran through the summer.
“Kroger is elated to welcome, share insights, and present industry-leading business development curriculum as well as learn from the inaugural cohort of 13 local entrepreneurs,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s chief people officer.
Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator
Later this month, Kroger will launch an open call inviting local and regional fresh food producers to participate in its search for new and innovative suppliers. The grocery retailer said it would share more information about this event soon.
To learn more about Kroger’s Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan, visit TheKrogerCo.com/StandingTogether.