Kroger CEO says 'a lot of people' learned to cook during the pandemic and 'really like it,' both in terms of eating together and showing off for family, friends; despite customers' lives getting busier, company still sees them making time to cook at home

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CINCINNATI , January 19, 2023 (press release) –

Company Release - 1/19/2023

Rodney McMullen talks taking care of customers and associates at the National Retail Federation Big Show 2023

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America's grocer, today shared its chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen joined Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO, for a conversation on Feeding the Human Spirit at the NRF Big Show this week. McMullen discussed how Kroger operates with excellence and continues to serve customers and associates in an ever-changing and competitive grocery industry.

"Fundamentally, we know the grocery business will only ever become more competitive—that has proven true for the last century," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "At Kroger, we succeed by giving a great experience to the customer, investing in associates and making an impact in the communities we serve. When we do that really well, we succeed in living Our Purpose to Feed the Human Spirit."

McMullen shared that the constant evolution of retail makes the industry so interesting and dynamic, observing, over the last four decades, shopping habits have gone from weekly trips to the store to the myriad of options customers toggle between today. Kroger seeks to deliver a convenient, seamless experience that molds to customers' daily needs—with zero compromise on value and convenience, promising fresh products that helps customers stretch their dollars, McMullen explained. The pandemic accelerated the digital shopping and delivery trend from a three-year horizon into a two-week period. These options remain a necessity for customers as they continue to cook at home and look for savings under the squeeze of inflation.

"A lot of people learned to cook during the pandemic, and when we talk to our customers, they are telling us they really like it, both in terms of eating together and showing off for their family and friends," said McMullen. "When families eat together, it improves so many aspects of their lives. As customers' lives begin to fill with soccer games, band practices and the busyness of daily life, we still see them making time to cook at home."

McMullen credited Kroger's more than 420,000 associates for the grocer's outstanding customer service and community impact—especially their commitment to support the mission to create communities free from hunger and food waste through Kroger's signature Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan. McMullen said since the launch of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste in 2017, Kroger has donated billions of meals to help end hunger and millions of pounds of surplus fresh food to avoid waste.

Shay and McMullen also discussed Kroger's recognition by Newsweek as one of "America's Most Responsible Companies" for 2023. Companies are selected based on publicly available key performance indicators derived from Corporate Responsibility Reports, Corporate Citizen Reports or Sustainability Reports, as well as an independent survey.

About Kroger
At The  Kroger  Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit™. We are, across our family of companies nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of  banner names , serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.


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SOURCE The Kroger Co.

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