Kroger Co. is continuing its strides to offering more natural and organic foods by acquiring a “significant” stake in Lucky’s Market, a Colorado-based specialty grocery store chain offering natural, organic and locally-grown products. The partnership is designed to help accelerate Lucky’s growth in new and existing markets by combining the grocery chain’s best products, practices and techniques with Kroger’s large scale. Specifics of the agreement were not disclosed.
Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods may be the top players in the natural, organic food movement, but Kroger is challenging the retailers’ efforts with its recent opening of health foods store Main & Vine, a 27,000-square-foot-location in Gig Harbor, Wash., and now the stake in Lucky’s.
Lucky’s Market currently operates 17 stores in 13 states in the Midwest and Southeast, and employs more than 1,800 associates. The retailer’s tagline, “Organic for the 99%,” emphasizes its more affordable selection of natural and organic food, such as fresh produce and restaurant-quality foods prepared by CEO and former chef Bo Sharon, and a private label brand that donates proceeds to local communities.
The Lucky’s acquisition will be Kroger’s first affiliation with an independent natural foods grocery chain, according to Jessica Adelman, VP of Corporate Affairs at Kroger, in a statement.
“We wanted an offering for our customers who are interested in natural and organic foods, and we wanted it to be affordable,” Adelman said. “We liked the fact that Lucky’s considers itself the natural and organic food grocer for the 99%.”