Innovation Story

Our founder Barney Kroger was a born innovator. His pioneering milestones in customer service and manufacturing led the way to the highly personalized, relevant and convenient customer experiences we offer today. New collaborative work with industry-leading partners gives us the expertise to offer our customers even more in service, selection and convenience.

Creating Seamless Customer and Associate Experiences

With a smartphone or laptop, and the Kroger App, customers can turn to Kroger for anything, anytime, anywhere shopping. Using simple, reliable technology-enabled solutions, our associates fulfill orders through our Pickup, Delivery or Ship capabilities. Using technology solutions such as Fresh Start, a new mobile app providing the latest company news, personalized training sessions and more, our associates have the tools they need to meet customer needs. Here are some of the ways we’re delivering new customer experiences.

Drones Delivering Delight

Kroger is piloting drone delivery in partnership with Drone Express to evolve our rapidly growing e-commerce business; it includes Pickup, Delivery, and Ship. The pilot offers flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions. Drone Express technology allows delivery not only to a street address but to the exact location of a customer's smartphone. That means a customer can order delivery of picnic supplies to a park, sunscreen to the beach, or condiments to a backyard cookout.

Delivering Innovative Solutions for Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

Kroger has partnered with Nuro (autonomous delivery), ClusterTruck (on-premise ghost kitchen), Microsoft, and Ocado (a world leader in grocery ecommerce technology) to help optimize a seamless customer experience offering our customers anything, anytime, anywhere. In partnership with Ocado, a world leader in grocery e-commerce technology, we will accelerate our ability to provide customers with the items they need in a convenient and personalized experience. As of June 2021, Kroger and Ocado have opened the first two Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFC), automated warehouse facilities in Monroe, Ohio and Groveland, Florida. These CFCs – or sheds -- feature digital and robotic capabilities that “redefine the customer experience," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's President of Supply Chain & Manufacturing. "Our partnership with Ocado supports our ability to deliver a value-added customer-centric solution that brings fresh food to customers through our seamless ecosystem.” Kroger Delivery Now, in partnership with Instacart, offers a 30-minute delivery option to customers through Kroger's site, app and Instacart's new "Convenience Hub" on the Instacart Marketplace. It’s a new level of convenience delivering everything from fresh food, household essentials, meal solutions and snacks to medication and diapers from early morning to late at night. "Kroger Delivery Now is a differentiated solution in the e-commerce industry, not just the grocery sector," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Our new service provides customers with one more way to shop with us and addresses the importance of convenience and immediacy.”

Delivering Different On-Demand Meal Solutions

Kroger and ghost kitchen industry leader Kitchen United announced a partnership to offer customers freshly prepared, on-demand restaurant food. “We are tapping into restaurants’ growing use of off-premise kitchen space to increase customers' access to their favorite foods. Our focus remains on offering new and innovative products that provide anything, anytime, anywhere," said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group vice president of fresh merchandising. The off-premise restaurant kitchen powered by Kitchen United at participating Kroger locations will feature up to six local, regional or national restaurant brands. When placing an order using the Kitchen United website or app, or on-site via ordering kiosks, customers can select items from each on-site restaurant to create a custom order on a single receipt. Restaurant staff will prepare the orders and delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers.

Kroger is trying out another new concept in partnership with ClusterTruck, a technology start-up that operates delivery-only restaurants. The pilot will repurpose approximately 1,000 square feet at each participating Kroger store to create a culinary space where ClusterTruck staff will prepare meals for quick delivery and in-store pickup. The kitchens will provide a variety of freshly prepared meals on-demand with no service or delivery fees. Customers can order from a menu of more than 80 meals, made from fresh ingredients – and best characterized as food quality you can get at a sit-down restaurant with the personality of street food. “Kroger remains focused on providing our customers with fresh food and dining experiences inspired by industry-leading insights and transformative technology,” said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s group vice president of fresh merchandising.

Stay tuned for more innovation updates because we never stop moving forward to serve our customers.

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