Kroger’s Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit

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A retail giant partners with nonprofits and others to eliminate hunger and waste

More than a third of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown away, and yet 42 million Americans struggle with hunger.

Think about that: 229 million tons of surplus available food go unsold or uneaten every year, not counting food left unharvested on farms, while one-eighth of the population deals with food insecurity. This, says the Kroger Company, “just doesn’t make sense.”

Since establishing its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste action plan in 2018, the Cincinnati-based retail giant has addressed that grim disconnect by directing over $30 million to 300+ organizations, companies and innovators working to create communities free of hunger and waste by 2025. The plan reflects a commitment “to build a more resilient, equitable and sustainable food system that improves access to affordable, fresh food for everyone—for generations to come.”

Kroger’s investment goes a long way. According to its 2021 ESG report, the company had donated over 1.8 billion meals by 2020 with a target of reaching 3 billion meals by 2025.  One of the action plan’s portfolio companies, Winnow, provides commercial kitchens with technology that leverages artificial intelligence to determine how much food is being wasted and provides suggestions on specific areas where waste can be reduced. In this way, Winnow helped IKEA save over 1.2 million meals at its stores in the UK and Ireland in a single year and cut food waste by half. And in 2021, FareStart, a Seattle-based nonprofit, provided 2.5 million community meals through its Hunger Relief & Food Security Program, repurposing over 300,000 pounds of food into nutritious meals.

Kroger’s brand purpose, “Feed the Human Spirit,” embodies a promise “to be friendly and caring, provide everything fresh, to uplift every way, and improve every day.” At Carpenter Group, we see a company delivering on that promise as it engages with its markets, its partners, and the global community.


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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.