Kroger (NYSE:KR) is expected to grab the top spot as the nation's No. 1 seller of organic and natural foods within two years, according to a recent report by JPMorgan Chase. Supplanting Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) in this category would be another leg up for Kroger, which is already known for its customer service, loyalty program and extensive selection.
Last week, the supermarket chain reported its 45th consecutive quarter of comparable store growth.
The retailer's "strategy of offering more specialty and organic food is helping it overtake other chains despite an industry-wide trend away from supermarkets," JPMorgan analysts wrote, reported Business Insider.
While traditional grocery chains are losing market share to specialty and warehouse chains and even dollar stores, supermarkets that are still growing, like Kroger, are looking for other ways to stand out. And keeping with the desires of millennials and Baby Boomers, healthy eating choices are a growing trend.
According to JPMorgan, Kroger can attract high-end customers and drive profits by selling more organic foods. The trend is not going away any time soon and retailers who want to stay ahead of the game will need to invest. For example, Whole Foods opened a record 13 new stores in 2014 and that growth will continue into fiscal 2015, with an expected 38 to 42 new stores. Similarly, Sprouts Farmers Market announced that sales for the year were up 22 percent from 2013, and up 21 percent for the quarter, due in large part to consumer interests in eating healthier. It's looking like the specialty supermarket will continue to invest in expansion and store improvements in 2015.
-See this Business Insider article
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