Simple Truth Unveils Meatless Meat

By Kayla Sargent

Bittersweet, jumbo shrimp, walking dead – oxymorons often times become common phrases that aren’t given a second thought.  Recently, a new oxymoron came about when Simple Truth, America’s largest natural and organic brand, announced the introduction of a new line of “Plant Based Fresh Meats.”

In early January, Simple Truth Emerge: Plant Based Fresh Meats was launched by Kroger Co., one of America’s largest grocery chains with 2,800 stores in 35 states.  The product line features 50 plant-based alternative proteins including patties, grind and chorizo sausages to name a few.

The new line was first announced at the Good Food Conference in San Francisco last September where Kroger ‘Our Brands’ Vice President Gil Phipps was a panel member discussing accelerating the marketplace for plant-based proteins.

“Kroger continues to be at the intersection of plant-based curiosity and culinary innovation.  As more of our customers explore and embrace a flexitarian lifestyle, Simple Truth Emerge is a fresh innovation that provides a flavorful meat alternative that cooks comparably,” Phipps said.

According to a company press release, the Simple Truth Emerge patties and grind “offer the same taste, texture and sizzle on the grill or in a pan as beef and are free of GMOs, dairy, gluten and soy.”  The pea-based protein offers 20 grams of protein per serving and will be sold in Kroger stores exclusively right in the traditional packaged meat case.

In late 2019, Kroger conducted a 16-week marketing test in conjunction with the Plant Based Foods Association in 60 stores to measure sales of “plant-based sets within the traditional meat set.”  The test included plant-based offerings of patties, sausages, deli slices, roasts, seitan and jackfruit.  The data gathered in the marketing test is to be used to “inform merchandising plans and optimize plant-based food sales.”

“Kroger is driving the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, valued supplier partnerships and industry-leading fresh merchandising strategies,” Kroger senior vice president of merchandising Joe Grieshaber said.  “Kroger anticipates interest in plant-based products to continue to grow in 2020, with the category being one of the key drivers of our natural and organic sales.”

According to the press release, as the Simple Truth Emerge products hit the shelves throughout the year, they will be marked with a “distinct plant-based icon that helps customers locate the items as they navigate the store aisles.”


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