Building a conscious brand to create a profitable business

Jessica Adelman, group VP of corporate affairs at Kroger, explains how building a conscious brand creates a profitable business.

Kroger's Zero Waste social impact plan raises awareness about food waste and hunger in America.
Kroger's Zero Waste social impact plan raises awareness about food waste and hunger in America.

As people, a sense of purpose is at the heart of everything we do. Purpose focuses our efforts and gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It’s also why today’s successful companies must develop a conscious brand based on an authentic purpose. And with so many choices, customers have the privilege of caring about more than just a quick benefit. 

With Restock Kroger — our three-year plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift — our purpose became the goal everything ladders up to and the foundation of our business strategy. 

Kroger’s purpose "Feed the Human Spirit," is expressed through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan. It addresses an absurdity; we throw away 40% of the food produced while millions of Americans struggle with hunger. We build awareness for Zero Hunger | Zero Waste in a variety of channels. 

We launched a "Wilted to Wonderful" content series featuring chefs sharing advice on how to transform food on the edge into delicious dishes. 

We placed our chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen on stage at the National Retail Federation 2019 convention to launch the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund.

We’re the first major U.S. retailer to announce a phaseout of single-use plastic bags, and we recognize and empower employees who get involved. Being a conscious brand does more than motivate employees, it also attracts new talent. Just like customers, employees are seeking out the companies that stand for something, and then takes action to do something, just like we recently did when we made the decision to respectfully ask that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores and advocate for concrete and common sense gun reforms. 

CCOs are in an ideal position to encourage their organizations to adopt a purpose-driven strategy. So, go ahead. Be bold. And go forward with purpose.

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