Kroger Joins with 'Pure Michigan' to Push Local Products

Through television commercials and in-store promotions, Kroger is bringing Michigan Made products to the forefront of its shelves in response to consumer demand for local products.

Visit the dairy case at any store in the state this week and you’ll see the first feature of the company’s partnership with Pure Michigan to promote locally raised and made foods. 

brand milk is the star of the newest Pure Michigan television commercial and the first consumer packaged good to be featured in the state’s iconic advertising campaign.

There are three specific missions to the new campaign, said Dave Hollandsworth, Kroger customer communications representative. First, to promote local brands through Pure Michigan; thenwork with Michigan State University’s Product Center to bring smaller brands to Kroger shelves; and clearly identify those products that are “Michigan Made" throughout the store.

“In some cases, I have felt almost a militant demand from customers, ‘How do I know what products are Michigan made?’” Hollandsworth said. “I think this program answers that consumer question.”

Bringing cottage businesses to Kroger shelves

Using two different tags, Kroger stores will mark some 3,000 of their roughly 40,000 products either “Michigan Made” or “Pure Michigan” over the next two weeks. Twenty-one of those stores, including those in Royal Oak and Oakland Township, will feature special “Experience Pure Michigan” displays with seasonal items, such as jams and pickles, produced by cottage businesses across the state.

“We have finally found a way to tell the consumer this is a Michigan product,” Hollandsworth said. “We’re finding this is really a response to our consumers. They have already shouted and yelled at us, ‘You have to tell me this. We want to be part of supporting the Michigan economy.’”

By Kroger calculations, if every Michigan household were to spend $10 a week on Michigan products, approximately $40 million would be returned to the state economy every week.

Kroger shopper Scott Mahla, told Patch that he believes supporting the local economy is key.

“I would rather have Michigan products in the store,” Mahla said. “I think it’s great that Kroger is doing that, especially as a big chain.”

Although Mahla admits his final decision is determined by price, he said when faced with two comparably priced items, he would definitely choose the product bearing the Michigan Made label.

Michigan Made vs. Pure Michigan tags

While the Michigan Made tag will be used to identify all items produced or packaged in Michigan, only the items branded with the Pure Michigan logo will guarantee customers that 51 percent of that product’s value is from Michigan.

“That can be buying Michigan raw products, labor, or processing,” Hollandsworth said. “It can mean several things, but the thing we are most proud of is that Kroger milk is 100 percent and that far exceeds the minimum.”

Michigan Milk Producers Association communications manager, Laura Moser, said she considers the campaign both a “win for the farmer and a win for the consumer.”  

“Agriculture is really one of the unsung heroes in the state,” Moser said. “Michigan farmers not only inject a lot into the financial economy but they support their local communities and ultimately they feed us. Farmers really appreciate seeing a store like Kroger embrace what they’re doing and help bridge that gap between the farmer and the consumer.”

Win Kroger milk for a year

During June, which is National Dairy Month, customers can register online to win free milk for a year from Kroger. One winner will be selected each day.

Customers must have a Kroger Plus Card to be eligible to win.


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