The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, announced the second year of its Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, a program designed to enhance and accelerate the selection of local items sold in Kroger-owned stores.

The program provides a pathway to entry for local businesses of all sizes by allowing American-based growers and producers the chance to work directly with the retailer. Through the accelerator, Kroger said it is continuing to expand its fresh departments, including dairy and many more, and commitment to being “Fresh for Everyone.”

Through May 23, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. PDT, suppliers may apply to be considered for the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, a two-day event held in Cincinnati in August, Kroger said. In collaboration with ECRM and RangeMe, Kroger's category management and fresh director team will review applications in multiple rounds, selecting 30 finalists to attend the event.

Finalists will be given the opportunity to show off their products and interact with category managers, leaders and entrepreneurs at various stages throughout the selection process, Kroger said. The Top 15 finalists will be invited to present to a panel of Kroger executives; then five winners will be named. The prize package for those winners includes product placement on shelf within Kroger's “Family of Companies,” recommended partnerships with sponsors and business development coaching from Kroger merchandising and sales leaders.

"Kroger is fully committed to supporting a diverse group of innovative local suppliers who can bring a great assortment of fresh products to our customers," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger's chief merchant and marketing officer. "Kroger committed to investing $10 billion in diverse suppliers by 2030, and the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is a successful way to catapult Kroger closer to that goal. We are excited to meet this year's suppliers who will help us advance our commitment to fresh in our nearly 2,800 stores."

To apply or learn more about the Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, visit