Kroger CEO: Customers will have meat during the coronavirus pandemic, so long as they are ‘flexible’

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Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said customers may not find the meat that’s on their shopping list, but he said grocery stores’ meat departments will still have something for them.

In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” the leader of the country’s largest supermarket chain said coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants have led to lower store inventory.

“If you’re flexible on eating between chicken, pork and beef, we constantly have one of those items or two of those — and usually three,” he said. “We’re working with all of our meat suppliers, figuring out how to get products that were diverted to restaurants before to get diverted to our stores. We’re working with new suppliers. And it’s one of those things where on a daily basis, our teams are working 24/7 finding product and getting it there for our customers.”

Kroger is the parent company of numerous grocery chains, including Fred Meyer. It has nearly 2,800 food stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia. It is one of the grocers that are limiting customers’ meat purchases to prevent hoarding. Customers can purchase a combined total of two ground beef, fresh pork and fresh chicken products.

Meatpacking plants have become hotbeds of the coronavirus during the pandemic. Many have temporarily shut down because of sick workers or to reconfigure the way they process meat to keep workers safe. For grocery stores, that’s led to reduced supply and less variety. – READ MORE

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