One of the top grocery retailers in the U.S., Kroger, is looking to tap into its customers' restaurant budgets and attract more of them, while keeping them coming back to spend money they might usually use for dining out.
What was surprising, possibly even to Kroger executives, was when consumer-research organization Circana Group released data that found the large grocery chain is the biggest seller of sushi in the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reported that sushi sales have become a key part of the grocery brand's plan to go further than just selling grocery items, and to try and bring in people who might usually do more dining out.
For the last three years, Kroger says it has gained more and more sales to capture a larger portion of the sushi market in the U.S.
A chief merchant and marketing officer at Kroger, Stuart Aitken,told WSJ, "When customers think of sushi, we want them to think of Kroger."
A quick-grab item that can be consumed on the go, sushi has become an important part of what grocery stores sell, with sales jumping by more than 50% in the last four years in the U.S., according to Circana.
The history of sushi goes back to the eighth century in Japan and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1920s.
Another popular easy-to-eat item, this time from Korea, has gained even more popularity in the U.S.
Since Trader Joe's stores have introduced frozen kimbap to their products in stores, reports are surfacing that the item has been so popular that it's frequently sold out.
The Korean seaweed roll, which some have mistaken for sushi, has caught the attention of Korean Americans who have, at least in some cases, been pleasantly surprised by Trader Joe's frozen take on the Korean favorite. And at around $3.99 for a pack, it has been seen as a good deal by many.
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