Kroger CEO reassures Americans on food supply: "There's plenty of food"

by Laura Mize · Mar 18th, 2020 11:41 am

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen wants Americans to know they do not need to be concerned about food shortages as the nation faces the coronavirus pandemic.

"As long as customers just buy what they need and don't hoard, there will be no problems at all – there's plenty of food in the supply chain," McMullen said.

McMullen, who had a conference call with President Trump and Vice President Pence on Sunday, detailed the industry efforts to allow Americans ready access to the food they need.

Kroger's 37 company-owned factories are now operating 24 hours a day, and stockers are doing the same at Kroger distribution centers. Shipments at one of Kroger's 44 distribution centers were about 40 percent higher last week than normal.

"It's been like Thanksgiving every day since Thursday," said Jeff Durrough, a regional logistics manager for Kroger who oversees the distribution centers.

There is so much work, the grocery giant is hiring distribution center workers to keep pace with demand.

McMullen noted that Kroger stores receive shipments from multiple times daily to every other day, depending on the store, and that companies like Procter & Gamble are ramping up production of high-demand items, such as toilet paper.

He also pointed out that even in the nations most seriously affected by coronavirus, such as China and Italy, grocery stores have stayed open.

McMullen said the amount of food each family should have on hand depends on how much they are willing to go out to the grocery store in coming days and weeks.

"There's not a hard-and-fast rule," he said. "Our whole team is stepping up, and we're going to be there when customers need it."


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