Kroger, one of the largest grocers in the US, is to launch its own-label ranges in China through e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The retailer said the first private label it would market in China would be Simple Truth, which has grown to become a major player in the US organic food category. Simple Truth products will be available on Alibaba’s Tmall platform. 

The deal with Alibaba marks the first time Kroger has taken its own-label products outside its domestic market.

“E-commerce enables Kroger to quickly scale to reach new customers and markets where we don’t operate physical stores, starting with China,” Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer, said today (14 August). “Kroger is the world’s third-largest retailer by revenue – US$122.7bn in sales in 2017. We are creating the grocery retail model of the future by focusing on digital and technology.”

Kroger said Simple Truth’s sales in the US reached more than $2bn in 2017, which the retailer said made it the largest “natural and organic brand” in the country last year.

The retailer said the move was part of two wider initiatives – to give more prominence to its own-label ranges and to grow sales by targeting “alternative revenue streams”.

In May, Kroger struck a deal with Ocado to use the UK online retailer’s technology for its food deliveries in the US.

Also in May, the retailer snapped up Home Chef, the largest meal-kit company in the US.