Sushi is proving popular with shoppers at supermarkets like Kroger.
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Kroger has quietly become the biggest sushi seller in the US, The Wall Street Journal reported.
America’s largest grocery retailer sells more than 40 million pieces of sushi a year.
Kroger wants to become a destination for more than just your groceries.
Supermarket sushi is becoming a mainstay with US shoppers wanting quick, healthy, and easily transported meals.
Sushi sales at US retailers were up 72% in the past year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
And it appears that Kroger — the nation’s biggest grocery store operator with more than 2,700 stores — is also the biggest sushi seller, per the newspaper.
It began selling sushi in the early 1990s, but realized it had become the country’s biggest sushi retailer in 2020 when reviewing data from the research firm Circana Group, the Journal noted.
About two-thirds of its stores have sushi sections, the Journal reported. The company’s stores on the West Coast, where poke bowls are popular, and in the Rocky Mountains are driving the sales growth.
Ralphs, a chain in southern California owned by Kroger, sells more innovative products such as Latin-fusion rolls topped with sweet mango sauce and Tajin seasoning, according to the Journal.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, stores usually sell more imitation crab, while California rolls remain universally popular, per the report.
Kroger sold 44 million rolls last year, according to a spokesperson for the company. “The California Crunch roll is our most popular cooked sushi roll, and the Rainbow Roll is the most popular raw sushi roll,” the spokesperson told Insider by email.
As more Americans turn to supermarkets for prepared food, sushi’s become an important part of Kroger’s drive to become a destination for more than just your groceries. “When customers think of sushi, we want them to think of Kroger,” Stuart Aitken, its CMO, told the Journal.
For most people, it’s all about convenience. Supermarket sushi is a far cry from Japan’s sushi counters – or the hidden gems tucked into some strip malls in southern California.
Still, it’s not bad if you’re in a pinch. One Insider reporter declared that sushi from Wegmans — a retailer in eight states on the East Coast — was some of the best she’s ever had in New York.