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CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. yesterday honored 80 companies as Outstanding Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) for 2003.
For the inaugural event firms were selected based on several criteria, including quality of product or service, innovation and presentation of new ideas, performance, and sales volume. Vendors were nominated by corporate and division buyers and merchandisers.
The vendors fall into two categories: those that provide retail products or services for sale in Kroger's stores, and not-for-resale products and services. In 2003 Kroger says it spent approximately $690 million with minority- and women-owned businesses.
"Supplier diversity is an important part of Kroger's business strategy, and we're proud to honor the talented partners that have played such an integral role in our success," said Don McGeorge, Kroger president and c.o.o. "We believe this recognition will help express our appreciation to our outstanding M/WBE business partners and inform other M/WBE companies that Kroger is continually seeking qualified vendors for all areas of our business. Kroger's goal is to be sure that our suppliers reflect the broad diversity of the customers and marketplaces we serve."
Cacique USA; Frieda's, Inc.; Glory Foods; Melissa's World Variety Produce; Reggio's Pizza; and Sarkisian Coffee were among the companies honored by Kroger.