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Kroger Says Inflation Is Pushing Shoppers to Cheaper Store Brands

Packages of Kroger Co. brand butter.

Packages of Kroger Co. brand butter.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Kroger Co. said grocery shoppers are “aggressively” turning to cheaper store brands as they wrestle with the highest inflation in four decades.

Same-store sales for Kroger-branded products rose 6.3% in the first quarter, faster than the overall sales growth, the company said Thursday on its earnings call. Customers who are facing higher prices everywhere from the gas pump to the checkout line “are actively looking for ways to save,” Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen told analysts on the call.