At-home cooking boom benefits Kroger

The surge of the Delta variant has kept Americans stocking up on groceries and cooking more at home, and that’s benefiting Kroger.

The U.S.’ largest supermarket chain said Friday it now expects its annual same-store sales to shrink less than it had previously forecast. It also lifted its outlook for annual adjusted profit more than Wall Street anticipated.

People are filling up their shopping carts as the more infectious Delta variant delays a return to normalcy and boosts business at big traditional grocers such as Walmart and Kroger, which operates the Ralph’s, Dillon’s, and Fred Meyer stores.

In the latest quarter, Kroger’s same-store sales fell far less than Wall Street expected compared to a year earlier, when people stockpiled groceries and cleaning products as stay-at-home orders were put in place.

Kroger shares, which have risen 45% this year, shed some of those gains in early trading Friday.

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