June 20, 2024

Meijer and Kroger are among the retailers unveiling value-oriented promotions as the upcoming Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer grilling season.

The moves come as food inflation overall has eased, but remains high for many items, including some meat items. The average price per pound for all items in the fresh meat category was $4.64 in April, which was 4.1% higher than a year ago and 14.4% higher than three years ago, according to a report from 210 Analytics and Circana.

As a result, food retailers are seeking to lure customers with promotions that focus on savings opportunities and that revolve around the experience of summertime gatherings.

Meijer, for example, has teamed up with delivery service provider Shipt to launch an Ultimate Summer Grilling Sweepstakes with the chance to win $5,200 in Shipt credit — $100 per week for a year — among other prizes, including a hammock and an outdoor griddle.

Shipt, which is a subsidiary of Target, is also offering a $10 discount on certain grilling essentials for orders of $35 or more from May 23-27. Shipt is also planning a Shipt Summer of Savings campaign from May 23 through July 6 that offers price specials on items such as outdoor grilling products, barbecue meat and buns, patio and gardening products, and other items.

Kroger, meanwhile, is touting savings on a “barbecue bundle” of products that can feed a party for as little as $4 per person. Products include several items under the retailer’s own Kroger, Smart Way, and Bakery Fresh private label brands.

Among the items in the barbecue bundle:

  • Kroger brand lean ground beef chuck homestyle hamburger patties
  • Kroger brand sliced cheese singles
  • Kroger brand hamburger buns
  • Smart Way brand yellow mustard and tomato ketchup
  • Kroger brand brown sugar hickory baked beans 
  • Kroger brand party size potato chips
  • Kroger brand classic garden salad bag
  • Bakery Fresh white frosted sugar cookies

Other food retailers are promoting less expensive meat items for grilling such as chicken, pork, and hot dogs, which have either seen prices decline from year-ago levels or increase minimally.

Lowes Foods, for example, in recent days has run a buy-one, get-one free cookout promotion for Prairie Fresh Baby Back Pork Ribs and for a family pack of Lowes Foods brand Boneless Country Style Pork Loin Ribs. The retailer also posted a promotion on social media encouraging customers to “get ready to grill” and try something different — chicken kabobs — and touting a Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Value Pack, priced at $2.29 per pound.

Hy-Vee, meanwhile, is encouraging customers to “get ready for summer” with recipes for an All-American Burger and Grilled Brats with Avocado Pico. The recipes can be made for $1.95 and $2.28 per serving, respectively.

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