Is Kroger re-focusing on multicultural consumers?
Kroger has named a new diversity chief as it looks toward the next frontier for industry growth: multicultural shoppers.
Kroger announced Angel Colón has been promoted to senior director of diversity. He has been serving as the company's director of multicultural development for merchandising since 2008.
Demand for multicultural foods has been driven by the growing Hispanic and Asian populations in the United States, which together make up a significant share of food retail industry sales. This growth has created an environment in which ethnocentric food retailers have thrived. Conditions are only expected to get better for the industry over the next five years. As the Asian and Hispanic populations continue to grow domestically and disposable income improves in line with the economy, demand for cultural foods will increase further. Kroger will be looking to leverage that growth.
Colon succeeds Rueben Shaffer, who retired at the end of March, as Kroger's head of diversity and also assumes the responsibilities for the company's strong supplier diversity program.
"Angel has been on the leading edge of Kroger's multicultural merchandising initiatives, as well as our internal resource groups supporting and promoting the needs of our diverse workforce, for nearly a decade," said Tim Massa, Kroger's group vice president of human resources and labor relations. "We look forward to his continued leadership in his new role, where he will be responsible for Kroger's diversity efforts while also continuing to shape and influence our multicultural efforts."
Colón has held a variety of leadership roles in the grocery industry for 27 years, including product management, direct store delivery merchandising, category management, promotions, sales leadership, broker management, regional marketing, customer marketing and ethnic marketing. He joined Kroger in 2008 in his current role, where he established the company's Multicultural Department and strategic direction. Mr. Colón was also a founding member of the KEPASA Associate Resource Group at Kroger's general office, which is an affinity group that empowers, supports and advocates for Hispanic and Latino associates.
Colón earned an MBA and lives in Cincinnati with his wife. They have three children.