By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — With two weeks until turkey day now is a good time to start planning what groceries you’ll need for Thanksgiving.
Rodney McMullen, CEO of the Kroger Company, joined ABC News’ Good Morning America ahead of the holiday to share how their stores have prepared to help customers get ready to shop with ease.
“Thanksgiving is a holiday that we started planning for six months ago so we have plenty of turkeys,” McMullen assured.
But this year with about half of their customers telling Kroger they plan to celebrate in smaller gatherings to comply with safety and public health guidance, McMullen said their poultry sections are prepared to meet the demand for “smaller turkeys.”
McMullen also suggested that shoppers think ahead and utilize their online tools to get what they need without the fuss of wandering the store for hours.
“We always tell our customers use our website, use our app. Plan in advance, use our pickup or delivery service,” he said. “All those things will make it easy on you.”
As the holidays draw close and coronavirus cases continue to surge across the U.S., Kroger was one of the national grocers that has started to limit purchases on toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and other disinfectant products temporarily.
“It was really learnings we had early in the pandemic and what we found was that we didn’t have limits on early enough,” he explained. “There is plenty of product in the supply chain and we just thought it would be much better to be proactive because as long as people only buy what they need, there’s plenty of supply in the supply chain.”
People have continued on the homecooking trend amid the pandemic and McMullen said that paired with the holidays, means greater demand for ingredients.
“They’re still continuing to do more things from scratch. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where you always have a lot of flour, baking products, all of that, just to prep for the holiday,” he said. “There’s going to be a ton of people buying [baking ingredients] and comfort food is definitely back in style.”
In order to prevent shoppers from stockpiling, McMullen reiterated that Kroger urges its customers to do what they can to reduce food waste.
“To me it’s buying what you need — and only what you need,” he said, adding that “one of the things very important to Kroger is zero hunger, zero waste.”
“You don’t want to have somebody preparing way more than they need and throwing something away. It’s not good for anything,” he said.
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