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Strong Roots grows US presence via Kroger distribution deal

In 2015, Samuel Dennigan launched Strong Roots with a line of sweet potato fries, a product that had existed for a long time in the US but had only just been introduced in Ireland and the UK. It took off quickly there as consumers sought a healthier version of their familiar potato fries, and today the company has a roster of 15 products, all vegan, that are sold at retail outlets in Britain, Ireland and, most recently, the US.

Strong Roots brought its products to the US in the midst of the pandemic last year and today they are available at about 9,000 stores operated by retailers including Walmart and Whole Foods Market, and in the coming weeks they’ll roll out to about 1,000 Kroger-owned supermarkets, Dennigan told forbes.com.

Dennigan’s decision to leave the family business and strike out on his own instead of staying and creating a new division within the existing company stemmed from his desire to do something completely different and disruptive, he said.

The B2B commodity industry was seasonal and price sensitive, Dennigan added. “We needed a better platform to tell our stories and one that was more sustainable as well. There was only ever one route that made sense to me; the frozen supply chain.”

Strong Roots does all its production with contract manufacturers, a plan that lets the corporate staff focus on sales and marketing and also allows the company to locate manufacturing close to the local growers and suppliers it contracts with, he said.


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