Pineland Farms Creamery of New Gloucester has signed a contract to sell its cheese through Kroger, the country's largest grocery store chain.
With an initial order "north of $150,000," according to Pineland Vice President of Sales Neal Kolterman, the agreement with the Cincinnati-based grocer will allow the Maine creamery to expand its presence nationwide, including the Pacific Northwest, California and Southeast states.
"This is very significant for its effects not only on Pineland but also the surrounding agricultural community," which provides feed and other supplies for the six-year-old creamery, Kolterman told Mainebiz. He added he expects to gauge the financial impact from the contract after three months or so.
The contract placed Pineland's cheddar cheese products in 500 Kroger grocery stores and they will be featured at the chain's Kroger Specialty Cheese shops and Murray's Cheese counters, according to the Portland Press Herald.
The 5,000-acre Pineland Farms also sells its products through the Hannaford chain in Maine and New Hampshire, as well as select Food Lion stores across seven states.
Kroger is the country's second largest general retailer behind Walmart.