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Kroger 'embarrassed' to learn it advertised peach truck with doctored images from Nashville business

The co-founder of Nashville's The Peach Truck took to social media to point out the discrepancy
A case of sweet Georgia peaches sold by Kroger.
Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 18, 2024

At the end of May, Kroger announced it would be selling Georgia peaches out of trucks at scheduled events this summer, but there was one hitch: The images the company used to show what such an event looked like were doctored versions taken from a Nashville business.

Stephen Rose, co-founder of The Peach Truck, a small business in Nashville, took to social media to point out the image discrepancy.

In a video post, Rose showed images Cincinnati-based Kroger used to promote their own peach truck initiative, which Rose said included an edited image of one of The Peach Truck's former employees — but instead of holding their products and wearing their uniform, he was clad in Kroger's blue and holding a Kroger-branded box of peaches.

Another image Rose shared claimed to show a Kroger event, where the grocery chain's peach-selling truck was hocking its wares outside a Kroger store; it was very similar to a photo of The Peach Truck, but with branding and colors edited.

Kroger admitted to Scripps News Cincinnati Monday the images were used in error.

"We were embarrassed to learn about this," said a Kroger spokesperson in an email to the station. "You could say we have peach on our face! While these images were not approved to be shared as part of our marketing campaign, they should never have been created in the first place. We have removed the images from our system. We apologize to The Peach Truck and wish them nothing but success."

Rose's first video, posted online with the caption "Hey @krogerco, what's up with this?!" called it "the craziest thing in the history of our 12-year-old business."

In the post from June 14, Rose said he'd just received a Google alert for The Peach Truck and opened it, only to find the alert was actually for Kroger's new peach truck.

"Yes, that Kroger is launching a truck where they sell peaches in front of the stores," said Rose. "Well, that's nothing that we can protect, there's nothing we can do about that. However, I was shocked at the image they used."

After Nashville media organizations began publishing the response from Kroger's spokesperson, Rose again took to social media, noting Kroger announced it was "embarrassed to learn" about the photos.

"How do you learn about something you did?" Rose said. "I think the hard thing about this is it was an intentional copy of our brand, our model, the way we do things and they took it so far as using an image of a person who used to work for us in their marketing."

Scripps News Cincinnati searched for original versions of the images sent out by Kroger, but could not find any still remaining online.

This article was originally written by Felicia Jordan for Scripps News Cincinnati.