Kroger CEO talks how meat cyberattack, supply chain issues could impact consumers

Rodney McMullen discusses how the ransomware attack of its supplier, JBS Foods, impacted production for the grocery chain and what that means for in-store customer prices.
4:42 | 06/08/21

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Transcript for Kroger CEO talks how meat cyberattack, supply chain issues could impact consumers
We are back with our ABC news exclusive from covid to cyberattacks to rising prices, grocery stores have gone through a lot of changes over the past year. We are joined now by the CEO of the Kroger company, Rodney Mcmullen, with what we can expect as America returns to some level of normalcy and welcome to your return, Mr. Mcmullen to "Gma." Good morning to you. Good morning, robin. Good to see you. Good to see you again. You know this, just last week one of your suppliers, the nation's largest meat supplier, jbs foods hit by a massive ransomware attack. How did this directly impact Kroger? Well, in this case jbs did a great job of keeping the supply and getting back online so the customer didn't feel it, didn't see it at all, and it's really the two companies working together and jbs having a good backup plan, so in this case fortunately it didn't affect the customer in any kind of way. The supply chain was fine. That's very encouraging, but in general, consumers are saying they are seeing a rise in costs at the supermarket and in particular when it comes to meat purchases. When do you think you're going to see an improvement in that? If you look at -- through the balance of the year, we would expect inflation to be somewhere between 1% and 2%. We had expected some volatility in inflation early in the year versus last year and that's what we're seeing. So far, the inflation that we've been able to not pass to the customer, we haven't passed everything through the customer because we really think it's more short term oriented. But the supply chain's functioning very smoothly and as you know, a year ago, it was pretty wild. Yes, you were with us a year ago. You're reading my mind when it was all about the supply chain disruptions. At that time it was all about paper products, this time it's about meat supply. So what should consumers know right now about the supply chain, sir? Yeah, love the question, robin, and from a customer's standpoint the supply chain is pretty much back to where it was pre-covid and it's really all of our almost 500,000 people, our associates have done a great job of keeping stores in stock, our cpg partners have done a great job of getting the stored replenished. If you look at today from a customer experience, it's almost exactly the way it was before covid, so it's exciting to see but it's a lot of people working together to make that happen. Yep, that teamwork makes the dream work as always. We do know that Kroger has been at the forefront when it comes to getting folks vaccinated and now you're thinking of some incentives to help more folks get vaccinated. Can you tell us about that? Yeah, it's so exciting and it really -- the president Biden's administration had conversations with us in terms of what more could we do? We were really inspired by what governor dewine did here in Ohio with the million dollar giveaway. So we decided to give our customers the opportunity to win a million dollars a week for the next five weeks if you get vaccinated at Kroger or in one of our stores or at one of our events, and, you know, a million dollars each week can change somebody's life forever and, you know, we're going to do everything we can to get America back full speed and it's just one more way of helping support that. So it's exciting to be able to do that. We also provide $100 incentive for each one of our associates when they become fully vaccinated as well. You're also talking about hiring 10,000 new workers this summer at a time when a lot of retailers are talking about how they are having a difficult time finding workers. Yeah, there's no doubt that we're having a difficult time finding we call our employees associates and if you look at the number of openings we have today, it looks just exactly like it was before covid hit. And it's because of our continued growing business, our ability to connect with our customers is creating the need to hire 10,000 associates and we're really excited about being able to provide it because one of the things that Kroger so many people come here for a job, but then they make it a career and that's -- I always tell people, you can do whatever job you want as long as you keep Thank you for joining us here on "Gma." We appreciate your insight very much. You take care. Have a good day. Thanks, robin.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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