Kroger Co. /zigman2/quotes/206215053/composite KR -2.19% announced the launch of Emerge: Plant Based Fresh Meats on Wednesday, a new addition to the private-label Simple Truth brand. Emerge will offer burger patties and ground meat exclusively at Kroger stores. The items have 20 grams of pea-based protein per serving. Kroger launched a test of sales and engagement for plant-based meats across 60 stores in two markets last month. The test will span over 16 weeks and include jackfruit, seitan and deli slices. The goal is to gather information that will boost plant-based sales and aid merchandising. The grocery chain launched its Simple Truth Plant Based line last year with vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sausage and other items. Kroger plans to expand the plant-based lineup by 50 items this year. The Simple Truth brand tallied more than $2.3 billion in sales last year. Kroger stock slipped 1.3% in Wednesday premarket trading, but has gained 0.5% over the last year. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.13% is up 25.7% for the past 12 months.