The Kroger Co. (KR) is the largest pure-play supermarket chain in the world. That gives it a significant cost advantage and ability to squeeze product suppliers on pricing compared to its smaller competitors. Not to mention the loyalty cards that give the company incredible access to the changing trends of its customers. Shares of Kroger are down 33% from their 52-week high and down 21% YTD. That's in spite of the fact that management announced a 14.3% increase to the dividend payment in late June signifying confidence on the part of management that things are sure to turn around. Dividend History The core investment strategy that I employ is dividend growth investing and as such one of my requirements is obviously that the business pays and grows its dividend payment. The idea behind dividend growth investing is to shift the focus away from the much more volatile share price and to the underlying business and its ability to continue to pay dividends in the future.