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Pop Culture

Kroger's new holiday ad is an unexpected tearjerker

So much emotion packed into just a few seconds.

kroger, kroger commercial. kroger holiday commercial
Kroger/Youtube

Kroger's new commercial has viewers in tears

Look, we know that commercials often take aim at our emotions. But certain commercials transcend clever marketing strategy and become something so much more human.

Apparently, a Kroger holiday ad, titled “Cuisine Exchange,” is one of those commercials.

“Cuisine Exchange” tells the story of a childless couple who choose to become hosts for foreign exchange students.

Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” plays in the background as their first student arrives— a young girl from Mexico named Valentina. The couple cook Valentina pozole, a Mexican stew, which instantly makes her feel more at home.


During Valentina’s stay, the household enjoys hot cocoa with marshmallows, chili peppers (with plenty of milk nearby in case of emergency) and tamales before she returns to Mexico.

More visits follow, and with them more comfort meals: a Japanese student with soba noodles, another from Denmark with aebleskiver, a classic Christmas treat, and a kid from Italy making panettone, just to name a few.

Photographs pile onto the fridge as the years go by. And now we see the wife, with a few more wrinkles and gray hairs, yearning to see those students once again.

This prompts the husband to surprise her with truly the most thoughtful gift. As they sit by the fire, a Christmas tree twinkling beside them, suddenly there’s a knock at the door. When the wife goes to open it, she is greeted by all the exchange students they’ve ever hosted, and they all share a feast of all their favorite meals.

The ad ends with an undeniably fitting tagline: “Food connects us all.”

Reactions to the ad have been emotional to say the least, but positive nonetheless.

“Not a Kroger ad making me SOB??? I’m going to bed. 😭,” one viewer wrote on X.

“cried over a Kroger ad it’s time to pack it up everybody,” another added.

Meanwhile on Youtube, several folks who had been hosts to exchange students noted how spot on the commercial was.

“This hits home,” one person wrote. “We had seven exchange students between when I was 5 and 19. Two of them stayed for an extra year and one of them even went to a college two hours away. I learned so much about them and their cultures and we always tried to make food from their home.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Korger unleashed a holiday ad tearjerker. Just last year, the grocery brand had viewers sobbing with its “Magical Cookbook” spot, which wove similar themes of food bringing us back to precious memories.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to get us into our feels. Even something as simple as a quick commercial can remind us of how beautiful life really is. And that’s fine—we could all use a good cry now and then.

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