Washington, DC 20549

                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                     Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the
                         Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                        Date of Report: December 10, 2002

                                 THE KROGER CO.
             (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

An Ohio Corporation                  No. 1-303                31-0345740
(State or other jurisdiction      (Commission File            (IRS Employer
of incorporation)                     Number)                 Number)

1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH  45201
(Address of principal
executive offices)

Registrant's telephone number:  (513) 762-4000

Item 5.     Other Events

            On December 10, 2002, the Company released its earnings for the
            third quarter of 2002. Attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1 is the text
            of that release.

Item 7.     Financial Statements, Pro Forma Financial Information and Exhibits

            (c)      Exhibits:

                     99.1     Earnings release for third quarter 2002.


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned hereto duly authorized.

                                          THE KROGER CO.

December 10, 2002                         By:  (Paul Heldman)
                                               Paul Heldman
                                               Senior Vice President, Secretary
                                               and General Counsel

                                  EXHIBIT INDEX

Exhibit No.                                   Exhibit

99.1                 Earnings release for third quarter 2002.