NEW GLOUCESTER – Pineland Farms Creamery won a contract to sell its natural cheese in about 500 stores of grocery chain Kroger Co.

Kroger, based in Cincinnati, added Pineland Farms Cheddar to its stores. The cheddar, which began selling at Kroger on July 30, is featured at both Kroger Specialty Cheese shops and the Murray’s Cheese counters, Pineland said.

Kroger is the country’s largest grocery-store chain and the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart.

The contract comes six years after Pineland made its first batch of cheese, the company said.

“This is an important milestone for our company and for the Maine cheese industry,” said Neal Kolterman, Pineland Farm’s vice president of sales.

Pineland’s products, made at its 5,000-acre farm, are available at Hannaford stores in Maine and New Hampshire, as well as some Food Lion Stores in seven states.