Retailers

Stater Bros. Accelerates Local Innovation

Partners with RangeMe to expand shopper access to smaller brands
Stater Bros. RangeMe
Photograph courtesy of Stater Bros.

Stater Bros. Markets has created a “Local Fare” forum to offer greater opportunities for area brands to connect with new customers and gain the attention of a regional retailer, which can be challenging for smaller, local brands, the San Bernardino, Calif.-based grocer said. The Local Fare will take place July 26-Aug. 6 on the online product discovery and sourcing platform RangeMe.

“Nurturing local families and communities—including local businesses—is at the heart of what we do,” said Dennis McIntyre, EVP and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “This initiative provides companies in our communities a larger retail footprint while our customers gain access to an expanded variety of healthy, high-quality and innovative products. It’s a win-win for local brands and our shoppers,” he added.

Stater Bros. category managers are seeking “the area’s very best offerings in all categories,” including a focus on attributes especially important to their shoppers, such as organic, non-GMO, plant-based, gluten-free, vegan and keto, the company said.

Supplier submissions through RangeMe will be reviewed and chosen by the Stater Bros. category management team. Items chosen will be given placement free of charge. The store locations selected will carefully consider factors such as providing the most relevant product assortment for each store’s local communities, Stater Bros. said. Suppliers not selected will still be accessible via RangeMe and may be reviewed by Stater Bros. category managers again in the future as business needs evolve.

At Stater Bros. Markets, items that are part of its local program are grown, harvested or manufactured exclusively in California. “Buying local contributes to our local and state economy, reduces our carbon footprint and provides healthy, high-quality innovative items to delight our customers,” the company said.

Stater Bros. is the latest grocer to partner with RangeMe—an ECRM company with an online platform that helps to streamline new product discovery between suppliers and retailers—in an effort to expand local offerings.

Last week, Hy-Vee announced the third installation of its “Best Local Brands” summit, designed to help the grocer reach its goal of bringing more local products to its 280 retail stores while supporting small, local businesses. September’s summit, to be held Sept. 8-10, will be organized by the eight states in which Hy-Vee operates—Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

And earlier this July, specialty retailer Fresh Thyme Market announced a partnership with RangeMe in its search for 1,000 hyperlocal products for a new concept store scheduled to open later this year in the historic Foundry area of St. Louis. In addition to local products and other Fresh Thyme staples such as a large produce department, natural meats and bulk foods, the Foundry location will feature a broad assortment of Meijer brand items.

Southern California’s largest privately owned supermarket chain, Stater Bros. currently operates 170 supermarkets in the region. The grocer is currently inviting local suppliers to submit their company information for consideration.

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