UNFI Taps Salsify and Trace One to Help Win Digital Shelf

Partnership aims to create a singular, end-to-end PIM workflow
Photograph: Shutterstock

UNFI Brands+ has partnered with Salsify and Trace One in an effort to position more than 5,000 grocery products for success on the digital shelf, as online shopping continues its rapid growth. The partnership, according to a release, is aimed at creating a singular, end-to-end PIM workflow.

Salsify’s Commerce Experience Management empowers brand manufacturers, distributors and retailers to win on the digital shelf, and Trace One is a platform that helps retailers and brands get innovative, compliant and sustainable products to market faster.

Noting that online shopping for grocery products has grown by more than 54% in the past year, UNFI Brands+ sought to fully digitize its business. It used specification data from Trace One to collaborate with its manufacturers to ensure products are compliant and have the required transparency, as well as to drive artwork production that is integrated with Salsify's Product Experience Management Platform (ProductXM) so that product attributes could be sent to its customers via multichannel syndication.

The integration covers new item setup and changes to the specifications over the lifetime of the products. This meant digital data was aligned to physical packaging as updates occurred.

"We want to make sure today's digital-first consumer has the information they need to make confident food decisions for themselves and their family," said Adam Sinley, director of product development and quality assurance for UNFI Brands, in a statement. "Our investment in Trace One and Salsify help us achieve that by assuring data integrity and standardized formatting across our digital channels."

With Trace One and Salsify, UNFI Brands+ lowered internal effort and reduced the time elapsed between product development being completed and making those products available on retailer customers e-commerce sites, increasing sales volumes and customer satisfaction.

"Salsify's ProductXM platform helps UNFI Brands+ bring together the core elements they need to manage, syndicate and optimize product content across their entire commerce ecosystem—all within one unified platform," said Peter Crosby, VP corporate marketing for Salsify, in a statement. "In partnering with Trace One to import approved specification data through standardized integration, we were able to help get new products and product updates to the digital shelf faster."

Don Low, solution consultant with Trace One, said in a Dec. 20 statement that "the consistency between physical packaging and digitally available information beyond the label increases final consumer confidence during the buying process, leading to higher sales volumes."

In earlier news this week, Sampler, a digital product sampling platform, said it will be partnering with UNFI, North America's largest grocery wholesale distributor.

Since the pandemic disrupted the retail environment over 18 months ago, brands have been challenged to find new and innovative ways to reach consumers outside of in-store sampling. 

"Once the pandemic hit, traditional ways of handing out samples, like in-store demos, became non-viable,” said Marie Chervier, Sampler's CEO and founder, in a statement. “With UNFI's help, we can accelerate conversations about the power of digital sampling with brands across UNFI's portfolio."

With over $1 billion of annual sales, UNFI Brands+ can be found at many independent and big-box retailers across the United States and international regions. 


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