Grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) completed its annual UNFI Conventional Expo show held in Minneapolis, Minn, this past Thursday. Close to 2,700 customers attended the expo held July 19-21 to help independent grocers plan, prepare and buy for the upcoming holiday and spring selling seasons.
“Consistent with our objective to help our customers drive profitable and sustainable growth, our in-person shows demonstrate the unique ability we have through our scale, insights, and innovative offerings to help retailers of all sizes and formats compete effectively in their marketplace,” said UNFI CEO, Sandy Douglas. “Working alongside our suppliers, we help customers plan their store offerings, learn about new and exclusive products, manage supply challenges, and secure deals and promotions that drive sales and, ultimately, consumer loyalty.”
One of five trade shows hosted annually by Providence, Rhode Island-based UNFI, this year’s expo capped off record-setting attendance; 270 new products; and the introduction of 250 sustainable/healthy planet items in UNFI’s New Product Showcase. The expo also featured 300-plus monster buys (exclusive UNFI deals on many of the most popular consumer products) covering nearly every store category.
UNFI’s Independent Grocer’s Guidebook—highlighting best-in-class strategy and case studies from selected UNFI customers—was also introduced at this year’s expo. Designed to help all retailers plan for the future of grocery, the guidebook was created in partnership with AlixPartners, a global business consultant with expertise in grocery growth and operational excellence.
“In-person shows provide us a great ability to connect with suppliers, to see new products, develop merchandising strategies, and make plans for our retail stores,” said Matt Leiseth, president of Hornbacher’s Foods. “The UNFI Expo is one of the most important events we participate in annually and this year’s show, from new Brands+ products to seasonal buys, will help us prepare our stores for what we expect to be a busy holiday season.”
On Thursday, UNFI introduced its 2022 Master Marketer Award winners, which recognizes independent. In addition to category and tier winners, UNFI named Boyers Food Markets as its 2022 Grand Master Marketer recipient. Founded in 1949, and headquartered in Orwigsburg, PA, Boyers operates 19 full-service supermarkets throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.