Wholesalers & Distributors

UNFI names Angie Balian chief brands officer

Balian will oversee and help grow UNFI’s private-label and owned-brands division.
UNFI
Angie Balian is the new chief brands officer for UNFI. / Photo courtesy: UNFI

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) appointed Angie Balian as its new chief brands officer, the grocery wholesaler announced Wednesday.

In her new position, Balian will oversee UNFI’s private-label and owned-brands division—a “key component of UNFI’s work to provide independent grocery retailers with choice, value and unique products that help them differentiate within their communities,” UNFI said in a statement.

Balian will report to Chris Testa, UNFI’s president and head of the company’s services division, which includes supplier services, professional services, e-commerce and Brands+, UNFI's private-label and owned-brands portfolio.

“There is a tremendous opportunity with our private and owned brand offerings as grocery retailers are specifically looking to us to help them source the unique products, value and price points they need to support their communities,” said Testa in a statement. “Angie’s experience with sales and marketing of national consumer-packaged brands, along with her track record for building high-performing teams will help us grow and improve on what is already a very strong portfolio of UNFI products.”

Balian joined UNFI in July as chief of staff to Testa. Prior to joining UNFI, Balian was VP and general manager of Weston Foods, a Toronto-based food manufacturer. She also spent close to 16 years at Coca-Cola Canada, where she held numerous positions including serving as an executive on the Canadian leadership team and VP of commercial and franchise leadership, UNFI said.

“I’ve had a chance to work alongside UNFI’s private-label and owned-brands teams over the last several months and I’m very impressed with the core brands, products and people we have in place,” said Balian in a statement. “The opportunity now is to build on this foundation, using consumer and customer feedback, data and insights to inform how and where we invest in our portfolio to best support the ever-changing food landscape. We know value is critically important to consumers, and our offerings in private-label and owned brand products must continue evolving in meeting those demands today and for the future.”

Balian holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

UNFI, which serves about 30,000 independent grocers, is a Providence, Rhode Island-based wholesaler.

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