Friday, July 7, 2017

July 2017 Supplier Community Update

UNFI Supplier Management Contacts

An updated list of UNFI Supplier Managers (SMs), contact info, line and category assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

UNFI Education Series – Marketing and Inventory Planning and Replenishment

We have recently added two more installments of our Supplier Education Series, Part Three - Marketing and Part Four - Inventory Planning and Replenishment.  Our next two topics will be an analysis of the Underperforming Items Report followed by UNFI Reporting Options – be on the lookout!  Visit UNFI’s Supplier Support Site to access the series.

UNFI Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) Update

All of the Whole Foods Mid Atlantic business that was previously served from our Greenwood, IN distribution center (DC) has been moved to our York, PA location.  This consolidates the Mid Atlantic region into one DC.

The Richburg, SC distribution center’s customers in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan have been moved to the Greenwood, IN DC to provide better delivery service.

Please contact your Supplier Manager with any questions.

New National Vice President of Purchasing

UNFI is pleased to announce that Erin Egan has joined UNFI as National Vice President of Purchasing based out of Providence, RI.  In this role, Erin is responsible for all inventory management and purchasing functions with the IPAR directors, Purchasing Managers, and Buying Teams rolling up to her.  Erin can be reached at eegan@unfi.com.

UNFI Accounts Payable Update

UNFI’s Accounts Payable Department has been transitioning to a centralized group located in Rhode Island.  Unfortunately, during the transition we have found gaps in processing and are now quickly remediating the issues.  To return to normal processing levels we have increased our staff significantly.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

The centralized Accounts Payable Department will allow for a single point of contact and consistent processing eliminating East or West distinctions.  More information will be coming soon, but in the meantime, continue to submit invoices as usual.

Please contact Alicia Rusconi at arusconi@unfi.com or (401) 528-8634 ext. 32181 with any questions or concerns.

UNFI Tabletop Show Update

UNFI’s Winter and Spring Recap

Our 2017 Tabletop Shows have brought together customers and suppliers from UNFI, UNFI Next, Albert’s Organics, Select Nutrition, Tony’s Fine Foods, and NorCal Produce, giving retailers the opportunity to drive growth throughout their store and take advantage of new, growing markets.

We experienced record-breaking customer attendance at each Tabletop Show with nearly 600 customers at the Orlando Show, over 1,500 customers at the Foxwoods Show, and over 1,400 customers at the Pacific Region Show.  The new location of the Long Beach Convention Center for the Pacific Region Tabletop Show was a huge success as we were able to present an expansive, categorized show floor to enhance our retailers’ experience.

UNFI Specialty Selling Show at Mohegan Sun this October!

In the tradition of the annual Haddon House Fall Show, UNFI is hosting a Specialty Selling Show at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT on October 4-5, 2017.  Suppliers will have the opportunity to engage with retailers, sample their items, and negotiate show deals.  We anticipate more than 300 exhibitors and approximately 400 customers.

Please contact your Supplier Manager for more information.

B-Corp, Women-Owned, Minority-Owned, and Other Special Certifications

UNFI is developing a list of the special certifications held by our suppliers.  Specifically, we would like to capture if you are:
  • Certified B-Corp
  • Certified Women-Owned
  • Certified Minority-Owned
If you have such a certification, please send a copy to suppliercertifications@unfi.com.  Some of our retailers are looking for suppliers that have one or more of these certifications.

UNFI and Albert’s Organics: Fresh Update

UNFI is continuing to expand the availability of Fresh products inside UNFI Broadline Distribution Centers as part of a multi-year effort.  Coupled with this expansion, Albert’s Organics will also begin to carry conventional produce in the near future.  Please continue to operate as normal with each business unit until further notice.  Additional information regarding this expansion will be provided in the coming months.

Seasonal Essentials

Selling the Five Retail Seasons

Consumer behavior and buying patterns change five times each year following the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Holiday.  UNFI’s new Seasonal Essentials program engages Retailers and the UNFI Sales Team with the best products for seasonally themed promotions.  The Winter Edition will be distributed in early October and will include products for January, February, and March retail promotions.  Contact your Supplier Manager for more information.

Foodservice Marketing Programs for 2018

The UNFI Marketing Team has completed an in-depth analysis of our Foodservice customers. There are three distinct customer groups, each with different needs:
  • Distributors and Vending Companies
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Restaurants (ie Juice Bars, Delis, Caf├ęs, Coffeehouses, Vegetarian and Organic Restaurants)
Our Foodservice Marketing Programs provide relevant and valuable information for each group.
  • Grab ‘n Go Catalogs, targeted to each group: Advertising available in all versions for maximum exposure.
  • NEW Restaurant Supplies Catalog: Program targeted to customers who buy “back of the house” products such as bulk foods, ingredients, paper products, and cleaning supplies.
  • Get It While It’s Hot Foodservice Magazine: Published six times per year, printed, and mailed directly to Foodservice customers.
  • Segmented Monthly E-Mail Marketing: E-mail blast segmented according to the three major groups detailed above with targeted information for each.
  • Customer Portal Banner Ads: This program will continue as-is.
Cross-media marketing packages are available.  Contact your SM for more information.

Organic News at USDA

If you are an organic farmer, manufacturer, or handler there is something for you at the USDA.  They offer many resources to help you navigate the roadmap to a successful business.  To stay abreast of current news sign up for the “Organic Insider”, an e-mail notification service that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program uses to send out program updates to the organic community.  Learn more and sign up here.

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting This Fall

Twice a year, the NOSB meets to listen to public comments, discuss specific items pertaining to organic agriculture, and vote on recommendations to the USDA.  Every meeting is open to the public. Many inputs used in manufacturing and farming periodically “sunset” or are removed from the allowed list unless the industry provides comments on their importance.

The Fall 2017 NOSB meeting will be held October 31, 2017 - November 2, 2017 at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel in Florida.  During this meeting, the Board will discuss various important topics, such as hydroponics and changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.  For information about how to submit comments, both oral and written, and to access the meeting materials, please visit Fall 2017 NOSB Meeting Fall 2017 NOSB Meeting.  Don’t miss the opportunity to comment, the deadline is October 11, 2017, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. 


Competitive Freight Rates

Let UNFI handle getting your products to our distribution centers. We offer competitive, national freight rates and a dedicated truck fleet to all of our warehouses.  Some advantages of using UNFI’s Freight Service include:
  • We take ownership of your product at the moment we pick it up
  • We pay the unloading and appointment fees for you
  • We plan the fastest, most cost effective way to move your products
  • We have state-of-the-art supply chain technology for highest quality control
For more details, please e-mail Jennifer Leite at Ship4U@unfi.com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April 2017 Supplier Community Update

National Supplier Management (SM) Team Updates

As we continue to streamline our Supplier Management team, we have some additions and changes to share with you.

Mark Hackenberry has taken on the role of Vice President of Southern Cross.  With this change, Melissa Angle will now oversee the Gourmet & Ethnic Supplier Management team and the Medford, NJ Supplier Management Team.  Melissa’s direct reports include:  Meagan Kessel, Maureen Hines, Lisa Madsen, Richard Bruns, Joseph Roy, John Jablonowski, Frank Zacharewicz, Nancy Semmelrock, Dan Bowersett and Alana Mahdalik.

John Jablonowski has joined the Supplier Management team as Group Manager.  John’s responsibilities include the management of:  Deals of Massive Discount (DMDs), Chain Ads, and the Medford, NJ Supplier Management team.  Reporting to John will be Melissa Carpineto, John Spitzkopf, Matt Chesla, Kristen Hayden and Bonnie Worrell.

  • Melissa Carpineto has joined the team as Supplier Manager, Chain Ads. 
  • John Spitzkopf has joined the team as Supplier Manager. 
  • Kristen Hayden has joined the team as Associate Supplier Manager.
  • Bonnie Worrell has joined the team as Supplier Management Coordinator.  Bonnie will support John Spitzkopf and Melissa Carpineto,
Frank Zacharewicz has joined the team as Group Manager, Kosher.  Frank will be responsible for managing and implementing all Kosher Programs for UNFI.

Jared Clark has joined the team as Supplier Manager.  Jared will be responsible for the Milk and Cream, Yogurt and Cultured Beverages, Functional and Non-Functional Refrigerated Beverages, Non-Dairy Beverages and Single and Multi-Serve Refrigerated Beverages.  Jared will be transitioning to his new role over the next few weeks. Jared will report to Maureen Hines and is based out of Chesterfield, NH.

UNFI Supplier Management Contacts

An updated list of UNFI Supplier Managers, contact info, line and category assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

UNFI Education Series – Inbound Logistics

We have recently added another installment of our Supplier Education 101 Series - Inbound Logistics 101.  Our next topic will be Marketing – be on the lookout!  Visit UNFI’s Supplier Support Site / Supplier Education to access the series.

UNFI Policy Update

UNFI’s policies regarding item activations were updated effective January 1, 2017.  UNFI will assess a nominal charge of $300 per Distribution Center (50% Discount for Suppliers with Annual Advertising Agreement) for the activation of an existing item.  Existing items are defined as an item that is made available in additional distribution center(s) after its new item launch period has taken place.    Please contact your Supplier Manager with any questions or concerns.

Supplier In-Site (SIS) Data Sharing Portal Enhancements

UNFI has enhanced our Supplier In-Site (SIS) reporting portal with new functionality and a clean, simple look and feel.  The SIS portal is a web based reporting tool for sales data down to the item and store level, providing immense value to suppliers who are looking to understand their business. Contact your Supplier Manager or Emma Padden for more information. New SIS functionality includes:

  • The ability to export reports in excel or pdf format
  • The ability to set up subscriptions to have reports automatically generated and emailed to you on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis

250-300% Increase with Customer Portal Ads

Statistics show an average increase of 250-300% in visits to a supplier’s product listing page when a Customer Portal banner ad runs.  Advertisers receive Monthly Activity Reports after an ad is featured showing total impressions, average time spent on the page and number of clicks. Ads are especially effective when placed in conjunction with a special focus or promotion. May’s special focus is Gluten Free; June’s is Summer Fun.  Contact your Supplier Manager or Emma Padden for more information.

Haddon House Integration Update

The Haddon House Howell facility is fully converted to UNFI’s ordering systems.  Accounts payable for both DCs (Howell and Richburg) is still being handled from the Medford offices.

With this conversion complete the UNFI's Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) team will be doing some supplier reassignments to better balance the overall workload of the buying team.

UNFI has moved some of The Fresh Market (TFM) business to DCs closer to the customer’s stores to provide better service.  The Howell TFM business is moving completely to York.  Approximately one third of the Richburg business moves to Greenwood and another third moves to Sarasota.  All this was effective March 26.

Supplier Portal Enhancement: Improved Appointment Visibility

Starting in May, suppliers will have access to an appointment module within the Supplier Portal that will show delivery appointments and the details related to those appointments. You will be able to see status information such as whether an appointment has been scheduled, rescheduled, landed or cancelled.

Additionally, all carriers and any suppliers that perform their own carrier activities will now have the opportunity to request access to the appointment management capability within the Supplier Portal. This will allow all applicable carriers and suppliers to use the Portal to perform the following activities:

  • Accept loads
  • Request appointments
  • View confirmed appointments
  • Request to reschedule appointments
  • View confirmed rescheduled appointments

Please share this information with your carriers and let them know they can submit a request for UNFI Supplier Portal access here.

Competitive Freight Rates

Let UNFI handle getting your products to our distribution centers. We offer competitive, national freight rates and a dedicated truck fleet to all our warehouses.  Some of the advantages of using UNFI’s Freight Service include:

  • We take ownership of your product at the moment we pick it up
  • We pay the unloading and appointment fees for you
  • We plan the fastest, most cost effective way to move your products.
  • We have state-of-the-art supply chain technology for highest quality control

For more details, please e-mail Jennifer Leite at Ship4U@unfi.com.

GRO Organic Check-Off - Comment by April 19

Now is the time for industry and consumers to submit comments to USDA in support of the Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order proposal.

Farmers and businesses can make comments here http://groorganic.net/business-action/.  Please share this link with your customers and consumers to make their comments: http://groorganic.net/consumer-action.

Click here for more information.

The deadline to submit comments is April 19th 2017.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Successful Conversion of the Haddon House Distribution Center in Howell, NJ


This weekend, the second Haddon House Distribution Center, located in Howell, NJ, successfully converted to the UNFI distribution network. This is a major milestone in the integration and will enable us to serve our customers as one company.

Over the next few weeks, you may experience some challenges as we acclimate to the new ways of working together. If you have questions, please contact your Buyer – please refer to the Buyer Assignment list as needed.

Gourmet Guru Integration

Thank you for your continued support of the integration between UNFI and Gourmet Guru. We’re excited about the benefits it will bring Gourmet Guru suppliers, including a new geographic reach, access to UNFI resources, and opportunities to expand into new customer bases.

We are in the process of relocating items from the Gourmet Guru Bronx facility to the UNFI Distribution Centers. Items are being relocated based on geographic proximity, customer-specific long hauls, and existing business.

All Current or Previous Gourmet Guru Suppliers


  • You should have recently received a detailed breakdown of how the integration impacts your brand assortment, including warehouse information, locations, and invoicing addresses. If you did not receive this information or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Supplier Relationship Manager

Suppliers New to UNFI


  • If you were not shipping to UNFI prior to the Gourmet Guru Integration, you should receive your first Purchase Order from UNFI the week of 3/20. 
  • Please review the Purchase Order to confirm the details are correct and that UNFI is set up in your system as a customer for billing purposes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Supplier Relationship Manager

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible for our suppliers. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Supplier Relationship Manager.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

UNFI Opening Finance Shared Services Center

UNFI is taking steps to standardize and simplify the way our suppliers, customers, and associates interact. It is the reason that we moved to One Sales Team, are investing in enterprise technology, and are integrating Haddon House and Gourmet Guru so quickly. As part of this goal, we are opening our first Finance Shared Services Center in the Providence metro area by the end of July 2017. Through the Finance Shared Services Center, UNFI will:

  • Provide suppliers with a single UNFI point of contact for all inquiries
  • Deploy simpler, more standardized processes to receive payments and resolve inquiries
  • Improve resolution time on inquiries and payments

The Accounts Payable function will transition to the Finance Shared Service Center first. Billings and Deductions will follow, transitioning from July 2017 through October 2017.

We are excited to announce this change and to strengthen our business relationship with you. We will update you each step of the way, so please stay tuned for additional information regarding specific changes as we make them.

Thank you.