Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2015 Supplier Community Update

Welcome, Suppliers. I'm happy to share our fall roundup of UNFI supplier news with you. I’d also like to remind you to visit another key resource, our Supplier Support Site.


New Team Members
  • Aaron May, Supplier Relationship Manager.  Aaron comes from our National Marketing department. He will be responsible for Perishable and Frozen categories:  Perishable: Butter; Eggs; Milk and Milk Products; Frozen: Desserts; Breakfast; Ice Cream: Novelties, Sorbet and Gelato.  Aaron is based in our Providence, RI office. 
  • Bob Meyer, Supplier Relationship Manager.  Bob comes from our procurement team, a great background for his new role. He will be responsible for Perishable and Frozen categories: Refrigerated: Yogurt; Beverages; Bakery; Cheese and Cheese Alternatives; Frozen: Desserts. Bob is based in our Providence, RI office.
  • Tom Stadnik, Local Supplier Development Manager for the Twin Cities region. Tom was most recently Senior Channel Account Manager at UNFI for Lund’s & Byerly’s.  He is based in our Twin Cities distribution center.
  • Jamie Quebec, Supplier Relationship Management Coordinator.  For the past three years, Jamie has been on our National Supplier Development team and has been instrumental in handling key account new items and activation requests nationally.  She will support Richard Bruns, Aaron May, and Tom Stadnik. Jamie is based in our Providence, RI office.

SRM Contact List and Category Assignments 

Click here for the latest SRM contact and category information.

Supplier Portal Launched

The rolling launch of our new Supplier Portal has begun. This portal allows you to:
  • Directly manage your own contact and warehouse information, ensuring that we have your most up to date and relevant information.
  • Add additional users to the Supplier Portal from your organization and appoint a broker to use the portal on your behalf.
  • Submit and track new items.  Over time, we will transition all new item submissions to the portal, but you can start with your next new item and experience the convenience of the portal workflow, communication, and item status tracking.
  • (Coming soon) Submit promotions. 

Click here for a quick reference guide and short tutorial videos.  If you need help getting started, please contact

Local Supplier Focus

Our Local Supplier Development Team is continuing to ramp-up. Our focus is on small, locally based suppliers. We’re constantly looking for new and innovative products. This team supports the successful launch of new brands by working closely with suppliers through on-boarding education, assistance in building marketing strategy and programs, and is a single point of contact throughout the distribution process. If interested, reach out to Kimberly Bentz.

Supply Chain by ClearVue

This new program is designed to provide you with heightened transparency through demand planning, forecasting and procurement resources, and insights.  We offer weekly and monthly reporting enabling you to identify key areas of sales growth potential, while pinpointing specific productivity opportunities.  Reporting includes:
  • Monthly forecasting by product and by distribution center.
  • Weekly visibility into UNFI sales and inventories:
    • Weekly Sales by product, by distribution center, and by week over the last two years.
    • Weekly Inventories On Hand & On Order by product and by distribution center.
    • Weekly Service Level reports for the Supplier and Retailer.
  • Subscription to the Supplier In-Site Program; 26 reports focused on our top 500 Independent Accounts.
  • Quarterly Subscription to the Supplier Break-Out Report, showing sales for many customers. 

Reach out to your SRM for more details and to sign up.

2016 Tabletop Shows

Three tabletop shows are planned for 2016: Orlando, FL (February 18-19); Foxwoods, CT (May 11-12) and Portland, OR (June 8-9).  We made slight modifications to our registration process for 2016.  Every supplier must sign up using our portal:

After completion of your registration, you must submit your completed UNFI Tabletop Show Form to In order for your registration to be complete, each of the following must be done- we will notify you upon completion of each step by the deadline date:

  • Your participation approval by UNFI. 
  • Your deals submitted, completely and accurately.  
  • Your payment received. 

Deadlines are as follows:

Orlando, FL
Foxwoods, CT
Portland, OR

Please contact your SRM with any questions.

2016 Supplier/Broker Deadline Schedule

Click here for the updated schedule.

Policy Update

UNFI is a federal contractor, and suppliers providing goods or services necessary to the performance of federal contracts are subject to federal non-discrimination, affirmative action and notification regulations as “subcontractors” if they meet certain jurisdictional standards and are not exempt under the regulations. UNFI is required to notify all subcontractors that it has a policy of  affirmative action in accordance with 41 C.F.R. §§ 60-741.5(a), 60-300.5(a) and  60-1.4(a) with respect to recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting qualified individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, as well as with respect to other protected groups for which placement goals have been established.  Suppliers are requested to take appropriate action in support of UNFI’s policy and affirmative action efforts.


Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) is National

The past year marked an effort to transition most supplier category lines from the experience of working with multiple buyers to a single buyer point of contact for our East and West regions. As we enter the holiday season, we are pleased to acknowledge the full transition to a buyer single point of contact for those impacted category lines.

Many suppliers have already provided feedback concerning the benefits of the streamlined relationship on the buying front. Thank you for your patience as we worked through the transition. We look forward to fully operating as a national function and to better support supplying your products to the market.

If you have additional questions concerning IPAR’s nationalization, reach out to your current buyer or email

IPAR Management Alignment

The IPAR Management team has been realigned:

Purchasing Manager
Primary Category
Jodi Booska
Jared Clark
Brenton Hall
Chill & Private Label
Melissa Christian
Eric Cote
Wendy Sharp
Nathan O’Rourke
Tracy Hanson
Frozen, HBC

New Distribution Center Opening: Gilroy, CA

In our communication last quarter, we shared information on the opening of our next state-of-the-art LEED certified distribution center in Gilroy, CA. While we’re eager to unveil our newest warehouse facility, there are adjustments to the timeline. The first receiving date will now be February 15, and the first shipping date will be March 27, 2016.

Deductions Disputes Contacts

Contacts for deduction disputes/issues by region are as follows:

Eastern Region
Term discount disputes –
SAS & SHFRT disputes –
All other disputes –

Western Region
Term discount, invoice deduction, RTV, UNFI ad billings, concealed damages, third party billings without a CSO cover sheet disputes – Accounts Payable West 1-800-679-8735 EXT # 53451

MCB reports, PLCs, PARs, Overpulls, Unsalables, Pack Change, Split Case, third party billings with a CSO cover sheet disputes –

Electronic Manufacturer Chargeback (MCB) Report

We currently send MCB data via sortable electronic report from our Eastern Region business system and via PDF report for suppliers on the Western business system.  A sortable report is under development for the West.  Please contact Joe Gordon with questions.


New Team Member

  • Nicholas Medeiros, National Associate Supplier Relationship Manager. Nicholas will manage Hispanic and Kosher categories.  Prior to joining us, he was a nutritional research assistant for various mobile fruit stands at Brown University. His responsibilities were replenishment, merchandising, and marketing, which enabled him to help provide low income communities access to fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Position Change

  • Meredith Griffith, Customer Promotions Specialist.  Meredith joins the Gourmet & Ethnic team after working with the AHOLD Account Specialist team, which is a great asset in her new position. She has been with UNFI for five years, and is now responsible for securing incremental promotions and creating sales programs. 

Gourmet & Ethnic Marketing Programs

The Gourmet & Ethnic channel has added new marketing programs to their arsenal, giving the entire UNFI sales force more exposure to key items. Programs include:

  • Hot Items, directly from the desks of our SRMs
    • Bi-weekly publication highlighting items that are on trend and appropriate for the particular selling season.
  • Monthly Savers
    • Monthly publication that features key items for the channel with incremental funding in the form of case stacks, etc.
  • National Pallet Program
    • Seasonal program that features pallet buys across all channels and classes of trade.
  • Sofi Finalists/Winners
    • Semi-annual publication that showcases both Sofi finalists and winners from the Fancy Food show.

We will be launching a publication titled “A Dash of Gourmet,” highlighting topics specific to Gourmet & Ethnic suppliers, programs and customers.  This publication will be applicable to customers, suppliers and internal associates.  We look forward to sharing these bi-monthly updates.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact  Joe Roy, Arin Donahue, Ginger Lynch, Sierra Connolly or Nick Medeiros.


Now you can access in-depth information on all our Marketing programs online. For more information including rates and to download order forms, click here.

Independent Channel Data

Do you need to track product sales and target the Independent Channel? The Supplier In-Site program (SIS) is a web-based tool that provides quarterly updated reports with five rolling quarters worth of data available at all times.  The majority of reports featured in SIS focus on our Top 500 Independent Retailers, representing approximately 70% of Independent Channel Sales.  For more information, click here.

On the Road

We have a fleet of over 1,000 trailers all over the country. Market your brand on the road by reaching millions of consumers directly. For more information, click here.

Ads & Inserts Deadlines

Please note Ads & Inserts for the Monthly Specials publications are due to us, or to our printer, on the first of the month three months in advance. (i.e. For February 2016 publications,  your Ads & Inserts are due November 1, 2015.) View the full schedule here.



CORE will replace our regional legacy computer systems with one enterprise business system and is the culmination of Thrive. We are taking decisive steps forward to create a single, tightly integrated technology platform to support the “UNFI of the Future”.

We will continue to keep you updated as we mark important milestones, which impact our supplier community.

Thank you for your support of UNFI. Please feel free to reach out to me or your SRM with any questions and comments.

John Raiche
Vice President, Marketing