Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January 2016 Supplier Community Update

Welcome, Suppliers! Here is our latest roundup of UNFI supplier news. I’d also like to remind you of another key resource, our Supplier Support Site.


Position Changes/Additions

  • Barbara Beland is our newest SRM, based in Providence, RI.  Barbara has worked on our Inventory Planning and Replenishment team as a buyer.  She will be responsible for:  salty snacks, grain cakes, dips & salsas, dry potatoes, dry/prepared beans.  Barbara reports to Maureen Hines.
  • Wendy Savoie has joined the Local team as the newest Supplier Development Manager. Wendy has worked as an SRM over the past 3 years.  Wendy’s strong background in SRM and Marketing will be instrumental as she begins to focus on local & emerging brands for the East Region.  Wendy reports to Kimberly Bentz. 
  • Tracy French has joined our Local team.  Tracy has been a Supplier Relationship Coordinator with UNFI for 2 ½ years and has been recently promoted to Associate Supplier Development Manager.  Tracy’s proficiency in UNFI processes will provide significant support to our local and emerging brands. Tracy reports to Kimberly Bentz.
  • Lori Howes has been promoted to the SRM Promotions team as Promotions Specialist after two years in a support coordinator role.  Lori reports to Mark Slattery. 
  • Keri Logee joined the SRM Promotions team as the newest Promotions Specialist.  Keri has been with UNFI for four years, most recently with the Commercial Strategy team.  Keri reports to Mark Slattery.  
  • Liz Lada will join the team as a Supplier Relationship Coordinator on January 11.  Liz joined UNFI in 2004 as a Customer Service Representative and in 2010 moved to our Costing and Coding team.  Liz will support David Lotti, Darla Snyder and Lisa Madsen, reporting to Nancy Semmelrock.
  • Kristen Ellis will join our team on January 11 as a Supplier Relationship Coordinator.  Kristen joined UNFI in 2012 in the Dayville, CT Human Resources office.  Kristen’s ability to multi-task will be a strong addition to our support team.  Kristen will support Nora Cline and Lori Davis, reporting to Nancy Semmelrock. 

Click here for a complete list of UNFI SRMs, contacts, category and line assignments

Local Supplier Development Update

We continue to build our Local Supplier Initiative at UNFI!  Our program is geared towards smaller, local suppliers producing great products in a region.  Our Local Program aids suppliers in building the supply chain support needed to achieve and/or improve distribution of their products. With specific onboarding education and marketing programs, the Program will support the successful launch of local brands.  Our Local Supplier Development Managers work with our sales team to identify key local opportunities for UNFI.

  • For Brands in our Twin Cities market, please contact Tom Stadnik.
  • For Brands on the East Coast, please contact Wendy Savoie.
  • For Brands in other markets, please contact Kimberly Bentz.

Supplier Portal

UNFI’s new Supplier Portal is in place and many suppliers and brokers are taking advantage of it to send UNFI their new product information.  If you do not yet have a Supplier Portal account click here for a quick reference guide and short tutorial videos.  The portal allows you to:
  • Provide your SRM with your new and updated warehouse information.
  • Add additional users to the Supplier Portal from your organization.
  • 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.

IX-One Fills the UNFI New Item Form (NIF)

IX-ONE has launched a new feature which saves time and increases accuracy for suppliers completing UNFI’s new item forms.  This easy-to-use feature populates most of the product information required on UNFI form; leaving only the UNFI-specific elements to be completed by the supplier or broker - such as price, terms, etc.  Visit  for a recorded webinar showing this feature.


Winter Fancy Foods Show – January 17-19

UNFI’s Gourmet & Ethnic team will be co-hosting a booth with Tony’s Fine Foods at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, CA.  Please bring your customers and your appetites by to see us at booth #233 in the North Hall of the Moscone Center!

Orlando Tabletop Show – February 18-19

Shipper and Case Stack Show – February 24

On February 24th, the Gourmet & Ethnic team will be hosting our 2nd Annual Shipper & Case Stack show at Citi Field, home of the 2015 National League Champions NY Mets.  We will be featuring 150 suppliers and the show is open to all of our customers.  Click here to register and learn more.

Foxwoods Tabletop Show – May 11-12

Portland Tabletop Show – UNFI & Select Nutrition – June 8-9

The 2016 UNFI Portland Tabletop Show will be co-hosted with Select Nutrition!  Based on supplier feedback we have decided to merge the two shows. Suppliers for both divisions can now attend just one tabletop and sell from both divisions, depending on product availability.  Suppliers available in both divisions, called “crossover suppliers”, have the option to register with either division.  Show fees will be deducted from the division chosen.  We will take orders electronically; crossover suppliers will have an iPad for each division.  UNFI and Select Nutrition deals must match.

Hawaii Tabletop Show – July 15 – Save the Date!

UNFI and Select Nutrition will be co-hosting the 2016 Hawaii Tabletop Show at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Kona, Hawaii.  Suppliers who are currently registered for the Orlando, Foxwoods and Portland Tabletop Shows will be given first priority for participation. We anticipate this show will sell out quickly due to a high level of interest and limited table availability!  Please register for the Hawaii Tabletop Show by emailing Once we receive a request in writing we will add the Hawaii Tabletop Show to your 2016 show registration.


New Management Structure

Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) and Inbound Logistics (IBL) have been joined together to form UNFI’s National Supply Chain department, headed up by Michael Seekins, VP National Supply Chain.  Jodi Booska (Chesterfield NH) and Nathan O’Rourke (Aurora CO) are managing the Director responsibilities nationally, reporting to Michael.  This new structure aligns the company’s supply chain execution functions under one umbrella to ensure the highest level of performance and customer support.

To bring a higher level of attention to regional customer needs, Jodi and Nathan are focused on East and West region customers respectively. This does not affect our national buying structure but rather supplements it by increasing understanding of regional differences.   Jodi is responsible for customers served out of East DCs (Chesterfield; Dayville; Hudson Valley; York; Atlanta; Sarasota; Greenwood; Racine; Twin City; Iowa City).   Nathan is responsible for customers served out of West DCs (Ridgefield; Auburn; Aurora; Moreno Valley; Rocklin; Lancaster).

Click here the National Supply Chain org chart.  Click here for a list of buyers with category and line assignments.  If you have any questions please reach out to your SRM, Buyer, or to Michael at or x32056.

Hitting our Stride with National Buying

In October, we announced that we completed our transition to a national buying team for most categories. Our national buying model has resulted in streamlined interactions between our buyers, supplier relationship managers and the supplier community. A single point of contact across the three parties allows us to respond more nimbly and oversee your product performance and trends across all regions.  Should you have any questions concerning IPAR’s nationalization, reach out to your buyer or contact us at


New DC in Gilroy, CA

We are excited to announce the opening of our Gilroy, CA facility!  The IPAR team has begun placing purchase orders for Gilroy, which contain a PO ETA Date. This is the date by which we want the product to arrive at the DC.   Our Inbound Logistics team (IBL) will be coordinating pick-ups and receiving appointments.  Please do not ship any POs to arrive earlier than the assigned receiving week!  Receiving appointments can be requested by emailing:

Customers will transition from Rocklin to Gilroy in 3 phases.  The first 2 phases for Gilroy will be 10 Whole Foods Market stores in each phase. Over time you will notice a decrease in your Rocklin volume.

In order for us to successfully place purchase orders, it is critical that you set up the new Gilroy location in your system prior to go-live of the distribution center.  The Gilroy DC address, DUNS number and other details are on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site:

Key Dates for Gilroy Opening
Now POs being placed
2/15/2016 Receiving begins
3/27/2016 Shipping begins

Leicester DC Transition

In March of 2016, UNFI will consolidate our Leicester MA operations into our Dayville CT distribution center. Please direct any questions to your SRM.

Key Dates for Leicester > Dayville Transition
2/5/2016 Last POs placed for Leicester
3/5/2016 Transition Weekend
3/7/2016 Last ship out of Leicester
3/8/2016 First ship out of Dayville

Iowa City Distribution Center Downtime - January 22

We will not be accepting deliveries to our Iowa City DC on Friday January 22, while we convert the DC to a new warehouse management system – WM2012, the same system that 6 of our other DCs currently use. Iowa City operations leadership and associates are ready for the change, and training is on-going up until go-live.  Our schedule will return to normal for orders delivered on Sunday, January 24th. We have contacted you if you are impacted by the downtime, however, if you have any questions please contact your SRM.


Honest Green’s e-Commerce is E-Xploding!

We are happy to announce the launch of a new marketing initiative for our Honest Green e-commerce segment.  In FY15, Honest Green sales grew 172% overall and we’re anticipating those sales to double again in FY16 as the consumer demand for purchasing groceries on-line continues to surge.

We will now be offering the opportunity to reach Honest Green’s wide customer base of eCommerce customers by placing banner ads on its ordering portal, as well as in our direct-to-customer emails.
  • New area for our suppliers to grow with, allowing you to reach out to a new source of potential customers.
  • Available only for suppliers with products available in Hudson Valley and Select Nutrition warehouses.
  • Honest Green’s customer base includes large e-tailers, and national retailers, as well as small online marketers.
For more information, contact Laurie Donohue.

UNFI Customer Portal Special Focuses

Each month the UNFI Customer Portal focuses on popular events that spur additional sales. Coming up soon:
  • February is Focus on Fitness.  The Portal’s Recommended Products page will feature B-Corp suppliers and Celebrating Vegetarians
  • March is our Organics Quiz.  The Recommended Products page will feature Spring Cleaning
  • April is Earth Day Celebration. The Recommended Products page will feature a Table Top Showcase
Space is limited! To participate, contact Laurie Donohue.

Foodservice Opportunities

Don’t forget that our Foodservice segment is growing FAST! UNFI offers marketing programs that are exclusive to our foodservice customers, including:
  • Foodservice Triannual Catalog
  • Get It While It’s Hot Foodservice Ezine – focused on new and trending products
  • Sizzlers Deals – special quarterly deals promoted by our foodservice channel managers directly to foodservice customers.
For more information, contact Joannie Berriman.

Plan Now for Holiday 2016!

We are already planning our 2016 Holiday Essentials Catalog. This catalog replaces our Holiday Edition Catalog and will feature key natural, organic and gourmet/specialty open-stock holiday items geared towards Independent and Supermarket retailers, with 10,000+ copies in circulation. Promotions are desired but not required.  Deadline is 2/12/16.  For more information, contact Emma Padden.

HEALTHY Clippings® Coupon Opportunities

One of UNFI’s strongest marketing programs is our HEALTHY Clippings® quarterly coupon program. For each participating supplier approximately 200,000 coupons are distributed to independent retailers. We are currently working on our spring program.  To be included contact Emma Padden. by the end of January.

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 UNFI’s Top 500 Independent Retailers, representing approximately 70% of Independent Channel Sales.  For more information, contact Emma Padden.

Your Brands Matter!

Our suppliers have told us that it’s sometimes confusing to navigate through all our marketing programs. They’ve asked us to put all the information in one place for easy access to information, forms and rates. UNFI is excited to unveil a new website that does all this and more! Visit for UNFI program info, forms and valuable articles on the latest marketing trends for our industry.


The Deductions team has recently increased staffing resources and improved processes in order to reduce the turnaround time on resolving disputes.  Click here for a list of contacts for the various deduction disputes types.  Please direct any questions to your SRM or Joe Gordon.