Wednesday, October 5, 2016

UNFI Supplier Community Update - October 2016

Welcome and thanks for checking in on our latest round-up of news and info for suppliers!

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

UNFI Supplier Educational Series

UNFI is embarking on the development of a UNFI Educational Series for our Supplier and Broker partners.  This series will assist our suppliers with understanding the critical business areas of UNFI and how to effectively work with us.  The first publication in the series will be focused on the UNFI Deductions process.  We will publish Deductions 101 by October 30, 2016.  When published, we will send out an announcement by email and the document will be available on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.  Be on the lookout!

UNFI Supplier Onboarding Team

As part of UNFI’s continued commitment to cultivating new and emerging brands, we have begun the process of building out a Supplier Onboarding Team.  This team will work closely with our small to medium suppliers and will help guide them through the UNFI onboarding process.  The goal of this team is to improve the supplier experience with UNFI and support the introduction of their line to the marketplace.  The process of recruitment for this team is underway, with an expected full roll-out no later than January 1, 2017.

SRM Contacts

Click here for the latest SRM contact list, line and category assignments.

Haddon House Update

Business Systems Conversion 

We are currently focused on transitioning Haddon House to UNFI business systems.  The Richburg DC will be converted first, then the Howell DC.  The conversion dates are not yet finalized.  When they are, we will inform you in this blog.

Purchase Order Changes

When the system conversion occurs, Purchase Orders for the Haddon DCs will change to the UNFI UBS PO format.  Please prepare your systems accordingly.

Haddon House Suppliers New to UNFI

  • You should currently be in the UNFI Supplier Set-Up Process so that we may continue to purchase product from you when our systems are integrated.  
  • You should have received a request from UNFI for information regarding new supplier set-up.  All requested information must be provided to UNFI no later than November 1, 2016.  Failure to meet this deadline means you will not receive Purchase Orders from Haddon House in early 2017. If you have not received the request for information or have any questions, please contact us at
  • Please note that, going forward, all Creative Merchandiser monthly promotions must be supported with Off Invoice (O/I’s) discounts and will be applied as monthly specials to all UNFI DCs.

The Fresh Market Wellness Program

As part of our new agreement with The Fresh Market we are adding wellness sets to some stores. The first 16 stores will be set in October and November from our Haddon House Richburg, SC distribution center.  Many of you will be receiving purchase orders from Haddon House for the first time.  Please be sure you have them set up as a customer and can promptly fill those purchase orders!

2017 Tabletop Shows Offer Expanded Product Selection

Our 2017 shows will include suppliers from UNFI, Albert’s Organics, Select Nutrition and Tony’s Fine Foods, offering our customers something for every part of the store.

  • Orlando Tabletop Show: February 7-8, 2017; New location! Loews Sapphire Falls
  • Foxwoods Tabletop Show: May 17-18, 2017
    • Open to suppliers from UNFI, Select Nutrition
  • Pacific Region Tabletop Show: May 23-24, 2017; New location! Long Beach Convention Center
    • Open to suppliers from UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Select Nutrition and Albert’s Organic

Tables are still available for all 2017 UNFI Tabletop Shows! Register now -- use the following link to lock in your spot:


UNFI Next is the Pipeline Pioneer for Future Growth!  We are a new team at UNFI, focused on curating and incubating Emerging Brands for distribution at UNFI and growth at retail.  The product and brand criteria to define an Emerging Brand for UNFI Next are as follows:

  • Brands/Products that disrupt their category
  • Products that are on-trend with key industry/category trends
  • New or break-through product entries to the market

The UNFI Next program is for suppliers that are not currently in distribution at UNFI and are building their brands and placements at retail.  We strive to offer a high level of support, education, mentorship and a concierge experience throughout a brand’s onboarding and growth at UNFI.

Our Regional Supplier Development Managers are located in the markets in which they are looking for new brands.  If you believe your brand may be a fit for the program, please reach out to the Regional Supplier Development Manager in your area.  If there is not a Regional Supplier Development Manager in your region, please reach out to Kimberly Bentz.

UNFI Next Supplier Development Team contacts:
Kimberly Bentz:, Supplier Development Group Manager
Wendy Savoie:, Regional Supplier Development Manager-Northeast
Suman Lawrence:, Regional Supplier Development Manager-Southwest
Michael Costello:, Regional Supplier Development Manager-Mountain
Kayla Davis:, Supplier Development Support Specialist

Marketing Updates

Consumer Circular Options for All Suppliers

January kicks off UNFI’s new DC Specific Circular option for suppliers.   Now, suppliers with distribution limited to a few DCs can participate in the circular, grow sales and reach new customers. Contact your SRM for more information.

2017 Ad Deadlines

Advertising deadlines, specs, shipping addresses, etc for 2017 Monthly Specials advertising can be found here.

eCommerce Marketing 

UNFI’s Honest Green division is focused on products and services for etailers.   You can reach these customers with ads, email marketing and sampling programs via our eCommerce marketing program. If you have products in our Philadelphia or Hudson Valley warehouses we can help you increase sales to etailers.   Contact Laurie Donohue at or your SRM.

UNFI Bi-Annual Catalog Goes Digital

Beginning with the Jan-June 2017 issue, UNFI’s Bi-Annual Complete Catalog will be available in digital format only.   Click here for more info.

National GMO Labeling Law

After months of debate, the Senate passed a bill that would require companies to label products containing genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs).  President Obama signed the GMO Labeling bill into law in on July 29, 2016,

UNFI has prepared answers to some frequently asked questions to help you understand what is happening and what is to come next.

National GMO Labeling Law – FAQs

Use EDI for Improved Efficiency and Accuracy

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is an electronic confirmation process proven to improve the efficiency and accuracy of purchase order and invoice interchange.  EDI streamlines the process by eliminating manual mailings, emails, phone calls or faxes.

UNFI is requesting that our suppliers with EDI capabilities sign up for EDI 850, 875, 855, 810 and 824 capabilities.  At the link below you will find our technical specifications.   Please provide these spec sheets to your internal EDI Team or third party provider.   Contact our EDI department at for assistance with technical questions and testing activities.

If your company is not currently EDI capable, there are many reputable third party suppliers. UNFI recommends working with either EDICT or SPS Commerce.  Both of these organizations have capabilities and are UNFI Preferred vendors.  If you utilize a service provider other than one of these two organizations, UNFI requires that you contact EDICT and request interconnect between the two organizations for UNFI so that we may receive your data.

Click here for more information about EDI

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

UNFI Supplier Community Update - July 2016

Welcome and thanks for checking in on our latest news for suppliers.   

Remember that UNFI’s Supplier Support site is your 24/7 resource for forms, documents, contacts and information.  

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) Updates

Nicholas Medeiros, Associate SRM, has left UNFI to pursue other opportunities.  Please direct any inquiries on Kosher or Hispanic to Joe Roy as we look for Nick’s replacement.

Click here for the current list of SRM contacts, category and line assignments.

Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) 

An updated IPAR contact list has been posted on the UNFI Supplier Support Site.  

Gilroy, CA Distribution Center: The final phase of customer moves from Rocklin to Gilroy was completed on June 26.  The service out of Gilroy to our customers has been stellar! The distribution center has fully integrated itself into the Gilroy community.

Haddon House Update

Haddon House’s Chicago area customers will be served from UNFI’s Racine distribution center beginning in July.  As part of this move, we have greatly expanded our Gourmet and Ethnic product mix in Racine.

2017 Table Top Show Schedule and New Locations

Start planning for 2017 today! All 2017 UNFI Tabletop Shows are available for registration. We are excited to announce our new location for the 2017 West Region Show – Long Beach, CA.  This show will be hosted by UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Select Nutrition and Albert’s Organics! Use the following link to lock in your spot:

  • Orlando Tabletop Show: February 7-8, 2017; New location! Loews Sapphire Falls
  • Foxwoods Tabletop Show: May 17-18, 2017
  • Long Beach Tabletop Show: May 23-24, 2017; New location! Long Beach Convention Center
  • Hawaii Tabletop Show: Dates and location TBA

UNFI Supplier Portal 

Last September, UNFI began the journey to implement tools and processes to enhance our supplier relationships and to bring efficiency and ease to completing our mutual daily tasks. The largest part of this effort is the introduction of our Supplier Portal.  

The purpose of the Supplier Portal is to facilitate the exchange of information between suppliers and UNFI and to include suppliers in various workflows to ensure that your products are brought to market efficiently and accurately.  

The first phase of the Supplier Portal introduced 2 fundamental components:

  • Management of supplier contact and warehouse information
  • New item submissions and tracking

Since the initial launch, we have discovered ways to improve the new item process in the Portal to increase ease of use and efficiencies.  We are currently working on improvements and expect to launch new features this fall.  Included are improved search capability, marketing support, supplier number visibility, freight and transportation and automation new item upload into our business systems.

The second phase of the Supplier Portal is to introduce promotions functionality, which will increase ease and accuracy for you when submitting promotions.

We view this as a journey and a collaboration with suppliers for mutual benefit.  We will continue to add functionality to our Supplier Portal as part of our ongoing plan.  Currently under consideration are: support for deductions and disputes, data exchange integration, announcements, price changes, pack changes, and overall improvements to usability.  Please feel free to contact Deb Maynard,, with suggestions for Supplier Portal functionality that would benefit you.

UNFI’s Supplier Portal is located at   If your company has not yet used the Supplier Portal, please contact your SRM for access. 

Updated New Item Forms

Click on to visit the UNFI Supplier Support site for updated New Item Forms.  Please update your current forms to the newest version OR begin to send all new item submissions through our Supplier Portal

The form has been updated as follows:
East and West item numbers will now be listed on one returned form upon completion.
The Beverage Items area now includes all needed information in one location.
A check box to allow the user to validate that all needed information has been completed. 

Sign On to Grow Organic!

Remember “Got Milk?” and “The Other White Meat”? -- these hugely successful promotional programs were the result of USDA ‘check-off’ programs.  Checkoff programs empower an industry to establish its own goals, fund research and education, and decide how best to develop new markets and strengthen current marketing.  Imagine what a check off program could do for Organics!  Find out more, add your support and spread the word – ask your colleagues to add their support! 

Situational, Digital and eCommerce Marketing

Situational Marketing  

Are you back in stock after a long-term out, have a major new certification or substantial product innovation launch?  UNFI can get the word out via email campaigns targeted to your desired customer segments.  Includes post-campaign engagement reporting to measure your impact.   Contact your SRM for more information on this exciting new opportunity.

Digital HEALTHY Clippings® Coupons 

UNFI is currently looking for supplier partners to participate in the launch of our newest digital option:  HEALTHY Clippings® coupons.  Feature your best sellers or newest items to gain consumers for trial.  Contact Alana Mahdalik at

eCommerce Marketing 

Reach etailers with banner ads, email marketing and sampling programs through UNFI’s Honest Green eCommerce division. eCommerce is the fastest growing segment of the business – offering new and effective marketing opportunities for our suppliers. These new, affordable options are great opportunities for suppliers with products in our Philadelphia or Hudson Valley warehouses. Contact Laurie Donohue at

UNFI Sales Update

In our March 14, 2016 post we announced our One Team approach for our outside sales associates. As a reminder, starting August 2016, our outside sales associates from UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Albert’s Organics, and Select Nutrition will begin to collaborate as one team.  Each sales territory will be supported by a team comprised of Grocery, Fresh, and Wellness experts from UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Albert’s Organics and Select Nutrition.

We look forward to this transition and expect little to no impact on our supplier community at this time. Specifically, for suppliers, this means: 

  • No changes to the product set up process.
  • No changes to the buying team or process.
  • Your current SRM will remain unchanged. 
  • Purchase order processes will not change. 
  • We can better leverage our category expertise to represent your brand in a more meaningful way. 

We will share more information in the coming months. In the meantime, you may contact with any questions. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Welcoming Haddon House to the UNFI Family

We are excited to announce that Haddon House is now part of the UNFI Family. Together, we’ll provide an even more diverse selection of products to our customers and will expand our customer reach.

What does this mean for our suppliers?

  • The UNFI and Haddon House integration is expected to take a year to eighteen months. If changes are made that impact our suppliers, we will let you know by posting here on the UNFI Supplier Blog and via email
  • If you are interested in becoming a supplier for either UNFI or Haddon House and you are not already, please follow the normal process by contacting UNFI or Haddon House directly 
  • If you are a supplier for both UNFI and Haddon House at this time, please operate as you do now. We will let you know when/if the items you supply will be impacted by the integration 
If you have any questions, please reach out to the Haddon House and UNFI Integration mailbox. We’ll monitor it daily and will respond as soon as possible. 

As always, please refer to this UNFI Supplier Blog for the latest information about the integration and other important UNFI news. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 2016 Supplier Community Update

Welcome to our latest round-up of UNFI news!  And don’t forget to bookmark and use another key resource, UNFI’s Supplier Support Site, for contact lists, program information, forms and more.

UNFI Organizational Changes

We are pleased to announce important organizational improvements that will enhance our ability to provide our brands and products to our retailers, and improve customer experience.

Effective August 2016, our outside sales associates from UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Albert’s Organics, and Select Nutrition will collaborate as one team.

As part of this improvement, our outside sales teams will operate as three regions, Pacific, Central and Atlantic, under the leadership of three regional presidents.

  • Pacific: Paul Green, current SVP Operations, will assume the role of Pacific Region President. Steve Dietz, current Tony’s Fine Food VP of Marketing, will serve as the Pacific Region VP of Sales. 
  • Central: John Hummel, current VP of Operations Central Region, will assume the role of Central Region President. David Chavez, current Director of Foodservice, will serve as the Central Region VP of Sales.
  • Atlantic: Chris Testa, President of Blue Marble Brands, will assume the role of Atlantic Region President. JJ Cantrell, current VP of Natural Channel, will serve as the Atlantic Region VP of Sales.

Regional presidents and their team will manage all sales, across all channels, within their region. Members of sales will be aligned by Area and Territory within a region to enable more frequent interactions with our customers. The sales territories will be supported by a team comprised of Grocery, Fresh, and Wellness experts from UNFI, Tony’s Fine Foods, Albert’s Organics and Select Nutrition as Category Specialists.

What this announcement means for you:
  • No changes to the buying team or process.
  • Your current SRM will remain unchanged. 
  • Purchase order processes will not change. 
  • We can better leverage our category expertise to represent your brand in a more meaningful way. 

We will share more information in the coming months. In the meantime, you may contact with any questions.

Prepare Now for Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law

Vermont’s mandatory genetic engineering labeling law, Act 120, is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2016. Pursuant to this law, “manufacturers,” as defined under this law, are required to label certain food sold by Vermont retailers if it is or may be produced with “genetic engineering.”  While it is possible that Act 120 may be prohibited or overruled, the compressed time period for compliance requires that we prepare now.  Please take action immediately:

Review these materials
Submit your sworn statement by March 31, 2016
Contact your Supplier Relationship Manager (SRM) with any questions.

We are here to help you navigate this new law, which is very important to many of our customers.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) News

Updated SRM Contacts List Available on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site
Click here for the current SRM contact list, with line and category assignments

Distribution Center Specific Circular Opportunity in Hudson Valley
In May, UNFI is launching the first DC Specific Circular with a customized version for customers served from our Hudson Valley location.  This is a great opportunity for suppliers wanting to penetrate the NY/NJ market, who have distribution in Hudson Valley but not throughout UNFI’s East Region.  Next opportunity for inclusion is July, deadline March 18, 2016.  Additional DC-Specific Circular opportunities will be announced soon.  For more information, contact your SRM and visit our Supplier Support Site.

Local & Emerging Supplier Development Update
Our Local Supplier Development Managers are actively sourcing and onboarding new Local & Regional brands.  This Program aids emerging suppliers to improve the distribution of their products and offers extended supplier training and marketing support.

Our Local Supplier Development Managers work with our sales team to identify key brand opportunities for UNFI. Suppliers currently in the marketplace and looking to take their brand to the next level are encouraged to reach out to our Local Supplier Development Managers.

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.

Gourmet & Ethnic Channel Updates

UNFI’s Gourmet & Ethnic Channel hosted our 2nd annual shipper and case stack show at Citi Field in Flushing, NY on February 24th.  We want to thank all of those suppliers and brokers who braved the gale force winds and rain to exhibit, and those customers who came and booked orders!  We used iUNFI devices to capture the live orders at the show along with order guides, and just the bookings from the show alone nearly eclipsed the sales from the entire show last year!  A reminder that all orders are due in from customers on March 11th, so supplier recaps will soon follow.

The Monthly Saver program continues to bring in additional sales from G&E customers and Natural Independents alike.  The first 4 months of the programs showed increases on participating items of over 80,000 cases combined. Please contact Meredith Griffith for additional details.

In January, the Gourmet & Ethnic Channel teamed up with Tony’s Fine Foods to exhibit at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.  It was great to see all of the customers who stopped by, and a special thanks to those suppliers who supported the metro racks in the booth as well as the fantastic demos!

UNFI Distribution Centers News

Greenwood Distribution Center Downtime March 18-19
We will not be accepting deliveries to our Greenwood Distribution Center (DC) on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, while we convert the DC to a new warehouse management system – WM2012 - the same best-in-class warehouse system that seven of our other DCs currently use. Greenwood 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, March 20. We have contacted you if you are impacted by the downtime, however, if you have any questions please contact your SRM.

Gilroy Receiving in Full Swing! Shipping begins March 27 
UNFI’s new distribution center in Gilroy, CA received its first cases on February 15.  Shipping begins on Sunday March 27 with shipments to seven Whole Foods stores formerly serviced from our Rocklin DC.  Shipment to twelve more will begin in early May.  Purchase orders for the Gilroy start-up are nearly complete with perishables being ordered in the month of March.

Customers will transition from Rocklin to Gilroy in 3 phases.  Over time you will notice a decrease in your Rocklin volume.

Leicester DC Business Transition to Dayville DC
UNFI is completing the transition of the Leicester DC business into our Dayville facility, including service to Market Basket and King Kullen.  The last ship date from Leicester will be March 18.

Supplier Deductions Team Updates 

The Deductions team has been focused on closing our oldest disputes as quickly as possible and the queue is now averaging just under 30 days.  In order to assist us with improving turnaround times, please submit your dispute to the following email addresses with complete backup and deduction dispute form per the region and dispute type:

UNFI East – Any deduction disputes other than a payment term dispute should be emailed to  Payment terms disputes should be directed to your account representative in Accounts Payable East.

UNFI West – Any deduction dispute involving any invoice issue (including terms, shortages, chargebacks, OI discounts taken), RTVs, concealed damages, UNFI marketing billings, or third party billings originating with Accounts Payable should be emailed to  All other disputes should be emailed to

The deduction dispute form can be found on the UNFI Supplier Support Site at  Please direct any questions or feedback to your Supplier Relationship Manager or Joe Gordon.

Prevent Delays in New Item Set Up
To prevent delays in the set of your new items please make sure to submit all items/attachments on the checklist and complete the new item form completely prior to submission, including price list, specs and labels.   This applies to the Excel forms as well as new items submitted via the supplier portal.  You can find the checklist and new item forms on the UNFI Supplier Support Site.

Please direct any questions or feedback to your Supplier Relationship Manager or Joe Gordon.

Pack Changes – 90 Day Lead Time Required
We continue to see many pack changes coming to UNFI with less than the required 90 days lead time required for processing the change and notifying our customers.  Please review the UNFI Pack Change Policy.

Inventory Optimization System Implemented at Tony’s Fine Foods
We are pleased to announce that we have implemented our industry-leading purchasing system, Inventory Optimization (IO), for our buyers at Tony’s Fine Foods. Implementing IO brings enhanced capabilities to our buying team to help ensure inventory levels are better regulated, purchasing patterns are more efficient, and SKU performance is monitored. With Tony’s adoption of Inventory Optimization, they join UNFI East and West buying teams, along with Select Nutrition, on the IO buying platform, further driving consistent, national processes across UNFI.

Honest Green eCommerce Marketing Program Launched 
Starting in March, the Honest Green eCommerce site is featuring banner ads from supplier partners. Our eCommerce division has been identified as the fastest growing segment of the business – offering new and effective marketing opportunities for our suppliers. If you have products available in our Philadelphia or Hudson Valley warehouses, this is a great opportunity to reach eCommerce customers at a very affordable rate. For more information, contact Laurie Donohue at

Get it While It’s Hot … and it’s Hot Now
The Foodservice channel is on fire.  Focus attention on your single-serve items, back-of-the-house ingredients, snacks etc. in UNFI’s Foodservice vehicles:

Get It While It’s Hot – quarterly new items and top picks
Foodservice Sizzlers – quarterly electronic publication with hot deals
Foodservice Catalog -- a selection of product hand-picked for the Foodservice channel

To reserve space in these publications, or for questions, contact Joannie Berriman at