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