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

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 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  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

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