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KeHE CEO Gives State of Industry Address at Holiday Show in Chicago

Company plans to invest in fresh products that differentiate and customize its service
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Kehe Holiday show
KeHE recently hosted its 2023 Holiday Show in Chicago.

KeHE Distributors President and CEO Deb Conklin recently made her State of the Industry address during the 2023 KeHE Holiday Show in Chicago. She touched on her first three months as president to one of the largest natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products distributors in North America, and highlighted what to expect from KeHE going forward.

Conklin explained how the company plans to invest in innovative new resources and products, specifically fresh products such as cheese, that differentiate and customize KeHE’s service to better suit the needs of its customers. This means tailoring solutions to fit each customer, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all service. Conklin said her  “Food. Forward” Strategy will allow KeHE to be a partner for success up and down the supply chain.

The company recently completed its acquisition of DPI Specialty Foods, a leading distributor in key geographic locations across the Western United States.

The transaction broadens KeHE’s customer base and bolsters its existing warehouse infrastructure. The combined capabilities include over 31,000 customers, more than 80,000 SKUs, 6,100 suppliers, and 7 million square feet of warehouse space across all temperature zones in 19 distribution centers. DPI and KeHE’s shared dedication to providing fresh and innovative products will further support KeHE’s growing product portfolio, and advance key elements of the organization’s new strategic vision.

Meanwhile, the 2023 KeHE Holiday Show in Chicago featured some of the industry’s most sought-after products, cutting-edge brands, and top retailers to tap into the latest trends and stock their shelves before the start of the holiday buying season. 

“We are so impressed with the unique, high-quality brands that attended our Holiday Show,” said Conklin. “This event is a great opportunity to put passionate, emerging brands in front of retailers searching for exceptional products to sell to their consumers for the holidays. It is also tremendously rewarding to celebrate KeHE’s 70th anniversary with the partners and retailers who have made our achievements possible.”

KeHE’s Summer Show will take place in February 2024 in Salt Lake City.

A Certified B Corporation and employee-owned company, KeHE distributes fresh, natural and organic, and specialty products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. 

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