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KeHE Distributors, Allegiance Retail Services Form Partnership

Move supports retailer co-op members’ growth in natural, organic, specialty and fresh
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Allegiance Retail Services, which supports Foodtown and other independent banners, has now made KeHE its primary distributor partner to grow members' natural, organic, specialty and fresh offerings.

KeHE Distributors is now the new primary distributor partner for Allegiance Retail Services LLC and in this role will provide support for the retailer cooperative’s members’ needs through data-driven information, store-level operations, and sales and promotional growth marketing. 

The partnership with KeHE, one of the largest pure-play distributors of natural, organic, specialty and fresh products, is part of Allegiance’s strategic plan to grow its business in these areas.

“We are confident that KeHE can serve Allegiance Retail Services members with excellent service, value and industry expertise,” said Jennifer Mihajlov, VP of Northeast, Southeast and Midwest independent sales at Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE. “We are like-minded companies that share a commitment to optimizing the success of the independent grocer with first-to-market, highly focused assortment; evolutionary marketing; and merchandising expertise while maintaining individual banner identity.”

The partnership will enable Allegiance, which provides marketing, advertising, technological and merchandising services to independent supermarkets operating 100 stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, to offer an expanded product portfolio for cooperative members at a significantly reduced cost. The 28-member co-op, which supports such banners as Foodtown, Gristedes, D’Agostino’s, Brooklyn Harvest and Green Way, will not only develop a partnership with suppliers focused on natural, organic, and specialty business via KeHE, but will also receive proactive, data-driven support from the distributor.

“We are excited to pursue this partnership with KeHE Distributors,” noted Mike Conese, VP of center store for Iselin, N.J.-based Allegiance, adding that the co-op “chose to work with the leading distributor in natural, organic, specialty and fresh products because of their profound understanding of this business segment, deep knowledge of independent retail stores, and expertise in trend analysis, which we believe will help us better serve our members.” 

Allegiance also provides a full line of private label products, including Foodtown, Green Way and Rancher’s Legend. 

KeHE services more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. With over 5,500 employee-owners, KeHE is a Certified B Corporation. The company also recently expanded its natural and specialty product partnership with Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, which operates 1,281 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, and is is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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