KeHE Holds Virtual Holiday Show
Having revealed last month that it was shifting its annual holiday show, “Holidays of Hope,” to a digital platform, KeHE Distributors noted that its proprietary technology enables participants to connect in a similar way to how they would in person at the June event.
“Everyone at KeHE would much rather be gathered together at McCormick Place as planned, but that’s just not an option right now,” said Brandon Barnholt, president and CEO of the Naperville, Ill.-based distributor. “However, the show must go on, and go on, it will.”
Through its digital marketplace platform, KeHE is providing a curated, innovative product assortment, along with post-COVID-19 solutions that include item recommendations, a contactless option, and more than 275 new items.
The platform enables retailers to take part in live education; learn about new trends, suppliers and items; and place orders just like at the company’s physical shows. Customers also have the ability to connect with participating suppliers to discover new products, explore product stories, negotiate deals and purchase seasonal products.
“One of the most exciting things about our virtual Holiday Show is the ability to facilitate virtual negotiations for our retail partners like we would in person,” said Ari Goldsmith, KeHE’s VP of Marketing. “Our goal in launching ‘Holidays of Hope’ digitally was to create the same atmosphere our retailers know and love from past shows, while bringing everything online. The pivot to digital rather than cancelling the show also ensures our retail partners don’t miss out on exciting products and being first-to-shelf this holiday season.”
Following a proactive 2019 virtual show pilot with 1,500 retail partners, KeHE was ready to this year’s show as an online experience. The 2020 event, taking place June 8-15, is part of the company’s continuing digital excellence initiative.
In lieu of participation fees, the company is encouraging its suppliers and retail partners to donate to its charitable arm, KeHE Cares, to help communities affected by COVID-19. To date, the company has raised more than $170,000 through “Holidays of Hope.”
According to KeHE, it’s the first distributor in the space to facilitate a virtual show using its own digital system.
With its nationwide distribution network, KeHE provides natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to chain and independent grocery and natural food stores and other specialty product retailers throughout North America.