KeHE Previews Holiday Trends, Honors Emerging Brands

Natural and organic distributor keeps an eye on future with seasonal and perennial assortments
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
KeHE brought emerging brands to the forefront at its recent holiday show and online trend-finding contest.

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays for many retailers who are refining their plans for upcoming winter occasions. Natural and organic distributor KeHE recently wrapped up its holiday show in Chicago, an event featuring 300 new brands and 800 exhibitors.

With the season set to get underway sooner rather than later, KeHE’s director of category management shared some trends that the company and its brands are forecasting for the 2023 holidays. Offering more diverse selections is one of these trends, according to Tim Dornfeld.

[Read more: “KeHE CEO Gives State of Industry Address at Holiday Show in Chicago”]

“As American consumers are increasingly interested in learning about and celebrating the customs and cuisines of other cultures, KeHE continues to focus on bringing more of our international brands to the forefront,” said Dornfeld. “Attendees of the show were able to pick up a global passport to travel around the world of food.” 

This year’s holiday show, held June 14-15 in person at Chicago’s McCormick Place spotlighted 14 international suppliers at a new international pavilion. Those vendors were also featured in KeHE’s online holiday show, hosted virtually from June 7-21.

KeHE identified other trends that are likely to resonate with shoppers this season, including consumers’ continued taste for homemade and just-like-homemade products and food and beverages that evoke nostalgia. Additionally, although much of the emphasis is on festivities and other feel-good attributes ahead of holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, winter solstice, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve, KeHE and its brands provided solutions and ideas to help the many consumers who are looking for holistic health and wellness and how to de-stress during this busy and typically cold and dark time of year.

Also at this year’s holiday show, KeHE celebrated its On Trend winners, chosen from a pool of 45 finalists for innovation, purpose, ingredients and scalability.

The On Trend winners include the following:

In other news, KeHE announced the winners of its latest TRENDfinder event, hosted virtually by the company from May 1-12. That event is designed to help small and emerging brands get recognition and tap into KeHE’s marketplace network.

Out of the 91 suppliers who held one-on-one pitch meetings with KeHE’s category management team, 16 were named Golden Ticket winners. The items were judged on their ingredients, innovation, taste, scalability, packaging, purpose, and passion and will be added to KeHE’s assortment.

The 16 Golden Ticket winners include these brands:

The next KeHE TRENDfinder event will take place online in October 2023. The company’s annual summer show is slated for February 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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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