Their personal pitches worked: More than 23 suppliers have been chosen to join KeHE Distributors’ assortment of natural, organic, specialty and fresh products. The Naperville, Ill.-based distributor named the winners of its recent TrendFinder event that provided 120 vendors the opportunity to promote their products on a one-on-one basis with KeHE's category management team.
Following virtual presentations, the “Golden Ticket” winners were selected based on factors including ingredients, innovation, taste, scalability, packaging, purpose and passion. The nearly two dozen brands will gain exposure to than 30,000 retail locations, as the suppliers work with KeHE to navigate distribution and use free promotional programs.
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Winners include the following brands within their respective categories:
- Snacks/cookies/bars/tea: Theo’s Plant-Based, Byte Bars, Mmmly, Asheville Tea Co.
- Vitamins/minerals/supplements: Further Food, Zenosa Organics, GeoSilica
- General merchandise: Gear Hugger
- Frozen desserts: Mountain Fresh Italian Ice, Howdy Homemade Ice Cream
- Candy/confections: Chomp! Chocolate, Magic Mini Jacks
- Refrigerated dips: Toasty Dips, Hummus Goodness
- Shelf-stable drinks: Weird Beverages, Inaka Tea, Atomo Coffee, MYND Hemp
- Marinades and seasonings: Ghana Supreme Sauce, Bearded Butchers
- James and spreads: Roots Kitchen & Cannery, Kokada, Apicoltura Casentinese
“We are not only passionate about innovation, but KeHE is taking strategic steps to curate the best item assortment for our retail partners, keeping them relevant, fresh, and ahead of the pack,” said Rachelle Radcliffe, KeHE’s director of brand development. “We also understand the challenges brands face as they enter the market, which is why we do what we can to set them up for success.”
The next TrendFinder virtual event, focusing on diverse-owned brands, is slated for Jan. 16-27, 2023. Applications for that event are open through Dec. 23 and are available online.
With more than 6,800 employee-owners, KeHE Distributors serves more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers and other specialty products retailers throughout North America.