Local Food Makers Have Shot at Getting Products on Meijer Shelves

Retailer reveals opportunity for Midwest vendors to be included in Frederik’s by Meijer line
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Meijer is seeking local food makers to feature in its private label premium line for foodies.
Meijer is seeking local food artisans to be featured in its private label premium line.

Attention Midwest chefs and food entrepreneurs: Meijer is looking for you. The Michigan-based retailer, which has recently focused on identifying and working with local vendors, has put a call out for regional culinary artisans to be featured in its private label premium food portfolio.

From now through Oct. 21, Meijer is taking applications for prospective vendors to be included in the retailer’s Frederik’s by Meijer product line, which was launched in October 2021. Applicants must produce retail-ready products in Meijer’s footprint states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky or Wisconsin.

Finalists will be chosen based on the standards of high-quality ingredients and superior flavor, and will attend a training session before pitching their products live to Meijer merchants at an in-person event later this fall. Chosen makers will then partner with Meijer to get their products on store shelves in special “Midwest Made” packaging that shares their stories.

To learn more about the program, prospective vendors can register for an Oct. 17 webinar that covers product requirements, food safety standards and what it means to be "shelf-ready." Information is also available on how to submit products via the RangeMe platform.

"We're always looking to support local businesses and build partnerships that will invest back into the economies of the communities we serve," explained Carla Hendon, director of supplier diversity and indirect procurement at Meijer. "This opportunity is particularly special because it gives us the chance to find niche culinary experiences and bring them to our customers on a larger scale."

Added Peter Whitsett, Meijer's EVP of merchandising and marketing: "Frederik's makes high-quality, innovative and unique foods accessible to our customers for those moments when they're looking to make dining memorable. We're excited to use Frederik's to highlight locally crafted products that show off the culinary talent and ingenuity found in our communities."

This is the latest effort by Meijer to source from a local pool of talent. In August, the company announced that it was seeking general merchandise and apparel submissions for its latest supplier diversity event. Finalist pitches for this program will take place at a live virtual event in the coming weeks.

Privately owned Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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