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Meijer Grows Black-Owned Brands By 35%

Supplier Inclusion program showcases diverse small businesses
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Meijer Black History Month
A curated product offering will be prominently displayed at all Meijer supercenters in celebration of Black History Month throughout February.

Meijer has reaffirmed its commitment to growing its selection of Black-owned brands through its Supplier Inclusion program to meet customer interest and demonstrate its support of small businesses. Since formalizing this program in 2021, Meijer has grown its selection of Black-owned brands by nearly 35%.

When a certified diverse supplier joins Meijer, the Supplier Inclusion team welcomes them with a program that includes onboarding, training and networking events that demonstrate not only how to do business with Meijer, but also how to grow within the retailer's six-state footprint and three store formats.

[RELATED: How Meijer Is Building Tomorrow’s Store Today]

The Meijer Grow Academy helps diverse businesses every step of the way, presenting foundational material on brand strategy, marketing, product packaging, operating processes and distribution capabilities, among other topics. Suppliers also receive 1:1 coaching from Meijer buyers and Supplier Inclusion and other business teams to help them strengthen their business to reach more customers.

"The Meijer Supplier Inclusion program not only showcases new, diverse brands, but also prioritizes growing existing brands within our various store formats and locations," said Carla Hendon, director of Supplier Inclusion at Meijer. "I'm incredibly proud of our team for their ongoing commitment to the small-business community and providing a positive space for all entrepreneurs to grow and thrive."

Although customers can find Black-owned brands on Meijer shelves all year long, a curated product offering will be prominently displayed at all Meijer supercenters in celebration of Black History Month throughout February. The collection spans various product categories, including grocery, health and beauty and home, offering customers a unique opportunity to further discover and support the Black business community.

[RELATED: Southeastern Grocers Honors Black History Month, Opens Annual Grant Program]

Customers can find Black-owned brands like the following:

  • The Lip Bar: Also woman-owned, this vegan and cruelty-free beauty company not only partners with Meijer, but also has its flagship store in downtown Detroit.
  • Just Sign USA: This home décor design company is inspired by Michigan- and Detroit-based cultural scenes that are captured through its products.
  • BLK & BOLD: Founded by two best friends in Des Moines, Iowa, this premium coffee brand gives 5% back to nonprofits focused on children in need. Before going national, Meijer was one of its first major retail partners.
  • Mushroom Angel Co.: Founded in Detroit, a husband and wife found a way to make frozen, plant-based food not only approachable, but delicious for all ages.
  • Goode Foods: Also a family business, this all-natural, sugar-free canned bean and vegetable product is made in Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Mrs. Pruitt's CHA CHA: A variety of special relish blends that add flavor to any dish is offered by a company founded in Detroit.
  • Creamalicious: This Cincinnati-based artisan ice cream brand is inspired by soul food desserts.

Black-owned businesses interested in partnering with Meijer can visit the Meijer VendorNet. Meijer Supplier Inclusion programs are open to all diverse, non-diverse and local vendors.

Privately owned Meijer operates 500-plus supercenters, Meijer Grocery, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 23 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Top 10 Most Sustainable Grocers

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