United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has appointed Ron Selders president of fresh, a role centered on the crucial deli, bakery, produce and meat categories. He was elevated from his most recent role as SVP of bakery and deli.
Selders joined the UNFI organization via the company’s acquisition of Tony’s Fine Foods in 2014. A longtime Tony’s staffer, he worked his way up to several leadership positions and was tapped to head up that division for UNFI in 2018. Among other accomplishments at Tony’s, he created a specialty cheese department and spearheaded the American Artisan initiative spotlighting smaller cheese producers.
As president of fresh, he reports to UNFI’s Chief Customer Officer Steve Dietz. “Food retailers continue to invest in their fresh departments as they represent one of the most important growth areas in the grocery store, in addition to being a main driver in how retailers stand out against their competition,” said Dietz. “Ron has extensive experience in the fresh categories and working with the supplier community, and we expect this experience, combined with his strong understanding of customers’ operational expectations, to benefit our retail customers as they seek tailored solutions to enhance the consumer experience. He’s a proven leader and someone I’m confident will help our Fresh teams build and deliver an even stronger set of products and solutions for our customers going forward.”
Selders said the fresh function continues to gain in significance among consumers and at UNFI. “Large-scale changes to shopping and eating behaviors, especially as more meals are consumed in the home, have put a stronger focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and its offerings. These changes represent a tremendous opportunity for retailers, and I look forward to working with our fresh teams to deliver wide-ranging and innovative products to help our customers grow and thrive,” he remarked.
UNFI also shared that Jody Barrick will take on Selders’ former tasks as the new SVP of bakery and deli. Barrick, a 30-year sales and marketing industry expert, came to UNFI through the acquisition of SuperValu. These are the latest in a series of leadership changes over the past year at the organization.
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.