United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has named the winner of the Pitch Slam competition, presented by UNFI UpNext, at the distributor’s Natural Winter show, which took place Oct. 4-5 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay. Viv is an earth-friendly, toxin-free period care brand based in Boston.
“Viv is newer to retail, as we started off as a direct-to-consumer brand,” said Viv CEO and founder Katie Diasti. “Through the UpNext program, UNFI has helped give us the extra support and knowledge we needed to bring a facelift to the period care aisle. Our goal at Pitch Slam was to be bold, vibrant and exciting, and it was fun to see all the retailers and those in the audience react to our story.”
The UNFI UpNext team discovers and mentors emerging brands, guiding their path to growth while helping deliver UNFI customers a regionally sourced, differentiated product mix. The Pitch Slam has UpNext suppliers compete against each other in a friendly, fun elevator pitch-style contest.
Throughout the two-day Natural Winter Show, more than 2,000 UNFI customer attendees connected with the company’s extensive network of suppliers offering a wide-ranging assortment across grocery, fresh, organic and specialty departments. The event also featured UNFI’s Professional Services offerings, which aim to drive traffic, save time and money, and enhance the shopping experience.
Throughout the year, UNFI hosts 10,000-plus registered customer attendees at its four major events.
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to more than 30,000 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.