Roche Bros. Supermarkets has joined forces with digital procurement platform Forager to bring consumers locally sourced food.
“Consumer mindset has shifted dramatically in recent years and we’re hearing from customers that local, healthy and sustainable options are a key priority when shopping,” said Linda SanGiacomo, VP Marketing at Mansfield, Massachusetts-based Roche Bros., a family-owned business that employs more than 4,800 associates at its 21 stores. “Forager is unparalleled when it comes to providing the experience and tools to help us source, scale and bring our stores the best-quality local products. This enables us to build our leadership position in local, as more shoppers look to support producers in their communities to feed their families.”
The two companies are building an alternative supply chain that will become the model for grocers eager to meet shoppers’ growing demand for locally sourced food. Forager’s relationships with local farms, artisanal producers, fishers and ranchers give suppliers more direct access to nearby food retailers. The platform replaces the traditional fragmented manual buying process, streamlining product and supplier visibility through a centralized system to boost efficiency. All Roche Bros. locations will have access to information about local suppliers, including inventory, past orders and sales, so that store staffs can handle sourcing and optimize their own local buying programs.
Now, with Forager’s technology, the grocer’s Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms and Brothers Marketplace banners will be able to easily source and expand local food offerings.
“We are really excited to see a grocer of Roche’s caliber and reach who understands the shopper demand for high-quality local food and is innovating to meet that need,” said David Douglas Stone, founder and executive chairman of Portland, Maine-based Forager. “Through our work with hundreds of farms and suppliers and dozens of grocers, Forager uniquely understands the significant challenges in local sourcing and does all the heavy lifting to allow Roche to build and scale the best possible local food program in the greater Massachusetts market.”
Roche’s partnership with Forager gives rise to a hybrid system enabling local fresh food to reach consumers with the convenience and scale they want, without necessitating further resources from, or constraint on, the grocer.