Food solutions company Spartan Nash has grown its specialty and local food selection for independent grocers and customers across the United States through a strategic partnership with Specialty Food Partners (SFP) and a new online platform, SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect.
The platform enables SpartanNash’s 2,100 independent grocer customers to seamlessly browse thousands of available product options, place orders and pay consolidated invoices. With shoppers increasingly demanding new, unique and local specialty products, this process aims to save retailers time and operational resources in sourcing such items.
“It’s our promise to continue bringing the best innovation for our customers as shopping habits evolve,” noted SpartanNash SVP and Chief Merchandising Officer Bennett Morgan. “We’re here to ensure independent grocers have everything they need to respond to their customers’ tastes and preferences, without taking away from their valuable time spent managing their grocery stores, servicing their shoppers and supporting their in-store team members. As a customer-focused food solutions company, this is just another distribution benefit we can offer our independent customers to deliver on the ingredients for a better life.”
SpartanNash worked with SFP to update the back-end system to ensure a seamless technology solution, including proper invoice flow, easy ordering and clearly communicated deliveries. SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect aims to make the company’s independent grocery customers more competitive by boosting their access to specialty, seasonal and local items so they can tailor their product assortments to their shoppers’ preferences.
“There is a misconception that only large metro areas have the need for trending and specialty grocery products, but that is definitely not the case and has really shifted over the last few years, resulting in broader demand for these products,” observed Tony Lee, founder and CEO of Stamford, Conn.-based SFP. “SpartanNash is an ideal partner for us, because the company’s expansive distribution network to many independent grocery stores across America’s heartland means shoppers don’t have to live in a major city to satisfy their newest flavor exploration or try the latest startup brand.”
Last year, wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) and San Francisco-based RangeMe expanded their relationship to enable retailers and emerging suppliers to facilitate purchase orders directly on UNFI’s Easy Options platform via RangeMe.
SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Djibouti. SpartanNash also operates 146 supermarkets and employs 19,000 associates. Providence, R.I.-based UNFI is No, 47 on PG’s list.