United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has revealed plans to host about 4,000 customers, suppliers, vendors and emerging brands at its Spring and Summer Show, scheduled for Feb. 7-8 in Orlando, Fla. The show, the first of the distributor’s major selling shows in 2023, enables attendees to meet with experts from the natural, GM/HBC, meat, seafood, produce, and bakery and deli departments to take advantage of unique deals, see what’s trending in the New Product Showcase and network with industry experts.
“Our selling shows are a great way for our customers to discover new products and trends that extend their reach and relevance with shoppers, and in return, help them drive sustainable growth and a competitive edge in the marketplace,” said Jillian D’Elia, UNFI’s senior director of event strategy. “Simultaneously, our selling shows create a compelling experience for our suppliers to make connections and lasting relationships with a broad network of retailers looking to motivate shoppers with an on-trend portfolio of products. Throughout the 170,000 square feet of show floor space, retailers and suppliers can find the right selection of products, prices and people to help them optimize the spring and summer seasons.”
The night before the Orlando show begins, the UNFI UpNext team will host a Pitch Slam event to help introduce emerging brands to UNFI retailers. Pitch Slam pits UpNext suppliers against one another in a friendly elevator-pitch competition in which attendees can vote on their favorite presentation. The winning brand will be recognized on the show floor and receive a discounted booth at a future UNFI selling show.
During the show, the New Product Showcase spotlights 30-plus participating suppliers featuring more than 50 new products across grocery, frozen, chill, and bakery and deli categories. Also at the show, UNFI Professional Services will highlight several innovative solutions, including electronic shelf labels, scan-and-go technologies, employee training tools, e-commerce programs, and specialty products, to help grocery retailers compete more effectively.
Orlando show attendees can additionally become more familiar with UNFI’s extensive private label portfolio of more than 5,000 products across 200 categories and 18 brands, including Essential Everyday, Woodstock, Stone Ridge Creamery, Culinary Circle and Wild Harvest, the last of which features updated branding and new packaging that includes the “Our Harvest Promise” seal and various product-specific health callouts, such as gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Following the show, UNFI will launch its annual Sumo Citrus display and sales contest. Prizes will be awarded to participating retailers in the following three categories: best display incorporating UNFI provided promotional materials, highest year-over-year sales increase by percentage, and highest year-over-year sales increase by volume.
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.