UNFI Has a New Private Brand Guru

Gina Acosta
a woman smiling for the camera
UNFI Has a New Private Brand Guru
Amanda Helming will lead efforts to grow the company's 5,000-product and 200-category private label portfolio.

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has named a new chief marketing officer to accelerate the company's efforts to increase sales of its private brands.

The company announced it has named Amanda Helming as its new chief marketing officer effective July 13. In this role, Helming will oversee UNFI’s Brands+ product portfolio, branding and creative, and communications teams and their support to the company’s more than $25 billion business. Helming will report to UNFI President Chris Testa.

“Amanda brings a wealth of brand marketing and strategic thinking to UNFI along with a track record of successful brand transformations,” Testa said. “Her expertise in retail and consumer packaged goods will benefit us as we continue driving our Brands+ products into more stores and more home pantries. Under her leadership, we also expect to better align all our marketing and communication initiatives to support key stakeholders: customers, suppliers, associates, and community partners. Amanda is a great addition to our team and I’m looking forward to working closely with her to develop strategies that help strengthen UNFI’s brands and communications.”

Helming joins UNFI after having most recently served as CMO for UNO Restaurant Holdings
Corp., where she led all marketing, product, communications, and promotion strategy for
the 75-year old pizza brand credited with inventing deep-dish pizza in Chicago in 1943.

Prior to UNO’s, Helming spent seven years at Dunkin Brands, Inc. most recently serving as VP/brand strategy, global consumer insights & pricing for Dunkin U.S. During her tenure at Dunkin’, she created and scaled the brand’s first national value strategy, still being run successfully today, led the brand marketing function and overhauled the menu, resulting in record-breaking category growth including the re-launch of the Espresso platform, and served as chief strategist for the rebrand to “just Dunkin”, all of which helped the company earn accolades. Before joining Dunkin, Helming worked at General Mills, and at Disney and ESPN Media Networks. 

Earlier this month UNFI extended its relationship with National Co+op Grocers (NCG). UNFI said it will focus on numerous business development initiatives resulting from UNFI’s expanded offering, providing NCG’s 147 member co-ops access to more than 250,000 SKUs of natural, organic, conventional, specialty, bulk and wellness products, including the addition of UNFI’s Brands+ portfolio.

Providence, Rhode Island-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, ecommerce retailers, and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, UNFI is No. 61 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food retailers in North America.

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