UNFI Helps Grocers Prep for Winter Selling Season

Natural wholesaler spotlights 500+ new offerings and debuts new guidebook for indies
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
unfi winter
More than 2,000 grocers attended UNFI's winter show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

In a city known for its biting temperatures in the cold season, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) held its annual Conventional Winter Show, sharing ideas and items for the holiday and early 2024 selling periods. The Aug. 8-9 event in Minneapolis, Minn., provided more than 2,000 grocers with access to more than 550 UNFI suppliers. 

Attendees got a first look at 260 new products featured in UNFI’s New Product Showcase. UNFI also dedicated floor space at the Minneapolis Convention Center to products from diverse suppliers, adding touchscreens to the displays so retailers could learn more about specific products and vendors.

[Read more: “NFI, Crisp Unveil New Platform for CPGs”]

In the ongoing inflationary selling environment, UNFI highlighted value, sharing more than 300 exclusive UNFI deals on many popular products spanning nearly all retail categories. To help grocers connect with shoppers looking to discover new products, find value and fulfill their tastes and needs, the natural and organic wholesaler also unveiled its new Independent Grocer’s Guidebook 2.0., a resource sharing best-in-class strategies and case studies from UNFI customers.

“Our annual shows provide an important opportunity to bring together our connected community of independent retailers, suppliers, and associates and provides a platform to update them on our multi-faceted Transformation plan and the benefits that are helping improve our customer and supplier experience. The Conventional Winter Show leverages our expansive portfolio of products, merchandising strategies, and insights to help retailers drive sustainable growth and profitability in the marketplace,” said Steve Dietz, UNFI’s chief customer officer. “Our customers are always seeking new ways to bring their shoppers exceptional value, and in partnership with our suppliers, we are proud to offer them a productive and collaborative environment to find new and exclusive product offerings, special show deals, and value-added services.”

One grocery customer affirmed the takeaways from the event. “The UNFI Conventional Winter Show is a key part of our holiday planning, providing us with a valuable in-person opportunity to view new product innovations, research in-store merchandising strategies, and connect with suppliers,” remarked Joe Zink, VP, center store merchandising at De Pere, Wis.-based Skogen's Festival Foods. “Our partnership with UNFI is incredibly valuable, and our ability to see and experience the robust array of brands and seasonal products on offer enables us to fully prepare for the busy holiday selling season we are expecting this fall and winter.”

UNFI, which also held a holiday show in June, is preparing for its next event, the Fresh Specialty Show in San Francisco on Aug. 23. The company rounds out the year with the Natural Winter Show in Las Vegas from Sept. 27-28.

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to 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. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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