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UNFI Launches National Retail Media Network With Swiftly

Solution aims to enable brands to better connect consumers through tailored promotions
UNFI Media Network Swiftly Main Image
The UNFI Media Network leverages UNFI’s large scale and breadth of supplier offerings as well as Swiftly’s advanced technology platform, personalization engine, closed-loop reporting and analytics capabilities.

United Natural Foods Inc. is rolling out a first-of-its-kind retail media network for independent and regional grocery retailers across the United States. The UNFI Media Network (UMN), powered by Swiftly, a provider of retail technology, tools, and solutions, was created to bring the latest retail technology solutions to UNFI’s network of 30,000-plus retail customer locations and about 11,000 brand partners, with the goal of helping them compete in an increasingly digital-centric world.

UMN leverages UNFI’s large scale and breadth of supplier offerings as well as Swiftly’s advanced technology platform, personalization engine, closed-loop reporting and analytics capabilities. The aim of UMN is to enable UNFI’s retail customers to connect more meaningfully and personally with their shoppers while also providing opportunities for UNFI suppliers to spotlight their brands and build their brand equity. Retailers can reach their shoppers digitally while connecting to the industry’s largest collection of suppliers, who in turn, can use the platform to more effectively market directly to shoppers through the retailers in the network.

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“UNFI’s partnership with Swiftly is formidable, offering an innovative solution to power both enterprise and independent grocer technology and retail media,” noted UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas. “UMN enables UNFI’s retail customers and suppliers to better compete in today’s retail marketplace, with an increasingly digital focus. We believe UMN, powered by Swiftly, will help us create compelling and sustainable value for our customers, suppliers, and shareholders.”

“We are thrilled to be pioneering a new chapter in the independent grocery retail channel alongside industry leader, UNFI," said Henry Kim, CEO of San Francisco-based Swiftly. "Over the years, Swiftly has earned a stellar reputation amongst key brands and retailers for its turnkey, industry-leading technology and proven success helping partners digitally transform their businesses. Leveraging Swiftly’s advanced technology platform, UMN will enable brands to reach tens of millions of consumers across the U.S. Additionally, retailers will gain access to the content provided by UNFI’s approximately 11,000 brand partners, enhancing their offerings, and driving engagement with consumers. Together, we are positioned to build one of the leading retail media networks in the U.S., one that is dedicated to ensuring the growth and success of today’s independent and regional grocers.”

Added Louis Martin, UNFI’s president of wholesale: “We’re excited that our partnership with Swiftly is off to a strong start. We are already engaged with many of our customers and brand partners about the value we can bring to their businesses. UMN represents a new chapter in UNFI’s ongoing commitment to support the sustainable growth of all those that we serve.”

In other UNFI news, the company has extended its wholesale grocery distribution partnership with Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market by entering into an eight-year extension agreement to serve as its primary distributor. The term of the newly extended distribution relationship between the parties will now run until May 2032, replacing the term of the previous agreement, which was set to expire in September 2027.

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. 22 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.  Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100. Both Whole Foods and Amazon were named among PG’s Retailers of the Century. Whole Foods was also named one of the Top 10 Sustainable Grocers

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