UNFI Sets Its Grocery Products Up for Success on Digital Shelf

Partners Salsify and Trace One help lower costs, decrease time to market
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
UNFI Sets Its Grocery Products Up for Success on Digital Shelf
UNFI Brands+ has partnered with Salsify and Trace One to win on the digital shelf.

The explosive growth of online grocery shopping is forcing brands to increase the volume and quality of the information provided to retailers to win on the digital shelf. Recognizing this need, UNFI Brands+ has partnered with Salsify and Trace One to create a singular end-to-end PIM workflow.

Salsify’s Commerce Experience Management platform empowers brand manufacturers, distributors and retailers to win on the digital shelf, while Trace One is a platform to help retailers and brands get innovative, compliant and sustainable products to market faster.

UNFI Brands+ portfolio offers more than 5,000 food and nonfood items across 250 categories. To fully digitize the business, it needed specification data from Trace One that's used to collaborate with manufacturers to ensure that products are compliant and have the required transparency, and to drive artwork production, integrated with Salsify's Product Experience Management Platform (ProductXM) so that product attributes could be seamlessly sent to customers via multichannel syndication.

The integration covers new item setup and changes to the specifications over the lifetime of the products. This meant that digital data was aligned to physical packaging as updates occurred.

"We want to make sure today's digital-first consumer has the information they need to make confident food decisions for themselves and their family," said Adam Sinley, director, product development and quality assurance at UNFI Brands+, and a 2021 GenNext winner. "Our investment in Trace One and Salsify helps us achieve that by assuring data integrity and standardized formatting across our digital channels."

With Trace One and Salsify, UNFI Brands+ also reduced the time elapsed between product development being completed and making those products available on retailer customers' e-commerce sites, increasing sales volumes and customer satisfaction.

"Salsify's ProductXM platform helps UNFI Brands+ bring together the core elements they need to manage, syndicate and optimize product content across their entire commerce ecosystem — all within one unified platform," said Peter Crosby, VP corporate marketing at Boston-based Salsify. "In partnering with Trace One to import approved specification data through standardized integration, we were able to help get new products and product updates to the digital shelf faster."

With more than $1 billion in annual sales, UNFI Brands+ grocery products can be found at many independent and big-box retailers across the United States and International regions. 

UNFI also recently partnered with digital product sampling platform Sampler to be able to send product samples right to consumers’ homes. Through the platform, users can create an account and find products that align with their preferences, tastes and lifestyles. Based on data and insights, UNFI can digitally target their buying base for better results.

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. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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