Value, New Products on Wish Lists at UNFI Holiday Show

Natural wholesaler's event draws 2,500+ participants
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
unfi holiday
UNFI's holiday show in Connecticut showcased more than 1,000 new products.

It’s beginning to look a lot like holiday planning season, as more than 2,500 customers previewed what’s trending this year at United Natural Foods, Inc.’s (UNFI) Natural Holiday Product Show. At the event held on June 7 and 8 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, Conn., UNFI spotlighted offerings from more than 730 exhibitors.

“Our number one objective is to help our customers drive profitable and sustainable growth. Our shows demonstrate the unique ability we have through our scale, insights, and innovative offerings to help retailers of all sizes and formats compete effectively,” said Steve Dietz, UNFI’s chief customer officer. “We partner with suppliers to help customers plan their store offerings, learn about new and exclusive products, manage supply challenges, and secure deals and promotions that drive sales and, ultimately, consumer loyalty.”

[Read more: “Tough Earnings Quarter for UNFI”]

UNFI reported sustained interest in new products, even in an uncertain economy.  The show featured more than 1,000 new items that garnered interest from show visitors.

The natural foods wholesaler also shared that that price remains top of mind among consumers and therefore influencing retailer decisions for the upcoming holiday period. “Our customers are always on the hunt for new ways to bring their shoppers value, whether it be through better pricing or new products, and our suppliers showed up ready to deal,” added Dietz.

As part of the holiday show, UNFI also named the winner of the UNFI UpNext’s Pitch Slam. Maine Crisp Co. of Waterville, Maine, took that honor this year, for its crackers made from naturally gluten-free buckwheat and nuts and seeds.

Next up: UNFI’s Conventional Winter Show to be held in Minneapolis on Aug. 8 and 9.

As UNFI helps its customers ramp up for the holidays, the company is also honing its own short-term strategies as it weathers challenging market conditions. Releasing its third quarter earnings report this week, UNFI lowered its outlook for the full fiscal year.

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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