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03/02/2022

Wakefern to Hold Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summit

Retailer-owned co-op seeking private label manufacturers for new partnerships and products
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Since their introduction, Wakefern’s premium private label products experienced consistent growth throughout the co-op’s retail footprint, which includes ShopRite stores across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. will host an Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summitfor private label manufacturers in an effort to source new and trending food and beverage products for potential addition to its Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry store brands.

Private label manufacturers and vendors that wish to participate in the summit can submit an application online via RangeMefromMarch 7 through March 28. Applicants must provide a complete and accurate description of the product and product line, including a brand profile. Wakefern’s own-brand category managers will review submissions and invite suppliers to a virtual pitch meeting. Finalists chosen after the virtual pitch meeting will be invited to a one-day summit in June at Wakefern’s headquarters. During this summit, suppliers will present their items to a panel of Wakefern executives for potential inclusion in the Bowl & Basket or Wholesome Pantry product lines.

“We are excited to announce the official launch of our Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summit,” said Chris Skyers, Wakefern’s VP of own brands. “Since launching Wholesome Pantry and Bowl & Basket, Wakefern’s own brands have experienced consistent growth. Our retail banners have our consumers’ trust, creating a need for new and innovative products and line extensions to meet the brand’s rapid expansion and consumer loyalty. To meet this demand, we are searching for new ideas and products to bring to market. Our search will cap off with an exciting one-day summit in June, when we will connect and network with manufacturers to learn about innovations at the forefront of the industry. Our end goal is to form long-term partnerships with manufacturers to expand our popular store brands.”

Since their introduction, Wakefern’s premium private label products have experienced consistent growth throughout the co-op’s retail footprint. The Bowl & Basket brand received the Private Label Manufacturers Association Salute to Excellence Award in 2021, and the Wholesome Pantry brand won two Salute to Excellence Awards in 2017. 

At this time, Wakefern won’t be accepting submissions for nonfood items, supplemental and nutritional items, or baby food.

The largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 361 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 23 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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