United Natural Foods, Inc. Extends Partnership with National Co+op Grocers
- by Chandler James
PROVIDENCE, RI - As one of United Natural Foods, Inc.’s (UNFI) largest customers, National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and the distributor have formed a unique industry alliance. Today, the two announced that this alliance has grown even stronger as they reached a long-term supply agreement extension for UNFI to continue as the primary grocery wholesaler and national distributor to NCG-affiliated retail food co-ops.
“NCG is one of the most distinguished purchasing co-ops in the nation, and our team has taken great pride in helping optimize operational efficiencies and purchasing power for NCG member co-ops while providing top quality customer service,” said Chris Testa, UNFI President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We have a strong history and relationship with NCG and are thrilled it is part of our UNFI customer family. We look forward to helping it be even better positioned for future growth.”
UNFI and NCG have worked together since NCG’s inception in 1999, with UNFI primarily supplying NCG member co-ops with a wide variety of natural products. With the signing of this new agreement, NCG and UNFI will focus on numerous business development initiatives resulting from UNFI’s expanded offering, providing NCG’s 147 member co-ops access to over 250,000 SKUs of natural, organic, conventional, specialty, bulk, and wellness products. According to a press release, this offering includes the addition of UNFI’s Brands+ portfolio and its more than 5,000 products across 200 store categories.
To support its members, NCG is working closely with UNFI to find the best program offerings within the over 150 customizable solutions designed to provide operational flexibility and financial savings through UNFI’s Professional Services division.
“UNFI’s scale and ability to service our 147 member co-ops across 38 states with a tremendous portfolio of natural, conventional, and private brand products helps ensure our members are successful and supports the continued growth of the cooperative grocery sector,” said C.E. Pugh, CEO of National Co+op Grocers. “UNFI has always had a strong leadership position in the natural channel and is now able to help us better position our stores with an expanded offering, new product categories, and more operational support. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with UNFI and leveraging its increased scale in the future.”
How will the expansion of this dynamic partnership further drive growth for the two companies? Only time will tell, so keep checking back for reports from AndNowUKnow.