- United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) will feature a “full spectrum of products and services” at each of its selling shows this year instead of restricting the events to conventional or natural and organic goods, the grocery retailer and wholesaler announced Thursday.
- The company plans to hold four selling shows during 2024 as part of its effort to let brands pitch products to retailers.
- UNFI is revamping its approach to brokering deals between grocers and suppliers as it looks to return to profitability following a string of quarterly losses.
UNFI’s decision not to limit individual customer events to certain types of products this year represents a shift from the strategy it employed in 2023, when the five selling shows it held excluded some of the categories it offers.
While the grocery company’s previous strategy allowed each show to be more focused, it also meant that retailers had to attend more than one event in order to peruse the full slate of products UNFI carries. By contrast, each of UNFI’s selling shows in 2024 will offer a range of goods that “better aligns with customer buying behavior,” the company said.
UNFI plans this year to hold selling shows in San Diego; Orlando, Florida; Uncasville, Connecticut; and Minneapolis. Each of the events “will support both the natural and conventional supplier as well as all grocery retail customer channels and positioning,” according to the company.
“We appreciate the hard work of our suppliers and customers and look forward to continuing to support them with supply chain efficiency and the industry’s leading selection of products, insights, and go-to-market services, all of which will be on display at our upcoming shows,” UNFI CEO Sandy Douglas said in a statement.
UNFI has been working since early last year to overcome a series of operational challenges that have sharply eroded its sales and earnings, shaking investor confidence and driving down its share price. The company’s efforts through what Douglas has described as a “transformation agenda” have included simplifying its management structure, cutting corporate staff and replacing executives.
During an earnings call in December, Douglas noted that UNFI planned to focus more heavily on helping retailers it serves build their businesses than on growing its own grocery banners, which include Cub Foods and Shoppers Food.