Providence, Rhode Island-based United Natural Foods and one of its largest customers, National Co+op Grocers, announced June 29 that they have 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 they are part of our UNFI customer family.”
UNFI and NCG have worked together since NCG’s inception in 1999, with UNFI primarily supplying NCG’s 147 member co-ops with a wide variety of natural products. The NCG co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 38 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2.1 billion.
With a long-term supply agreement, UNFI and NCG will focus on business development initiatives resulting from UNFI’s expanded offering, providing the member co-ops access to more than 250,000 SKUs of natural, organic, conventional, specialty, bulk and wellness products. 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 with UNFI to find the best program offerings within the more than 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 [member co-ops] with a tremendous portfolio of natural, conventional and private brand products helps ensure [they] are successful and supports the continued growth of the cooperative grocery sector,” said C.E. Pugh, CEO of NCG.
“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 their increased scale in the future.”