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Northeast Wholesaler/Distributor News

UNFI Names Selders As President Of Fresh

Ron Selders

Providence, Rhode Island-based United Natural Foods Inc. has named Ron Selders as president of fresh, leading the company’s growth strategy for its deli, bakery, produce and meat departments.

These store perimeter categories drive traffic and provide independent grocery retailers with choice and value products that help differentiate them within the marketplace. Selders’ appointment is effective Dec. 26 and he will report to Steve Dietz, UNFI’s chief customer officer.

“Food retailers continue to invest in their fresh departments as they represent one of the most important growth areas in the grocery store, in addition to being a main driver in how retailers stand out against their competition,” Dietz said.

“Ron has extensive experience in the fresh categories and working with the supplier community, and we expect this experience…to benefit our retail customers as they seek tailored solutions to enhance the consumer experience. He’s a proven leader and someone I’m confident will help our fresh teams build and deliver a stronger set of products and solutions for our customers going forward.”

Selders joined UNFI through the acquisition of Tony’s Fine Foods in 2014 and became president of the division in 2018. He had previously spent 18 years in leadership roles at Tony’s, helping grow the family-owned specialty deli distribution business across the West Coast. In 2021, Selders was promoted to UNFI’s SVP of bakery and deli where he led the sales, merchandising and category management teams across the organization.

During his UNFI tenure, Selders also helped lead the expansion of Tony’s prepared foods and bakery and deli offerings across the country, as well as create a center-led specialty cheese department across the U.S. with initiatives, such as the American Artisan program, which aims to bring smaller cheese producers greater visibility and sales opportunities within grocery stores.

With Selders’ promotion, Jody Barrick, current VP of bakery and deli, has been elevated to SVP of bakery and deli. He joined UNFI through the acquisition of SUPERVALU and brings more than 30 years of proven success leading the sales, merchandising and marketing functions of bakery and deli teams to the role. Barrick also serves on the executive board of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association.

“Large-scale changes to shopping and eating behaviors, especially as more meals are consumed in the home, have put a stronger focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and its offerings,” Selders said.

“These changes represent a tremendous opportunity for retailers, and I look forward to working with our fresh teams to deliver wide-ranging and innovative products to help our customers grow and thrive.”

UNFI is a grocery wholesaler delivering the widest variety of fresh, branded and owned brand products to more than 30,000 locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce providers and food service customers.

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