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Northeast Wholesaler/Distributor News

UNFI Concludes First Show Of The New Year


Providence, Rhode Island-based United Natural Foods Inc. wrapped up its Natural and Conventional Spring & Summer Show Feb. 7-8 in Orlando, Florida, hosting more than 1,000 brands and 2,000 customers.

The show was the first of four major buying shows UNFI will hold in 2023 and was the first to bring together all natural and conventional products. Shows are a way that UNFI utilizes its scale, insights and innovative offerings to help grocers of all sizes differentiate, grow and succeed.

With food prices expected to continue growing in 2023 at “above historical average” rates, retailers attending UNFI’s Orlando show came looking for value, deals and new products to bring back to their customers.

“Our stores are located in primarily affluent communities and we’re seeing the trading down and smaller basket sizes across our stores, so the challenges consumers are facing are real,” said Jim McCaffrey, second-generation family owner of the seven-store McCaffrey’s Food Markets operated in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

“UNFI shows are tremendously important for us from networking with our UNFI account team to partner meetings directly with vendors. This year we’re seeing the return of stronger promotional activity from suppliers and a return to more normalcy in deals and discounts. By attending the show and working with vendors on promotional deals, we’re able to pass along valuable discounts to our shoppers while still holding on to margin for our business.”

With more than 170,000 square-feet of show space, UNFI’s Orlando show introduced new products and line extensions, with the company estimating more than 1,500 new items available. Additionally, there were customer and supplier meetings helping lead to further deals.

“Customers came to find deals and suppliers came ready to give deals and gain market share and that’s a wonderful scenario for a buying show,” said Chris Testa, UNFI president.

“Many customers lined up products they wanted and pre-booked them and then came here to finalize the price and, in most cases, negotiate even better discounts on top of the base deals. That’s what makes our shows so valuable.”

UNFI will have a large presence at the Expo West Natural Products show March 7-11 in Anaheim, California. The next exclusive UNFI show will be the Mohegan Sun Natural Holiday Show June 7-8 in Uncasville, Connecticut. For information on UNFI Shows, visit unfishowcases.com.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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