UNFI launches innovative solution for emerging suppliers
United Natural Foods Inc. has launched Community Marketplace by UNFI, a business-to-business digital e-commerce solution for emerging brands looking to expand distribution with UNFI customers. Community Marketplace modernizes the way brands interact with grocery wholesalers by allowing thousands of emerging products not currently available at UNFI distribution centers to be ordered on UNFI’s Easy Options website and shipped directly to retail customers across the United States.
Through this virtual marketplace, suppliers gain immediate access to UNFI’s digital infrastructure to promote and sell their products to UNFI’s broad customer base. Approved suppliers keep complete control of their inventory, order management, pricing, and shipping charges while attaining trial for possible traditional distribution expansion in the UNFI network. In turn, UNFI customers gain access to an even broader assortment of unique and local items with flexible order sizes and the convenience of ordering from multiple sources online in one place. Businesses looking to become an approved Community Marketplace supplier can apply here.
“Access to the largest assortment of available items is an area of increasing importance to our customers, and Community Marketplace delivers on this need while giving brands an easy-to-use platform to gain the speed, scale, and agility to win in today’s marketplace,” said Tom Kraus, vice president of e-commerce at UNFI. “By fully integrating Community Marketplace with our Easy Options website, we now have an industry leading tool for our customers to better connect with suppliers to provide their local communities with the widest variety of on-trend and emerging natural and conventional products.”
UNFI Easy Options is available to a variety of businesses, including independent grocery retailers, convenience stores, natural food and supplement stores, and restaurants. Through the website, customers of all sizes have access to over 20,000 grocery and wellness items that are fulfilled from UNFI’s distribution network without minimum order sizes, order frequency requirements, or membership fees. Currently, hundreds of Community Marketplace SKUs are available through the Easy Options site, but with strong interest from the supplier community, customers should check back often as the variety of products will continue to grow as more vendors participate in this innovative distribution outlet.