UNFI boosts product sourcing for small retail buyers

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) expands its relationship with the RangeMe product discovery platform to serve customers of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Suppliers will now be able to use RangeMe to promote their products to SME retail buyers and place purchase orders directly through UNFI’s Easy Options online portal, the Providence, RI-based distributor said last night. Easy options offers wholesale prices on groceries, natural and organic foods, health and wellness products and other items to small traditional and online retailers.

UNFI has worked with RangeMe, a subsidiary of ECRM, based in San Francisco, for the past four years. The new features come just months after the distributor launched Community Marketplace by UNFI, a business-to-business digital wholesale marketplace. the B2B site, powered by Boston-based Mirakl, enables thousands of emerging products currently not available at UNFI distribution centers to be ordered through Easy Options and shipped directly to retail customers.

“Scalability and access to the widest assortment of grocery and wellness products are the foundation for being able to better serve customers in today’s e-commerce world,” said Tom Kraus, vice-president -President of e-commerce at UNFI, in a statement. “In combination with our recently launched Community Marketplace, our latest work with RangeMe not only better positions UNFI to support emerging vendors, but also sets up an expanded universe of discovery where over 15,000 unique customers can more easily purchase products that meet the changing needs of today’s consumer.

UNFI

UNFI suppliers have created a profile on RangeMe to showcase their products to retailers through Easy Options.

UNFI noted that Easy Options, which offers SMEs flexible order sizes and no frequency requirements, gives RangeMe suppliers another outlet to showcase their products to retailers. To increase the visibility of their brand and products to this retail shopping audience, UNFI suppliers have created a profile on RangeMe.

Aimed at suppliers and retail buyers, RangeMe’s platform uses a dashboard to put thousands of products at the fingertips of buyers, making it easy to find and compare items. Automatic alerts are sent to buyers when new products meet their selection criteria. As a result, retail buyers can more efficiently research innovative new products and manage the process of submitting inbound products, according to RangeMe. For suppliers, RangeMe provides broad access to retail buyers as well as increased control over the marketing of products. Suppliers can upload their product details to the platform for buyers to review. Additionally, suppliers know when their products are viewed and can receive feedback from buyers, while buyers can instantly reach out to suppliers they are interested in or track a product to be notified of updates.

Overall, RangeMe enables product discovery between over 200,000 vendors and retailers.

“This is the latest evolution in our relationship with UNFI, and it aims to facilitate the way retailers and suppliers want to do business,” said Nicky Jackson, Founder and CEO of RangeMe. “RangeMe enables nearly 13,000 retail shoppers to effectively explore innovative and emerging products, and we are excited to expand our work with UNFI to provide tremendous opportunities to a broader set of suppliers and retailers across the world. industry. “

The country’s largest public food wholesaler, UNFI operates 58 distribution centers and warehouses offering more than 275,000 national, regional and private label products to health food superstores, independent retailers, traditional supermarket chains, retailers. e-commerce and food service operators.

On a June 2021 third quarter results conference call, UNFI President Chris Testa noted that the community market is reaching more retailers.

“Within the large e-commerce space, our recently launched Community Marketplace continues to grow as more and more SKUs are added to this innovative platform. Although still in its infancy, we remain optimistic about the long-term outlook for this expansion of our UNFI Easy Options B2B business, ”Testa told analysts on the call. “In terms of the e-commerce capability that we provide to our traditional customers, we have now added 215 stores to our platform over the past year, with 120 more in the process of being integrated. These customers can now offer online ordering, click-and-collect and delivery to their buyers. “

Gary C. Lisi