New products, retailer services, and innovations took center stage as more than 4,000 grocery customers, suppliers, and industry professionals gathered for the annual UNFI Conventional Expo show, held from July 19-21 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Building on the success of its June Mohegan Sun show, UNFI hosted nearly 2,700 customers, connecting them with the company’s vast network of suppliers and providing them with the industry’s most excellent access to food choices, fresh thinking, innovations, services, show deals, and promotions only available at the show.
UNFI’s Conventional Expo is held annually in July to help independent grocers plan, prepare, and buy for the upcoming holiday and spring selling seasons.
“Consistent with our objective to help our customers drive profitable and sustainable growth, our in-person shows demonstrate our unique ability through our scale, insights, and innovative offerings to help retailers of all sizes and formats compete effectively in their marketplace,” said UNFI CEO, Sandy Douglas. “Working alongside our suppliers, we help customers plan their store offerings, learn about new and exclusive products, manage supply challenges, and secure deals and promotions that drive sales and consumer loyalty.”
UNFI’s Conventional Expo is one of the most significant grocery industry events and one of five trade shows hosted annually by UNFI. This year’s show included:
- Nearly 2,700 customers, including domestic and international retailers;
- Approximately 700 suppliers covering more than 200,000 square feet;
- 270 new products and 250 sustainable/healthy planet items introduced in UNFI’s New Product Showcase;
- 300+ monster buys (exclusive UNFI deals on many of the most popular consumer products) covering nearly every store category;
- Introduction of UNFI’s Independent Grocer’s Guidebook highlighting best-in-class strategy and case studies from selected UNFI customers designed to help all retailers plan for the future of grocery. UNFI’s guidebook was created in partnership with AlixPartners, a global business consultant with expertise in grocery growth and operational excellence; and
- In addition to the in-person show, UNFI continues to offer a virtual show, catering to customer preferences and providing greater ease of doing business with UNFI. Hundreds of customers participated in the virtual version of this year’s Conventional Expo.
“In-person shows provide us a great ability to connect with suppliers, to see new products, develop merchandising strategies, and make plans for our retail stores,” said Matt Leiseth, President of Hornbacher’s Foods. “The UNFI Expo is one of the most important events we participate in annually. This year’s show, from new Brands+ products to seasonal buys, will help us prepare our stores for what we expect to be a busy holiday season.”
UNFI also introduced its 2022 Master Marketer Award winners as part of an annual program recognizing and celebrating independent retailers’ achievements in merchandising, marketing, media advertising, and community relations programs. In addition to category and tier winners, the company named Boyers Food Markets as its 2022 Grand Master Marketer recipient, the highest recognition given annually to one retailer who has demonstrated consistent performance and marketing excellence.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Orwigsburg, PA, Boyers today operates 19 full-service supermarkets throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“UNFI is an incredible partner, and the customer turnout for this show has been fantastic,” said Torrance Beard, Senior Director of Sales of Kellogg Company. “The return of face-to-face engagement with thousands of customers makes this Expo even more impactful.”