Whole Foods, United Natural, Get Happy–Will Manufacturers Feel the Pain

NBN remembers the old days back when we were the grocery buyer for a small Connecticut independent (actually, in those days all the stores were independent). Cornucopia was our primary distributor but we ordered from Stow Mills and Tree of Life in the Northeast.  No doubt increased consolidation offers both retailers and distributors advantages, allowing distributors to remain robust, and giving retailers reliable one-stop shopping manufacturers have a bit more to worry about with UNFI’s increasing dominance.

NBN hears more and more about UNFI’s strong arm tactics, requiring three months of promotional buy-ins, while only offering customers the deal for one, and increasing demands and prices for the advertisements in UNFI’s monthly specials catalogues.

So NBN has a message to UNFI:  don’t treat your vendors like you’re the pimp and they’re your working girls.  Unless Michael Funk starts wearing purple velvet suits we think it’s a bad way of doing business.

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