AccelFoods, the early-stage investment platform that identifies and partners with the most innovative food and beverage companies coming to market, is excited to announce the expansion of its relationship with the multi-billion dollar natural, organic and specialty food distributor, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI).
This relationship provides AccelFoods and its portfolio companies a number of unique opportunities to be the first brands involved in several new UNFI initiatives including the launch of a UNFI Regional Supplier Relationship Manager program and a New York City-based Specialty Gourmet & Ethnic sales team, as well as increased support from a dedicated senior supplier relationship manager for AccelFoods' portfolio companies. UNFI has also agreed to co-host AccelFoods' Class III demo day on October 27, with Steven Spinner, UNFI president and chief executive officer, serving as the keynote speaker.
Regional Supplier Relationship Manager
UNFI will now offer a hands-on partnership to a select portfolio of earlier stage companies, facilitating their growth within the UNFI system through the involvement with a Regional Supplier Relationship Manager ("Regional SRM") program. The first Regional SRM will be based at UNFI's Racine, Wis., distribution center and will launch with Fresh Bar, a Minneapolis-based AccelFoods portfolio company. UNFI has plans to quickly expand the program to other distribution centers, including Gilroy, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; and Hudson Valley, N.Y.
Gourmet & Ethnic Sales Team
In addition, AccelFoods portfolio company Bandar Foods will be one of a select group of companies participating in the launch of UNFI's Gourmet & Ethnic sales team, a dedicated group focused on non-traditional retail channels in New York City.
"UNFI is committed to partnering with new businesses from the earliest point of inception and helping them grow big. UNFI's relationship with AccelFoods provides us with the opportunity to work in unique ways with some of the highest growth, early stage companies in the market," said Don McIntyre, UNFI senior vice president, National Supply Chain and Strategy, and president, West Region. McIntyre adds, "While the specifics will vary depending on the needs of each AccelFoods portfolio company, we are excited about the growing relationship between UNFI and AccelFoods."
Of their growing relationship with UNFI, AccelFoods Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner Jordan Gaspar says, "UNFI's unique approach to selecting, distributing, and merchandising products makes UNFI an ideal partner to the growing AccelFoods portfolio." Gaspar adds, "AccelFoods could not be prouder to support UNFI as it expands its own business to more effectively work with smaller manufacturers and drive innovation in the food industry."
With this new partnership comes further proof that the future of big food is small food.