UNFI and Swiftly Bring State-of-the-Art Retail Marketing to the Grocery World Street Fight

UNFI and Swiftly Bring State-of-the-Art Retail Marketing to the Grocery World

Share this:

UNFI (United Natural Foods, Inc.) supplies 30K stores across North America, ranging from small three-store regional brands to huge brands like Whole Foods. The largest wholesale distributor to the U.S. and Canada specializes in groceries, frozen foods, produce, health and beauty products, deli items, and bakery items.

But their scope isn’t limited to getting these items to grocery stores. They have committed to providing the markets they serve (especially the smaller grocery brands) with the same level of technology and retail media that bigger brands enjoy. Even with 500 locations, grocers may not have the infrastructure or budgets to create state-of-the-art search, targeting, and loyalty programs that today’s retailers need to compete and consumers have come to expect.

UNFI’s professional services group consults with retailers and recently teamed up with Swiftly, a retail media and technology platform, to enable smaller operators to enjoy the same data and marketing power as their larger competitors.

Louis Martin, UNFI’s President of Wholesale, says, “We did our homework and realized almost immediately that Swiftly is the best-in-class service provider for the needs of the grocery brands we serve.”Swifty’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Sean Turner adds, “We already have some great case studies. When a customer downloads a Swiftly app (branded for the store), they tend to spend 30 percent more on shopping trips because they discover new products and get new meal preparation ideas.”

One seasonally relevant promotion is a concept that was created for Dierbergs, a grocery chain with about 30 stores in St. Louis, Missouri. Hershey’s, Kraft, and Mondelez partnered on a summer S’mores promotion. The consumer saw an on-screen campaign highlighting all the ingredients to make the perfect treat, just in time for barbeque, picnic, and camping season.

Just as brands in the pre-digital era offered recipe cards and coupons, this automated retail marketing technique makes consumers’ shopping trips easier and more economical.

UNFI currently works with 11K suppliers, and this strategic alliance will benefit product companies, retailers, and, most importantly, consumers.

For more retail, restaurant, grocery, C-store, and service business innovations, please join us at Street Fight Live at Meta’s Chicago headquarters on November 7th. You’ll discover a whole new range of technologies and techniques that benefit MULO (multi-location) businesses of all sizes.


Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in Inc.com, the New York Times and Forbes.