Consumer preferences are always changing, but one thing that seems to be certain is that consumers will put local brands on their mental checklist. To help meet shoppers halfway, Hy-Vee will be hosting quarterly Best of Local Brands summits beginning in 2021. The new initiative will not only create new partnerships, but it will expand Hy-Vee’s product offerings across its network of more than 275 retail stores. Some of the categories Hy-Vee is currently accepting submissions for include grocery, deli, frozen, and dairy.
“An increasing number of Hy-Vee customers would like to be able to purchase from local vendors during their grocery shopping process, whether in store or via our Aisles Online grocery pickup and delivery service,” said Darren Baty, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer. “Supporting small, local businesses is important to us, and these quarterly summits will enable vendors in our eight-state region to present their products directly to our purchasing team, and, in return, will ensure our team is aware of all of the incredible, locally made products that we can share with our customers.”
The summits will be organized by the eight states Hy-Vee operates in and will consist of 15–30-minute virtual presentations from selected suppliers. A press release noted that the summit presentations will take place in 2021 February 10–12; May 11–13; August 4–6; and November 3–5. Hy-Vee is currently accepting submissions for its Best of Brand summits online via RangeMe. The eight states include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Efficient Collaborative Retail Management (ECRM) and RangeMe will help Hy-Vee source, qualify, and connect suppliers with the appropriate buyers. ECRM will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules, and facilitate face-to-face meetings with Hy-Vee buyers to introduce new and innovative products to the marketplace.
All meetings will be conducted through ECRM’s virtual meeting platform, ECRM Connect, and the company’s support team will ensure that buyer and seller connections are executed seamlessly. Suppliers not chosen will still be accessible through RangeMe and may be reviewed by Hy-Vee merchants again in the future as business needs change.
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