As it looks to expand its New England region retail presence, Maine Crisp Company has announced it has entered a new distribution deal with United Natural Foods, Inc. To cement its place in the region, Maine Crisp sought the expertise of UNFI’s Up Next program, which assists emerging brands in achieving national UNFI distribution.
“Finding and distributing great products that consumers want and enjoy is at the core of what we do every day,” explained UNFI’s UpNext team. “Our UpNext program is the perfect incubator for a brand like Maine Crisp, as we can help them navigate the challenges and opportunities that will come with broadened awareness and distribution needs. We’re proud to have Maine Crisp in our program and look forward to seeing them grow and succeed.”
As it prepares to move into a new facility that offers a tenfold capacity increase, Maine Crisp tapped UNFI to help them fulfill the growing demand for its products. To mark the first phase of distribution, Maine Crisp shipped its first pallet of crisps to UNFI’s Chesterfield, Massachusetts, warehouse at the end of May, which serves the Northeast geographical market, according to a press release.
“UNFI is the perfect vehicle for Maine Crisp to complement our strong presence in New England specialty food stores by introducing us into larger chains that prefer to order Maine Crisps as part of their existing order process with UNFI,” said Steve Getz, Vice President of Marketing for Maine Crisp. “Now, our customers will enjoy an efficient distribution network, easier ordering process, and more competitive pricing model. In fact, since stocking the Chesterfield warehouse, we have added two new clients.”
UNFI’s large scale, which already includes 58 distribution centers nationwide, means the distributor already services Maine Crisp’s target retail markets. Through UNFI, retailers can order an appropriate amount of Maine Crisps for their inventory capacity without penalty fees for partial-pallet orders. As a locally-sourced retailer and ally of UNFI, Maine-based Rosemont Market & Bakery is one of the many companies who will be taking advantage of this new deal.
“An efficient ordering system is key to maintaining consistent inventory, which is especially important for local products,” commented Erin Lynch, Director of Operations at Rosemont Market & Bakery. “With six locations and a commitment to supporting local producers, we depend on UNFI’s support through our closely-integrated point-of-sale system to ensure that products are stocked. With Maine Crisp in the UNFI system, it will make for a much more efficient ordering process.”
This expansion comes at the perfect time to meet seasonal product demand for fall and holiday gatherings. Maine Crisp offers its specialty, hand-crafted crisps in flavors including award-winning cranberry almond, wild blueberry walnut, cinnamon maple, and the new, plant-based, savory fig and thyme.
With a partner like UNFI on its side, I’m sure we will see these innovative snacks pop up in more retail locations before we know it. Keep reading Deli Market News as we continue to report on the latest news in the industry.