Demand for fresh foods is rising at retail, and United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) is showing commitment to growing its fresh departments with the appointment of new leaders. The distributor recently announced that Ron Selders had been named as the new President of Fresh, leading UNFI’s growth strategy for produce, deli, bakery, and meat departments. Jody Barrick has also been promoted to Senior Vice President of Bakery and Deli.
“Large-scale changes to shopping and eating behaviors, especially as more meals are consumed in the home, have put a stronger focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and its offerings. These changes represent a tremendous opportunity for retailers, and I look forward to working with our fresh teams to deliver wide-ranging and innovative products to help our customers grow and thrive,” said Selders.
Selders joined UNFI through the acquisition of Tony’s Fine Foods in 2014 and became President of the division in 2018. He spent 18 years in leadership roles at Tony’s, helping grow the business across the West Coast. In 2021, Selders was promoted to UNFI’s Senior Vice President of Bakery and Deli, where he led the respective sales, merchandising, and category management teams across the entire organization.
Selders holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from California State University, Sacramento, a press release noted.
As Selders steps into his new position, Barrick will take over his previous role as Senior Vice President of Deli and Bakery. Barrick joined UNFI through the acquisition of SUPERVALU. She has over 30 years of proven success leading the sales, merchandising, and marketing functions of bakery and deli teams that she will use in her new position. Additionally, Barrick serves on the executive board of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).
Selders' appointment is effective December 26, and he will report to Steve Dietz, UNFI’s Chief Customer Officer.
“Food retailers continue to invest in their fresh departments as they represent one of the most important growth areas in the grocery store, in addition to being a main driver in how retailers stand out against their competition,” said Dietz. “Ron has extensive experience in the fresh categories and working with the supplier community, and we expect this experience, combined with his strong understanding of customers’ operational expectations, to benefit our retail customers as they seek tailored solutions to enhance the consumer experience. He’s a proven leader and someone I’m confident will help our Fresh teams build and deliver an even stronger set of products and solutions for our customers going forward.”
Best of luck to Ron Selders and Jody Barrick!