SpartanNash makes it easier for its independent supermarket customers to expand their selection of specialty and local foods.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocery distributor Monday unveiled SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect, a new online platform created with Specialty Food Partners (SFP), whose solutions and partner network offer distributors and retailers a direct digital path to buying wholesale specialty grocery products. .
SpartanNash said the SpecialtyDirect service provides its 2,100 independent grocery customers with enhanced offers and allows them to browse thousands of newly available products, place orders, set up deliveries and pay consolidated bills. The distributor worked with SFP to update its back-end system to ensure seamless operation, including proper billing flow, easy ordering and clearly communicated deliveries.
With grocers facing increased demand for new, unique and local products, the SpecialtyDirect platform saves retailers time and operational resources in sourcing specialty items, according to SpartanNash.
“We are committed to continuing to bring the best innovation to our customers as shopping habits evolve,” said Bennett Morgan, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at SpartanNash, in a statement. “We’re here to make sure independent grocers have everything they need to meet the tastes and preferences of their customers, without taking away the valuable time they spend running their grocery stores, serving their customers and supporting their in-store team members. As a customer-focused food solutions company, this is just another distribution benefit we can offer our independent customers to provide the ingredients for a better life. »
On its website, Stamford, Connecticut-based SFP said its SFP Market solution for distributors allows customers to source specialty, natural and organic products that are not in their warehouse, freeing up wholesalers to dedicate space to “proven fast moves”. The platform connects distributors directly to vendors of ‘off the shelf’ specialty foods in the SFP marketplace, and orders placed by the sales team or retail customers are shipped directly to stores.
“I have already started ordering products from SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect, and would recommend it to any store that wants to offer unique items,” commented SpartanNash Independent Customer Alison Steele, owner of Niwot Market in Niwot, Colorado. “I found specialty items that I can’t get anywhere else, and found them easy to order from the website.”
SpartanNash added that SpecialtyDirect helps its independent grocers be more competitive by increasing access to specialty, seasonal and local products, allowing them to tailor their assortments to shoppers’ preferences.
“There’s a misconception that only major metropolitan areas need trendy, specialty groceries, but that’s definitely not the case and has really changed over the past few years, leading to demand broader for these products,” said Tony Lee, Founder and CEO of SFP. “SpartanNash is an ideal partner for us because the company’s extensive distribution network in many independent grocery stores in the heartland of America means shoppers don’t have to live in a big city to satisfy their new exploration of flavors or try the latest starter brand.”
Through its core food wholesale segment, SpartanNash distributes in all 50 states, supplying 145 company-operated supermarkets in nine Midwestern states – which make up its retail business unit – and more than 2 100 independent food retailers nationwide. The company also distributes to 160 military commissioners and more than 400 exchanges in the United States and abroad.