United Natural Foods

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
United Natural Foods, Incorporated (UNFI)
S&P 400 Component
IndustryNAIC 42211: wholesale grocery
FounderMichael Funk and Norman A. Cloutier
United States
Area served
United States, Canada
Key people
Steven L. Spinner (CEO & Chairman of the Board)
Sean Griffin (COO)
Productswholesale natural, organic, ethnic and gourmet, grocery, produce, perishables, personal care, and supplements.
RevenueIncrease US$ 10.2 billion (2018)
Increase US$ 241.96 million (2015)
Number of employees
19,000 [1] (2019)
DivisionsAlbert’s Organics, Select Nutrition, Tony’s Fine Foods, UNFI Canada, Honest Green, Woodstock Farms Manufacturing, Blue Marble Brands, Gourmet Guru, Haddon House Specialty Foods, Nor-Cal Produce

United Natural Foods, Incorporated, also known as UNFI, is a distributor of natural and organic foods, specialty foods, and related products in the United States and Canada.[2] The company distributes to grocery and natural food stores and is the primary distributor to Whole Foods Market.[3] UNFI offers dry, refrigerated and frozen groceries, personal care products, supplements, fresh produce, perishables, and non-food items such as household cleaning products. It made the Fortune 500 list in 2016.[4]

UNFI has a focus on corporate social responsibility. Examples include construction and renovation projects that achieve LEED certification.[5] In 2016, UNFI was named to Food Logistics' 2016 Top Green Providers list.[6] The corporation supports the Just Label It! movement that calls for the labeling of genetically modified and engineered foods.[7] The UNFI Foundation is UNFI's charitable arm, which supports healthy and organic food systems.[8]


UNFI was founded in 1996 by the merger of two regional distributors, Mountain People's Warehouse (founded in 1976, serving the Western U.S.) and Cornucopia Natural Foods (founded in 1977, serving the Eastern U.S.), forming the first natural products distributorship with national scope.[9] Since 1996, other regional distributors have merged with UNFI, filling in the distribution footprint and making UNFI the largest distributor of natural products.[10] In 2007 UNFI added specialty products distribution through the acquisition of Millbrook Distribution Services.[11] In 2011, UNFI signed a distribution agreement with Safeway Inc. for the distribution of non-proprietary natural, organic and specialty products, making Safeway their second largest customer after Whole Foods.[12] This agreement was terminated by Safeway in July, 2015,[13] leading to a drop in share price and two rounds of layoffs, their first in the history of the company. In 2012 UNFI partnered with Buyer's Best Friend to create a unified reordering system.[14] In 2016, the company announced the acquisition of Nor-Cal produce, Inc.[15] It also completed the acquisition of Haddon House Food Products, Inc. in 2016.[16] That same year, it announced the acquisition of Gourmet Guru, Inc.[17] In early 2016, UNFI worried investors by disclosing that it missed Wall Street's expectations.[18]

On July 26, 2018, UNFI announced that it would be buying the wholesaler SuperValu for 1.3 billion and acquiring their 1.6 billion in debts.[19]


In addition to distribution operations, UNFI also operates the following divisions:

  1. Woodstock Farms Manufacturing
  2. Albert's Organics
  3. UNFI Wellness
  4. UNFI Canada
  5. Honest Green
  6. Tony's Fine Foods
  7. Blue Marble Brands
  8. Gourmet Guru
  9. Haddon House Specialty Foods
  10. Nor-Cal Produce
  11. SuperValu

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United Natural Foods company profile". Craft.
  2. ^ "Can United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) Keep Up with Analyst Expectations?". Investor Newswire. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  3. ^ "United Natural Foods to acquire Haddon House for $217.5 million". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ "United Natural Foods". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  5. ^ "UNFI Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Distribution Center - Grocery Headquarters Magazine - December 2011". www.groceryheadquarters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  6. ^ "2016 Top Green Providers List - Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse". Food Logistics. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  7. ^ It, Just Label. "Partners | Just Label It". www.justlabelit.org. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  8. ^ "United Natural Foods Establishes Charitable Foundation to Support Healthy, Sustainable and Organic Food Systems". www.prnewswire.com. PR Newswire. May 14, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  9. ^ Klingler, Desmond (2015-02-21). 21st Century Homestead: Organic Food. Lulu.com. ISBN 9781312937598.
  10. ^ "UNFI Grows With the Organic and Natural Food Market - Clean Yield". www.cleanyield.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  11. ^ "UNFI to acquire Millbrook". New Hope. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  12. ^ "UNFI Signs Up Safeway". supermarketnews.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  13. ^ Kaplan, Jennifer (2015-07-21). "United Natural Foods Plunges as Albertsons Contract Canceled". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  14. ^ "UNFI, Buyer's Best Friend Create Reordering System". ProgressiveGrocer. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  15. ^ "UNFI acquires California produce distributor". supermarketnews.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  16. ^ "United Natural Foods to acquire Haddon House for $217.5 million". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  17. ^ "United Natural Foods (UNFI) Acquires Gourmet Guru". StreetInsider.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  18. ^ "Here's Why Shares of United Natural Foods Are Tanking". Fortune. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  19. ^ Inc., Midwest Communications. "Super Valu, owner of Hornbacher's, sold to UNFI Inc". The Mighty 790 KFGO. Retrieved 2018-07-28.