PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Whole Foods Market Inc. and United Natural Foods Inc. have extended their primary distribution agreement an additional seven years.
Whole Foods Market Inc. and United Natural Foods Inc. have extended their primary distribution agreement an additional seven years.
The food wholesaler said this week it will continue to serve as the primary natural grocery distributor to Whole Foods in U.S. regions where it currently serves as the primary distributor. The new agreement amends and extends an existing seven-year primary distribution agreement scheduled to expire in September 2013 to September 2020.
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Whole Foods Market," Steven Spinner, United Natural Foods president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "This amendment reflects the continued evolution of our relationship and secures distribution with our largest customer for the next decade."
Whole Foods accounted for about 33% of United Natural Foods’ sales of $3.45 billion in fiscal 2009, according to the distributor.
"Whole Foods Market is pleased to extend our long-term relationship with United Natural Foods," commented Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. "Having a long-term primary distribution partner is an important element of our growth strategy, as it allows us to concentrate our capital and resources over the next decade on growing and improving our store base while focusing our internal distribution efforts around key perishable departments. We continue to seek opportunities to enhance the strategic partnership between United Natural Foods and Whole Foods Market."
Spinner noted that extending the Whole Foods distribution pact will help United Natural Foods grow its market share in specialty foods and organics, as well as invest in infrastructure. "Over the next three years, we will continue to enhance our national warehouse management systems in order to improve customer service and efficiency," he stated. "We look forward to capitalizing on the tremendous growth opportunities that exist in the industry as a whole, as well as helping Whole Foods Market, as it implements its strategy for growth."