[WATERVILLE, ME – August 3, 2021] – Maine Crisp Company is building upon its New England regional retail presence with a new distribution deal with UNFI. To mark the first phase of distribution, Maine Crisp shipped its first pallet of crisps to UNFI’s Chesterfield, Massachusetts warehouse, which serves the Northeast geographical market, at the end of May.
The deal marks a new milestone in Maine Crisp’s consistent growth since its launch in 2014. Established in a licensed home kitchen in Waterville, Maine, the family-run company quickly cemented strong relationships with co-ops and natural food markets, whose customers loved the tasty gluten-free snacks filled with local, natural, organic ingredients. With prestigious awards and accolades, Maine Crisp expanded to its first industrial manufacturing facility in 2017 and began local distribution to Maine Hannaford markets. Now, on the cusp of moving into a new facility that offers a tenfold capacity increase, Maine Crisp sought out UNFI to help them fulfill their growing consumer demand.
“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,” explains 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.”
With an unmatched national distribution network and more than 250,000 organic, natural, conventional and specialty products available, UNFI’s focus on better food aligns perfectly with Maine Crisp’s good-for-you snacks. The distributor’s scale, with 58 distribution centers nationwide, means the company already services Maine Crisp’s target retail markets. Retailers pulling from UNFI can order an appropriate amount of Maine Crisps for their inventory capacity without penalty fees for partial-pallet orders.
As a locally-sourced retailer with an existing UNFI partnership that currently stocks Maine Crisps through local distribution, Maine-based Rosemont Market & Bakery looks forward to the opportunity to pull Maine Crisps through UNFI going forward. “An efficient ordering system is key to maintaining consistent inventory, which is especially important for local products,” explains 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.”
As a growth-stage enterprise with strong New England retail presence and availability in hundreds of specialty stores nationwide, Maine Crisp sought the expertise of UNFI’s Up Next program, which assists emerging brands in achieving national UNFI distribution. UNFI’s product experts actively seek out, mentor, and educate emerging companies, helping these brands build awareness for new brands and create new opportunities for national exposure.
“Finding and distributing great products that consumers want and enjoy is at the core of what we do every day,” explains 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.”
The national expansion is timed perfectly for seasonal product demand for fall and holiday gatherings. The specialty, hand-crafted crisps, which are baked like biscotti and sliced thinly like crackers, carry a suggested retail price of $6.99. Flavors include award-winning cranberry almond, wild blueberry walnut, cinnamon maple, and the new, plant-based savory fig and thyme. Retailers interested in pulling Maine Crisp products from UNFI may learn more via their online Supplier Portal, and retailers new to UNFI may learn more at getstarted.unfi.com.
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