June 27, 2014

United Fresh and National Association of Convenience Stores announce partnership

United Fresh Produce Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) have announced a new partnership to significantly increase the sales of fresh produce in convenience stores. A new task force of members of both groups met during the United Fresh 2014 convention on June 12.

As the leading associations representing produce suppliers and their convenience store customers, United Fresh and NACS have formed the partnership to identify best practices that can be shared across the industry to assist convenience store operators in developing their own fresh produce supply chains and in-store management. With more than 151,000 locations across the country, convenience stores are increasingly seen as a convenient destination for consumers to buy fruit and vegetables. In 2013, produce sales at convenience stores were up 16.7 percent, more than doubling the overall 7.3 percent growth rate of produce in the United States. Convenience store sales of produce reached $328 million in 2013, and the groups believe that sales can increase dramatically over the next five years from this task force’s efforts.

“The business opportunities for convenience stores that manage fresh produce well are vast, for direct sales as well as enhancing the image of stores as a provider of fresh and healthy food options. Fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, ready-to-eat meals and snack products, and even whole commodities can deliver attractive margins and new customer segments to retailers,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and CEO.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking grab-and-go, convenient options for their produce needs. Convenience stores present a tremendously underdeveloped source of produce sales in communities,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour. “We are excited to work with United Fresh to give retailers the tools to affordably acquire merchandise and sell produce in their communities as part of our broader nutrition initiative.”

The associations plan to develop tools and services to share best practices and successes with the broader memberships of NACS and United Fresh. For more information, contact Jeff Oberman, vice president, trade relations.




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