Whole Foods’ (WFM) recent earnings report highlighted the competitive landscape of the organic food industry. The barriers of entry are becoming less evident as more organic grocers are opening. Not only are there more specialty food stores, but organic foods are increasing their presence in conventional supermarkets.
United Natural Foods (UNFI) is a way to have a stake in Whole Foods and help alleviate the risk of competing conventional supermarkets. United Natural Foods is the largest distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods in North America with 28 distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada. Its closest competition, KeHE Distributors, is half of its size. United Natural Foods offers more than 65,000 products consisting of national brands, regional brands and private label products. They serve more than 31,000 customer locations including independently owned natural products retailers, Whole Foods, and conventional supermarkets. The company uses the term “supernatural markets” in its SEC reports when it comes to large, organic grocers, but Whole Foods is its only customer in that category. Continue Reading »