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Baron Funds Comments on United Natural Foods

May 24, 2012 | About:
Holly LaFon

Holly LaFon

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United Natural Foods (UNFI) is the largest distributor of natural, specialty and organic grocery products in the United States. With $4.5 billion in sales, United Natural Foods (UNFI) is the low-cost leader in a rapidly growing market. The company supplies over 60,000 products to a variety of customers, including large chains such as Whole Foods, as well as independent health food stores and conventional supermarkets. UNFI competes in an $80 billion natural and organics market, where growth from healthy lifestyle brands such as Kashi, Fage Yogurt, and Amy's Organic are outpacing conventional foodstuffs by a factor of four.This is being fueled by consumers' increasing shift toward healthier eating as well as greater awareness of food quality and sustainability. UNFI helps customers better manage and merchandise the flow of natural food categories within their stores. Supermarkets increasingly rely on UNFI to manage these 'slowermoving' SKU's for them, as it reduces the grocer's working capital and allows them to be ahead of any new food trends, such as gluten-free and coconut waters. We believe UNFI is well positioned to grow share meaningfully from 5% today, both within established accounts like Whole Foods — which is adding 20 stores per year — as well as new accounts at large grocery chains, such as Safeway, which are increasing their allocation to these categories. (Matt Weiss)

Rating: 3.3/5 (3 votes)

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