PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) ("UNFI" or the "Company") announced today that UNFI and Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) have amended their Primary Distribution Agreement to extend the term of the agreement for an additional seven years. Under the terms of the amended agreement, the Company will continue to serve as the primary wholesale natural grocery distributor to Whole Foods Market in those United States regions where UNFI currently serves as the primary distributor. This new agreement amends and extends an existing seven-year primary distribution agreement that was not scheduled to expire until September 25, 2013, to September 25, 2020.
Steven Spinner, United Natural Foods' President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to continue our partnership with Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket. This amendment reflects the continued evolution of our relationship and secures distribution with our largest customer for the next decade."
"Extending the term of our Whole Foods Market distribution agreement provides UNFI with a platform to continue to grow our market share in specialty foods and organics, as well as invest in our infrastructure. Over the next three years, we will continue to enhance our national warehouse management systems in order to improve customer service and efficiency." Mr. Spinner added, "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."
"Whole Foods Market is pleased to extend our long-term relationship with United Natural Foods," said Walter Robb, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Whole Foods Market. "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 UNFI and Whole Foods Market."
United Natural Foods reported net sales for fiscal 2009, ended August 1, 2009, of $3.45 billion. Whole Foods Market accounted for approximately 33% of United Natural Foods' sales in fiscal 2009.
About United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Inc. (www.unfi.com) carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 17,000 customer locations nationwide. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes in 2005 as one of the "Best Managed Companies in America," ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, and recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award.