Meijer to host its first ever summit for sustainable suppliers
Regional grocer Meijer wants more sustainable products on its shelves and the grocer is offering vendors of such products a chance to show the grocer what they’ve got.
Meijer is holding its first ever Sustainable Supplier Summit, a virtual meeting that will give select attendees an opportunity to meet remotely with buyers in the appropriate department to discuss their products, according to a press release.
Buyers in each department will be looking for vendors whose products adhere to particular sustainability certifications. For example, seafood must be Best Aquaculture Practices certified, toys must be Ecologo certified and grocery and consumables must be Rainforest Alliance certified.
Vendors can apply online to be considered for participation in the summit, which will take place June 20 through June 23. Even if a vendor is not chosen, it may still be tapped by Meijer in the future through the tool as buyers’ needs change.
While this is Meijer’s first such effort to cast a net for sustainability-focused CPG products, it is not unique to the industry.
Kroger launched a contest last year to search for local and regional suppliers, particularly in fresh categories. The grocer’s Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator solicited applications from growers, offering 15 winners the opportunity to attend the event with the promise that five would have their products appear on Kroger’s shelves. Other grocers, including H-E-B, and retailers in other segments, such as Lowe’s, QVC and HSN, have launched similar competitions in recent years.
As grocers look to source more diverse consumer packaged goods offerings, one major chain has taken steps that appear to have taken it in the opposite direction.
Whole Foods in 2021 moved entirely to a centralized buying model, a transition that began after the chain’s 2017 acquisition by Amazon.com. The change has been criticized by some as Whole Foods’ local buying model had provided many independent niche vendors with exposure on the chain’s shelves.
- Meijer Announces First-Ever Sustainability Supplier Summit to Expand Offering of Sustainable Products – PR Newswire
- Kroger makes a game of finding new suppliers – RetailWire
- Whole Foods goes all-in on centralized buying – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think a virtual summit like this is a good move for grocers who want to find new, sustainable products? Do events such as this affect what products CPGs develop?