Manufacturers throughout the Midwest will have the opportunity to virtually show off their products this July during Meijer Inc.’s second annual Lift Local Supplier Event. The company will be seeking out locally made products across its six-state market area in the categories of grocery, including fresh, deli and bakery; baby; beauty and personal care; and over-the-counter and wellness.
“Our partnerships with vendors in our footprint allow us to directly impact our local economies,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer EVP of merchandising and marketing. “By featuring local products, we’re able to support small businesses while providing our customers with a greater sense of community, offering items that resonate with their values and culture. This event helps us find those unique products and continue sourcing locally.”
Companies throughout Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin can apply to showcase their products in the event by May 20. Meijer executives will choose the products they’d like to see. Those chosen will be invited for virtual or in-person meetings during the July 19-21 event.
“After a successful first event, we’re excited to further grow our community of local business vendors,” said Jamie Akemann, Meijer’s group VP of global sourcing, indirect procurement, supplier diversity and product quality. “This isn’t just an opportunity for fully-developed brands, but a chance for us to build relationships with small, local businesses and invest in their long-term success.”
Meijer has been actively diversifying its supplier base through events and summits aimed at sustainable products and those from minority-, LGBTQ+-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses.
In June, Meijer will hold its inaugural Sustainability Supplier Summit, which will give vendors nationwide the chance to showcase their sustainable products – from food to pets to home goods – for the retailer to consider carrying in its stores. Additionally, a supplier event held last month gave diverse-owned businesses across the country the opportunity to present their offerings to interested Meijer buyers and procurement teams.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates more than 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America.