SpartanNash launches specialty foods online platform

SpartanNash is making it easier for its independent supermarket customers to expand their selection of specialty and local foods.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocery distributor on Monday unveiled SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect, a new online platform created with Specialty Food Partners (SFP), whose solutions and partner network give distributors and retailers a direct, digital path to purchase for wholesale specialty grocery products.

SpartanNash said the SpecialtyDirect service provides its 2,100 independent grocery clients with enhanced offerings and enables them to browse thousands of newly available products, place orders, set up deliveries and pay consolidated invoices. The distributor worked with SFP to update its back-end system to ensure seamless operation, including proper invoice flow, easy ordering and clearly communicated deliveries.

With grocers facing increased demand for new, unique and local products, the SpecialtyDirect platform stands to save retailers time and operational resources in sourcing specialty items, according to SpartanNash.

“It’s our promise to continue bringing the best innovation for our customers as shopping habits evolve,” Bennett Morgan, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at SpartanNash, said in a statement. “We’re here to ensure independent grocers have everything they need to respond to their customers’ tastes and preferences, without taking away from their valuable time spent managing their grocery stores, servicing their shoppers and supporting their in-store team members. As a customer-focused food solutions company, this is just another distribution benefit we can offer our independent customers to deliver on the ingredients for a better life.”


The platform connects distributors directly to ‘sale-ready’ specialty food suppliers in the SFP Market, according to Specialty Food Partners.

On its website, Stamford, Conn.-based SFP said its SFP Market solution for distributors allows customers to source specialty, natural and organic products not in their warehouse, freeing up wholesalers to devote space to “proven fast movers.” The platform connects distributors directly to “sale-ready” specialty food suppliers in the SFP Market, and orders placed by the sales team or retail customers are shipped directly to stores.

“I have already begun ordering products from SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect, and I would recommend it to any store wanting to offer unique items,” commented SpartanNash independent grocery customer Alison Steele, owner of Niwot Market in Niwot, Colo. “I have found some specialty items that I can’t procure anywhere else, and I found them easy to order on the website.”

SpartanNash added that SpecialtyDirect helps its independent grocers better compete by increasing access to specialty, seasonal and local products, enabling them to tailor their assortments to shopper preferences.

“There is a misconception that only large metro areas have the need for trending and specialty grocery products, but that is definitely not the case and has really shifted over the last few years, resulting in broader demand for these products,” stated Tony Lee, founder and CEO of SFP. “SpartanNash is an ideal partner for us because the company’s expansive distribution network to many independent grocery stores across America’s heartland means shoppers don’t have to live in a major city to satisfy their newest flavor exploration or try the latest startup brand.”

Through its core food wholesaling segment, SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states, supplying 145 corporate-run supermarkets in nine Midwestern states — which make up its retail business unit — and over 2,100 independent grocery retailers nationwide. The company also distributes to 160 military commissaries and over 400 exchanges in the United States and internationally.