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Amanda Helming also marks the second former Dunkin' Brands executive to join UNFI this year. In March, the distributor hired Jack Clare of Dunkin' as its CIO.

UNFI taps UNO’s Amanda Helming as CMO

Restaurant executive assumes marketing chief title from President Chris Testa

Next week, UNO Restaurant executive Amanda Helming is slated to take the reins as chief marketing officer at United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI).

Plans call for Helming to start as UNFI’s CMO on July 13. In the role, she will oversee the Providence, R.I.-based food and grocery distributor’s Brands+ product portfolio, branding and creative, and communications teams and their support of the company’s more than $25 billion business.

Amanda Helming-UNFI-CMO.pngHelming (left) takes over the CMO role from UNFI President Chris Testa, who held both titles. She will report to Testa.

“Amanda brings a wealth of brand marketing and strategic thinking to UNFI along with a track record of successful brand transformations,” Testa said in a statement. “Her expertise in retail and consumer packaged goods will benefit us as we continue driving our Brands+ products into more stores and more home pantries.”

Helming comes to UNFI from UNO Restaurant Holdings Corp., where she served as CMO and led all marketing, product, communications and promotion strategy for the 75-year old pizza brand. Before that, she spent seven years at Dunkin Brands Inc., most recently as vice president of brand strategy, Global Consumer Insights & Pricing, for Dunkin U.S. UNFI noted that, during her tenure at Dunkin, she created and scaled the brand’s first national value strategy, led the brand marketing function and overhauled the menu, and served as chief strategist for the rebrand to “just Dunkin.” Prior to Dunkin, Helming worked at General Mills and at Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

“Under her leadership, we also expect to better align all our marketing and communication initiatives to support key stakeholders: customers, suppliers, associates and community partners,” Testa added. “Amanda is a great addition to our team, and I’m looking forward to working closely with her to develop strategies that help strengthen UNFI’s brands and communications.”

Helming marks the second Dunkin’ Brands executive to join UNFI this year. Jack Clare, senior vice president and chief information and strategy officer at Dunkin’, became chief information officer at UNFI on March 30.

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