Walmart Mexico executive Dorn Wenninger has joined United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) as senior vice president of produce.
UNFI said Monday that Wenninger will oversee the company’s strategy and expansion in the produce category. He reports to Paul Green, president of fresh at the Providence, R.I.-based grocery distributor.
Wenninger (left) brings more than 25 years of experience in procurement, sales, marketing and operations at packaged foods and retail companies, UNFI noted. Most recently, he spent four-and-a-half years at Walmex as vice president of perishables. In that role, he direct sourcing, purchasing and product development for the fresh departments at 2,400 stores, as well as Walmart’s owned meat processing plants.
Before that, Wenninger served for four years as vice president of produce and floral at Walmart U.S. and, earlier, spent two years there as vice president of global food sourcing.
Wenninger came to Walmart in 2010 after holding positions of increasing responsibility at several companies across the United States, Europe, Central America and Asia. Between December 2000 and August 2010, he served as vice president of European business at berry produce Driscoll’s in London; vice president of international at Bronx, N.Y.-based fruit and vegetables wholesaler Katzman Produce; and then as corporate vice president of supply chain at stevia ingredient maker PureCircle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In addition, Wenninger served as chairman of The Cobblestone Project, a nonprofit farm that provides fresh produce to local food banks, as well as on the board of directors at the Amigos de las Americas nonprofit organization. He also has been a member of the Fresh Produce Association board of directors.
“For UNFI and our retail customers, the produce department represents one of the most significant growth opportunity areas in the store,” Green said in a statement. “Dorn is an experienced, highly respected and well-connected leader who will not only advance our growth strategy through sourcing and merchandising efforts, but also provide retailers the insights and strategies they need to build their produce business.”