Looking to expand and enhance the product mix across its market areas, Hy-Vee next year plans to host quarterly “Best of Local Brands” summits.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said it’s now accepting submissions from local vendors for the Best of Brand summits online through sourcing partner RangeMe at rangeme.com/hyveelocalsummit. The Midwestern food and drug retailer is seeking “retail ready” products in the grocery, produce, deli, general merchandise, frozen, dairy, and health and beauty aids categories.
The summits will be organized according to Hy-Vee’s eight-state trade area — more than 275 stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin — and consist of 15- to 30-minute virtual presentations from selected suppliers.
“An increasing number of Hy-Vee customers would like to be able to purchase from local vendors during their grocery shopping process, whether in-store or via our Aisles Online grocery pickup and delivery service,” according to Darren Baty, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Hy-Vee. “Supporting small, local businesses is important to us, and these quarterly summits will enable vendors in our eight-state region to present their products directly to our purchasing team and in return will ensure our team is aware of all of the incredible, locally made products that we can share with our customers.”
Solon, Ohio-based Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) and its RangeMe buyer/seller platform are helping Hy-Vee source, qualify and connect suppliers with the appropriate buyers. All sourcing and product submissions will be made via RangeMe, and ECRM will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules and facilitate face-to-face meetings with Hy-Vee buyers to introduce new and innovative products, the retailer said.
Best of Local Brands summit dates are Feb. 10-12, May 11-13, Aug. 4-6 and Nov. 3-5. All meetings will be conducted through ECRM Connect, ECRM’s virtual meeting platform. Hy-Vee said suppliers not selected will still be accessible via RangeMe and may be reviewed by Hy-Vee merchants again in the future.