Sprouts Farmers Market has joined the distribution channel of Pod Foods, which connects retailers and brands in a “virtualized wholesale” supply chain via an online B2B marketplace with built-in logistics.
Austin, Texas-based Pod Foods said Thursday that it will provide about 130 Sprouts stores with immediate access to its “virtual warehouse” of emerging consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. The stores will be served by a new Pod Foods warehouse in Florida covering a distribution network spanning from that state to Tennessee.
“We’re extremely excited to announce this new partnership with Sprouts, which speaks to the market need for Pod Foods,” Larissa Russell, co-founder and CEO of Pod Foods, said in a statement. “Traditional distributors are unable to match the speed of our placement process, and both national and regional chains across the U.S. have taken notice.”
Pod Foods noted that its model supports “an infinite array of trending products,” which allows retailers to quickly reset and continuously expand their inventory to meet changing customer needs. The company said its virtualized wholesale solution solves the problem of supply chain delays by linking grocery retailers with emerging and local brands across the United States in real time so they can procure from emerging brands and receive orders in a consolidated manner, accelerating the speed to shelf.
The solution tracks consumer and product demand at the regional level via a data-driven discovery engine, enabling stores to curate inventory accordingly, according to Pod Foods. With the entire marketplace hosted on a single distribution platform, retailers can leverage in-store marketing support, data analytics, personalized product recommendations and optimized fulfillment, as built-in automation ensures the product flow isn’t disrupted, the company said. As a result, retailers still receive the logistics support from traditional distributors but with more advanced data and support to navigate potential shortages or delays.
“As consumer preferences continue to drive product demand and retailers look to new strategies to keep shelves stocked, Pod Foods is the catalyst driving a new wave of procurement, customization and customer satisfaction,” Russell added.
Pod Foods said the Southeast distribution facility has begun making its first deliveries to Sprouts stores. Overall, Phoenix-based Sprouts operates about 380 fresh, natural and organic grocery stores in 23 states nationwide.
The partnership with Sprouts furthers Pod Foods U.S. expansion. Currently, the company has distribution centers strategically positioned to serve all regions of the country, including the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, West Coast, Southeast and New England. Other retail banners enlisting Pod Foods’ solution include Whole Foods Market, H-E-B’s Central Market, Good Food Holdings’ Bristol Farms, Mom’s Organic Market, Plum Market, Foxtrot, Gopuff, Dom’s Kitchen & Market, Westborn Market, Erewhon Market and Pete’s Market.