Stater Bros. Markets on Monday kicked off a “Local Fare” virtual forum to connect with local producers and manufacturers as a way to diversify its product offerings.
Local Fare will be held through Aug. 6 on RangeMe, an online product discovery and sourcing platform, at app.rangeme.com/staterbroslocal, Stater Bros. said Monday. The Southern California grocer noted that its category managers are seeking local suppliers in all categories, particularly products with dietary attributes identified as important by shoppers, including organic, non-GMO, plant-based, gluten-free, vegan and keto.
Products eligible for Stater Bros.’ local program are grown, harvested or manufactured exclusively in California, the San Bernardino, Calif.-based retailer said, adding that buying local reduces its carbon footprint, provides unique items to customers, and contributes to state and municipal economies.
“Nurturing local families and communities, including local businesses, is at the heart of what we do,” Dennis McIntyre, executive vice president chief marketing officer at Stater Bros., said in a statement. “This initiative provides companies in our communities a larger retail footprint while our customers gain access to an expanded variety of healthy, high-quality and innovative products. It’s a win-win for local brands and our shoppers.”
Supplier submissions via RangeMe will be reviewed and selected by the Stater Bros. category management team, and the items chosen will receive free placement, the supermarket chain said. Stores will weigh factors that provide the most relevancy to the communities they serve.
Designed for retail buyers and suppliers, RangeMe’s platform uses a dashboard to put thousands of products at buyers’ fingertips, making it easier to find and compare items. Automatic alerts are sent to buyers when new products meet their selection criteria. As a result, retail buyers can more efficiently source innovative new products and manage the inbound product submission process, according to San Francisco-based RangeMe, a subsidiary of ECRM.
For suppliers, RangeMe provides greater access to retail buyers plus added control over product marketing. Suppliers can upload full details of their products to the platform for buyers to review. In addition, suppliers know when their products are being viewed and can receive feedback from buyers, while buyers can instantly contact suppliers of interest or track a product to be alerted of updates.
Stater Bros. added that suppliers not selected in the Local Fare forum will still be accessible via RangeMe and may be reviewed by the grocer’s category managers as business needs change. Overall, the chain operates 170 supermarkets in Southern California.