Wakefern Seeking Suppliers For Own Brands Summit

For the second consecutive year, the cooperative is focused on identifying new vendors for its Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry brands.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Wakefern Food Corp. is seeking applications from product suppliers for its Own Brands Supplier Diversity Summit. The retail-owned cooperative is on the hunt for new food and beverage products for its Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry own brands.

Certified Diverse private label manufacturers and suppliers interested in participating in Wakefern’s Own Brands Supplier Diversity Summit may submit an application through RangeMe from Jan. 9-23. Certified minority, LGBTQ+, woman, veteran and disability-owned businesses with products or services in the listed categories may apply.

Wakefern’s private label team will consider submissions for virtual pitch meetings and finalists will have the opportunity to attend a one-day summit in June 2023 at Wakefern’s headquarters, where they will present their innovative products to a panel of executives. The strongest products will be selected for potential addition to the Bowl & Basket or Wholesome Pantry brands with a goal of establishing long-term partnerships. 

At this time, Wakefern will not be accepting submissions for non-food items, supplemental and nutritional items, or baby food.

“We are excited to expand on the success of our first Own Brands Supplier Summit,” said Bryant Harris, chief merchandising officer at Wakefern. “We are particularly looking forward to meeting with a variety of diverse manufacturers to learn more about their unique products. At Wakefern, we know that embracing diversity fosters creativity and strengthens our product offerings and services.”

The Bowl & Basket brand was awarded the Private Label Manufacturers Association Salute to Excellence Award in 2021 and its Wholesome Pantry brand received two Private Label Manufacturers Association Salute to Excellence Awards in 2017. 

In 2022, Wakefern’s summit had four winners, the products of which are expected to hit stores early this year. They are.

  • Delica North America: Bean-to-bar Swiss chocolate and confection facility Delica is part of Migros Industry and one of the world’s largest own-brand producers, offering more than 20,000 products in more than 50 countries.  
  • GlutenLibre:Founded by two bakers who met in manufacturing 15 years ago, GlutenLibre offers certified gluten-free and vegan plant-based frozen dumplings. GlutenLibre only uses wholesome, all natural ingredients with no artificial flavors or colors, preservatives, nitrates, hormones or antibiotics.
  • The Perfect Bite Company: A trend-setting manufacturer that offers a “fresh take on frozen,” the Perfect Bite Company has built their business by offering a foundation of delicious foods including breakfast, single serve meals, bowls and value added vegetables and grains.
  • Prana Gourmet Foods, Inc.: New Jersey-based Prana offers innovative "On-the-Go" meal solutions that address mainstream plant-based trends. Their extensive product line includes shelf-stable meals made from rice, quinoa, and noodles in both conventional and organic varieties.