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The National Grocers Association (NGA) and the the United Fresh Produce Association yesterday announced that they are partnering "to connect produce distributors to retailers."

The idea is to connect "produce distributors who can deliver fresh produce and other items with independent supermarkets on a store-door basis.  United Fresh & NGA will work with companies to assess their retail needs, as well as foodservice distribution communities and provide an opportunity for companies to network on business solutions."

“The fresh produce industry is committed to continuing to feed America. Foodservice distributors and processors have strong capabilities to deliver product, transportation and supply chain solutions in these unprecedented times,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president & CEO. “We’re pleased to partner with NGA, working in tandem to get more fresh, healthy produce items in the hands of consumers.”

“The entire food industry has come together incredibly during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, ensuring that Americans across the country have access to affordable and nutritious food,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “Our collaboration with United Fresh will improve upon what has already been accomplished, keeping independent grocers stocked with fresh produce.” 

KC's View:

It may be that this is just the beginning of a number of alliances, coalitions and even mergers that we are going to see going forward … affecting both retailers, suppliers and their trade associations.

The cultural and economic impact of the pandemic will create enormous implications for a lot of institutions, and, as an industry friend suggested to me the other day, a lot of companies will be looking for dance partners … and maybe even marriages … that will sustain them long-term.

To mix my metaphors, it will be like musical chairs … and nobody will want to be left standing when the music stops.

Watch for more of these kinds of deals, and for some of them to start as partnerships and then evolve into something more.