Watch: How Co-ops Support Small Brands

To win big, brands should consider taking small beachheads. In a presentation at NOSH Live Summer 2019 in New York City, Heidi Traore, business development manager at National Co+op Grocers, discussed how the structure and ethos of co-ops benefits both communities and small brands.

Since co-ops are owned by their members and not accountable to outside investors, they are able to operate on behalf of the brands they sell, she said, adding that co-op members are “some of the most committed natural foods shoppers in the industry.” Additionally, the ability to sell items before they go mainstream is a key feature of co-ops, Traore said, noting CBD and bone broth as examples.

“If it’s trend forward, people will see that. They want to see what the next cool, unique, funky item at the co-op is,” Traore said.

Co-op values support equality, healthy food and the environment, making the channel an excellent choice for mission-driven brands seeking to partner with businesses that share similar goals, she said.

For more about how co-ops can help elevate small brands’ stories, watch the video above.

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