United Natural Foods Inc. announced that Ron Selders has been named president of Fresh where he will lead the company’s growth strategy for its deli, bakery, produce and meat departments.
Selders’ appointment was effective December 26, and he will report to Steve Dietz, UNFI’s chief customer officer.
“Food retailers continue to invest in their fresh departments as they represent one of the most important growth areas in the grocery store, in addition to being a main driver in how retailers stand out against their competition,” Dietz said in the announcement. “Ron has extensive experience in the fresh categories and working with the supplier community, and we expect this experience, combined with his strong understanding of customers’ operational expectations, to benefit our retail customers as they seek tailored solutions to enhance the consumer experience. He’s a proven leader and someone I’m confident will help our Fresh teams build and deliver an even stronger set of products and solutions for our customers going forward.”
Selders joined UNFI through the acquisition of Tony’s Fine Foods in 2014 and became president of the division in 2018. He had previously spent 18 years in leadership roles at Tony’s, helping grow the family-owned specialty deli distribution business across the West Coast. In 2021, Selders was promoted to UNFI’s senior vice president of Bakery & Deli where he led the respective sales, merchandising and category management teams across the entire organization. During his UNFI tenure, Selders also helped lead the further expansion of Tony’s prepared foods and bakery and deli offerings across the country, as well as create a center-led specialty cheese department across the United States with initiatives such as the American Artisan program, which aims to bring smaller cheese producers greater visibility and sales opportunities within grocery stores.
With Selders’ promotion, current UNFI vice president of Bakery & Deli, Jody Barrick, has been elevated to senior vice president of Bakery & Deli.
Barrick joined UNFI through the acquisition of SUPERVALU and brings over 30 years of success leading the sales, merchandising and marketing functions of bakery and deli teams to the role. Barrick also serves on the executive board of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association.
“Large-scale changes to shopping and eating behaviors, especially as more meals are consumed in the home, have put a stronger focus on the perimeter of the grocery store and its offerings,” Selders said in the announcement. “These changes represent a tremendous opportunity for retailers, and I look forward to working with our fresh teams to deliver wide-ranging and innovative products to help our customers grow and thrive.”