At Seward Co-op we are always looking for products that will delight our customers and align with our values as a trusted retailer of local, organic and natural products. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you, look at your products, and discuss a potential partnership. We hope that the following information will be helpful as you prepare to bring your products to market. Here are a few steps we ask that you take before you submit products for consideration:
- Please verify that the items meet our product standards listed below.
- Prepare the new vendor/product information described below.
- Drop off a product sample and information at our Customer Service desk OR contact one of the following department buyers to schedule a meeting.
Grocery Buyer (612-230-5555)
Fresh Departments (Cheese, Meat, Produce)
Fresh Departments Buyer (612-230-5549)
Fresh Foods Merchandising Coordinator (612-230-5555)
Wellness, Home, Gifts
Wellness Buyer (612-230-5572)
We prioritize the following products:
- Items requested by our owners
- High-quality, whole or minimally processed foods
- P6 products which meet 2 of 3 criteria: 1.) Produced locally (MN, WI, IA, ND, and SD), 2.) Produced by a small company, 3.) Produced by a co-op or non-profit
- Fair-trade Certified
- Certified Organic
- Free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
- Products that meet unique needs in our community
- Products that minimize environmental impacts in production, packaging, shipping, use, and disposal
- Seafood that is sustainably sourced and products from animals that are raised humanely
- Products from producers that share Seward Co-op’s values and run their businesses ethically and sustainably
We do not sell products with the following ingredients or attributes:
- Artificial colors (e.g., Yellow No. 5), flavors (e.g., vanillin), sweeteners (e.g., aspartame), or preservatives (e.g., sodium benzoate)
- Trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils)
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Irradiated foods
- Products that are tested on animals
- Meat from animals that have been treated with preventative antibiotics, added hormones, growth promoters, or animal by-products used in feed
- Seafood that is flagged orange or red by the Blue Ocean Institute
The information we require varies depending on the type of product we are reviewing. Typically, we will need:
- Contact person’s name, email, and address, along with a website address, if applicable
- A product sample in market-ready packaging including:
- Complete, accurate ingredients list with allergen listing that meets FDA requirements
- Nutrition facts panel or supplement facts panel, if required by regulatory agencies
- Accurate product weight
- Expiration date and/or lot code for tracing products
- Ideally, a UPC number (bar code)
- Costs & terms:
- Wholesale cost
- Suggested retail price (if applicable)
- Shipping & handling charges
- Preferred payment terms. In general, Seward Co-op provides payment by check within 30 days from the date the invoice is received. We do not provide payments by credit card.
- Quantity per case and minimum order quantities
- Order placement options (e.g., phone, email, website)
- Method and timeline of deliveries and invoicing. We prefer to receive an invoice with each delivery.
- Returns / credits policy
- Opportunities for promotional support (such as in-store product sampling and product discounts). If we determine that your product is P6 (see our product standards above and www.p6.coop), we will request a brief profile about your company along with a photo to help us promote your products.