WATERVILLE, ME – In just eleven months, Waterville-based Maine Crisp Company turned their opportunity to stock a small local display through the Whole Foods Local Forager program into a major, 46-store distribution deal that will place Maine Crisp’s products in each of the retailer’s New England supermarkets.
By the end of October, consumers will be able to purchase Cranberry Almond and Wild Blueberry Walnut crisps at their local Whole Foods within the New England region. As its largest distribution contract with a supermarket chain – and its first to reach outside of Maine – Maine Crisp is poised for significant expansion. With the nationwide retailer’s convenience, geographic reach, and strong brand identity, Maine Crisp products will be more accessible to existing customers and more easily discovered by new consumers.
“We are thrilled to partner with Whole Foods – they are the perfect partner for us, not only for their unparalleled ability to introduce new, cheese and charcuterie-loving customers to our crisps, but also because our values align,” says Karen Getz, Maine Crisp co-founder and VP of product development. “Whole Foods, like Maine Crisp, is committed to providing their customer with the highest-quality, specialty items, and they genuinely listen to their customers’ needs. Our journey with them started because customers in Massachusetts requested that we be carried in their local Whole Foods Market, and we are so grateful that Whole Foods believed in and supported us in this new phase of growth.”
Inducted through the Whole Foods Local Forager program, Maine Crisp was selected for its unique, high-quality, locally-made product. Foragers scout local producers who meet the retailer’s strict quality standards, follow ingredients criteria, and tell a meaningful story. Though set for an October 2020 in-store launch, Maine Crisp found numerous North Atlantic stores stocking their product in featured local displays as early as September 1, with some already reordering product prior to the October deadline.
“Distribution through Whole Foods not only represents a new frontier of sales growth but also positions Maine Crisp as a market leader in the gluten-free, specialty crisp category,” explains Steve Getz, Maine Crisp’s Vice President of Marketing. “Our crisps are loved by award-winning chefs and patrons of specialty shops, and this deal is a significant milestone in our mission to bring Maine-made, tasty crisps to a wider consumer market.”
The New England-wide market penetration is an important growth milestone for Maine’s buckwheat farmers and manufacturing industries as well. Maine Crisp sources its buckwheat, a gluten-free seed that comprises the base of the crisp recipe, from Aroostook County, and manufactures the product exclusively in downtown Waterville in its 2,500 sq. ft. facility.
“Maine Crisp Company’s success contributes to driving demand for Maine-based premium products and the revitalization of Maine as New England’s bread basket,” explains Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation, and economic development at Central Maine Growth Council. “As innovative value-add producers, they capitalize on Maine’s legacy agricultural industry and pristine brand identity, while propelling it into new markets.”
Consumers interested in Maine Crisp’s gluten-free crisps can learn more and find a nearby store at mainecrisp.com.