Whole & Free Foods Wins Peapod Digital Labs 2022 Incubator Program for Diverse-Owned Suppliers

CHICAGO — Peapod Digital Labs (PDL), the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine for the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA, announced the winner of its 2022 Incubator Program for diverse-owned suppliers today. The program partners with certified, diverse-owned suppliers to identify opportunities for new, exceptional quality, private-labeled products. During the two-and-a-half-month program, five participants learned from the company’s Private Brands team about the private brand structure and goals, received a concentrated look at the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA. At the end of the program, the participants proposed their product concepts for consideration during a live, in-person pitch session.

The program winner is Whole & Free Foods, a certified, women-owned business from Chicago, Ill. Co-owners Trish Thomas and Nichole Wilson founded the company to market and sell foods that are free from the top 14 allergens, corn and sugar. Additionally, they have the production capabilities to produce any cracker, crispbread, or cookie that is free from the top allergens and corn. 

“While everyone gave a great pitch, Whole & Free Foods really stood out by applying everything they learned in the Incubator,” said Amy McClamrock, Director, Private Brands Operations. “They have a unique, niche product and were able to demonstrate why it would be an asset to our private brands portfolio. Not only do they address a customer and market opportunity, but they complement our broader strategy of health & wellness and local products.”

The Private Brands team selected Whole & Free Foods based on several criteria, including product positioning, consumer/market trends, sales/market opportunity, distinctive competency, pitch delivery and private brand product fit. Whole & Free Foods will now have the opportunity to explore areas of future cooperation and collaboration with the Private Brands team.

“Our entire Private Brands Leadership Team was very impressed with each participant in this Incubator program,” said Ian Prisuta, Senior Vice President, Private Brands. “They demonstrated a passion for their products and desire to learn the private brands business. As a result, we’ve decided that we are going to explore areas and opportunities for further cooperation with each participant, not just the winner.”

This program showcases Peapod Digital Labs’ continued mission to support certified, diverse-owned suppliers and further highlighted its dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About Peapod Digital Labs 
Peapod Digital Labs is the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine of leading grocery retail group Ahold Delhaize USA. As the innovation lab for the U.S. brands, Food Lion, Giant Food, The GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, Peapod Digital Labs promotes digital and e-commerce innovation, technology and experience to meet the changing needs of customers of each Ahold Delhaize USA local brand, regardless of when, where and how consumers choose to shop. Learn more at www.peapoddigitallabs.com