Habor Wholesale Foods


News. Blog. Announcements.

Crunchy is the new gummy

July 9, 2020

Crunchy crawlers is a new, break-though innovation. This product was a 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo “Best in Show” winner! This product has a poppable shape with a thin, candy shell & chewy fruity center. There is a sour flavor combination of: Raspberry-orange, lime-cherry and strawberry-watermelon. Each piece is a mashup of two signature trolli flavors for an out of this world experience!

Crunchy Crawlers will be a success at the shelf! 38% of consumers are eating more candy because of better textures. Sensory excitement is the largest consumer need, and sour candy is growing!

Trolli’s owned social media channels will feature a series of rich interactive posts dedicated to the Crunchy Crawlers for a highly engaged audience and consumer awareness. Content will come to life with a variety of formats and drive awareness of product attributes and reasons to believe – all with a crunchy twist! Trolli brans has a ton of momentum, fueled by strong growth in core sales, brand awareness and marketing investment!

If you’re interested in adding Crunch Crawlers to your store, talk with your Harbor Sales Rep!

Salty snacks see steady growth across all demographics

July 9, 2020

In a fast-paced world where consumers’ lifestyles and identities are quickly evolving, so too are their expectations around food. Great-tasting food is still incredibly important. But it’s become table-stakes, because in today’s world, consumers need so much more from the brands they buy. Consumers are seeking elevated experiences, creating a more personalized approach to overall wellness (including mental health), and looking for innovation to aid in quick, and expressive decision-making.
(McKinsey & Company).

All snack food types are winning in the morning, and on & off munching has become less sweet while savory is growing.

Salty Snacks is one of the strongest performing categories in C-Stores, generating $15.76 in revenue per 100 store visitors, well above average for the channel.

Salty Snacks has very strong appeal to a variety of ethnic groups, as Hispanic (18%) and African American (14%) shoppers are heavily overrepresented relative to their storewide averages.
Caucasian shoppers, who represent the lion’s share of shoppers storewide, under-index at 66% of Salty shoppers. Salty Snacks shoppers also are slightly younger than the general shopping
populace of the stores. Millennials represent 52% of Salty shoppers, on the high side of average, while Children under 18 account for 2% (above average).
(Videomining 2019)

Lunch (11 AM-2 PM) is the key daypart for Salty Snacks, accounting for 20% of daily sales. No single aspect of its performance peaks at Lunch, but its overall exposure, engagement, and closure are all at near-daily highs. Salty performed very well during Late Night, generating 7.4 buyers per 100 store visitors. Overall, there are fewer people in stores during this daypart, so the daypart only accounts for 9% of daily sales.
(Videomining 2019)

Warehouse Salty is up +1.3% in the Pacific Division over the past year. Chex Mix, Bugles, and Gardetto’s are all in the Top 10 brands for the region. Gardetto’s Original Snack Mix is the #1 item by dollar sales in the market, followed by Cheez It Grab N Go Cheddar 3oz. Gardetto’s Rye Chips, Chex Mix Traditional 3.75oz, Chex Muddy Buddies.

Article content provided by General Mills.

Crystal Geyser: #1 In The West. Naturally.

April 15, 2020

When you drink Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water you’re tasting delicious, fresh, pure spring water bottled right at the mountain source. New for 2020, Crystal Geyser has built their own recycled PET plant. This means that Crystal Geyser’s new bottles will be a minimum of 50% recycled PET. Soon, bottles will be 100% PET, closing the sustainability loophole.

The new PET plant processes over 35 million pounds of recycled PET plastic (nearly 1 billion bottles). It also saves over 11 million gallons of crude oil and will eliminate 11.5 million pounds of carbon emissions.

Contrary to popular belief, the single use plastic bottle (PET), collected for recycling, presents a better balance for the different environmental impacts than glass bottles or aluminum cans because the plastic bottle uses far less energy, materials and requires less transportation because it is usually manufactured on site at the bottling plant.

100% recyclable, the PET bottle perfectly preserves the integrity of Crystal Geyer’s natural spring water when it is bottled at the source. In Crystal Geyser’s most popular product size – 500mL – the amount of PET has dropped more than 60% over the last 30 years, which means a smaller environmental impact. Flexible and resistant, PET plastic bottles do not break. Compared to glass, it’s a safer package for everyone.

The PET bottles are the clear winner for bottled water. PET water bottled are 100% recyclable, require less energy to make, keep the water safe and protected and have the smallest carbon footprint compared to glass and aluminum. Using alternatives to PET (cans, glass, and paperboard) generated 60% more greenhouse gas emissions than plastic bottles.

Information provided by Crystal Geyser.

Meat Snacks Up 44% in Sales Growth Over The Last 7 Years

April 13, 2020

Meat Snacks continue their explosive growth, averaging +6% per year for the past 7 years, and is projected to hit $3.35 Billion in 2020.  Meat Snack growth is in the top 5% of all food category growth in retail stores.

What’s Driving The Growth?
Consumer lifestyle changes. “One in three U.S. consumers indicated they were following a specific diet or eating pattern. Many of these trending nutrition plans put limits on carbohydrate and sugar intake” (Berry 2019).  This increased following of diets that prioritize fat and protein intake are fueling the meat snack category, and are gaining traction year after year.

Meat Snacks are growing +8% in Northwest convenience stores this year. Most notably, consumers are switching to larger sized packages.  For example, standard (3-5 oz) size jerky sales declined ($500k) in the Northwest, while extra-large (>8 oz) jerky/sticks grew +$2.1 million! extra-large sizes now represent 35% of jerky sales, which is double from a few years ago.  Popular large size products on the Harbor schematic include Oberto 9 oz jerky, Cattleman’s Cut 10 oz jerky, and Old Trapper 10 oz jerky.  These items retail for ~$15.00 and are a great way to increase transaction size in the store.

Meat Sticks grew +18.6% in the Northwest this year.  Oberto Cocktail Pep and Smok-A-Roni are the two top selling stick items.  Bavarian Meats Landjaeger and Slim Jim Monster 1.94 oz items also have notably high velocities in the Northwest and Harbor.

Bulk products account for 19% of Sales
Bulk, or unwrapped jerky represents 19% of total meat snack sales.  The Tillamook bulk program is the most popular in their modular display, as is the Oberto Cocktail Pep counter top display.  Bulk Products accounted for 22% of all $ sales in 2018, this decrease from 22% to 19% is driven by bulk consumers trading up to larger packaged sticks.

Path Of Progress: Jacob Ritchie

April 6, 2020

Jacob started at Harbor two years ago in the role of Delivery Driver. In his time with the company, he has transitioned to a leadership role, becoming a Driver Supervisor. His prior experience and work ethic have helped him to succeed at Harbor.

Q: How did you make the transition from where you started to where you are now?

J: Coming from the military and being in a supervisory role there made the transition smooth. Being in a leadership role isn’t easy by any means, but having experience definitely makes a difference.

Q: How long have you been with Harbor?

J: I have been with Harbor for 1 year and 11 months.

Q: Any advice for advancing your career at Harbor?

J: Continue learning and improve everyday. You might be good at what you do but always ask yourself where can I suceed or get better.

Q: What roles have you held at Harbor?

J: I have been a Driver and Driver Supervisor here at Harbor.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality to have to get your career started at Harbor?

J: A good work ethic is key. Showing up at the right time ready to work and get the job done as efficiently as possible.

Path of Progress: Kristina Merritt

March 30, 2020

Kristina joined the Harbor team in 2017 as our Accounts Payable Lead. Since joining our accounting department, she’s been a part of their department’s growth, eventually transitioning to her current role of Accounts Payable Supervisor.

Q: How did you make the transition from where you started to where you are now?

K: My initial role at Harbor began with a newly established position to support our AP team.  I had over 10 years of diverse accounting experience across many different industries. Harbor saw potential to strengthen our AP team structure by hiring me as a lead.

Q: How long have you been with Harbor?

K: I have been with Harbor for almost three years.  I often look back at where our team transitioned to modern, paperless workflow management, creating a huge turning point for our team within my first year.

Q: Any advice for advancing your career at Harbor?

K: I believe in order to truly advance your career at Harbor you need to be very versatile and resourceful.  Career advancement requires outside of the box thinking, being capable of wearing multiple ‘hats’, and ability to cross departmental lines to expand your knowledge and growth. If you are someone who is determined to find the answers you seek, then Harbor is the right fit.

Q: What roles have you held at Harbor?

K: I began as an AP lead for the accounting team in 2017.  Our enterprise has grown exponentially since then, creating the opportunity to lead further, by being promoted a year later as manager for our AP team.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality to have to get your career started at Harbor?

K: Harbor carries unique opportunities to those who are motivated to be in the driver seat of their own success.  If you are they type that can overcome any obstacle, likes fast paced, collaborative, team environments then your career at Harbor can, and will mature.  Although we have become a large enterprise, the family dynamic at Harbor is quite unique and beyond commendable.  Simply put, this unique motivator puts success in the hands of the individual and their teams.  In twenty years, I have not found in any other public or private enterprise that can compare to Harbor.

Path Of Progress: Hunter Nooney

March 20, 2020

Hunter started at Harbor in 2018 as an Order Selector. Through his passion of learning new things and hard work, he transitioned to his current role of Freezer/Cooler Supervisor. Hunter shared some thoughts on his path of progress during his time at Harbor.

Q: How did you make the transition from where you started to where you are now?

H: My first role at Harbor was as an Order Selector, but I was given the opportunity to work in different departments throughout the warehouse. I also went out on routes with the Drivers for a week. With the cross-training that I had received I was able to float between different departments and help out where needed.

After working for a few months I was offered the role of Order Selection Trainer. In this role I was partially responsible for the onboarding of new hires and helping them get acclimated to the flow of work in the warehouse. This position also helped me practice my leadership skills and begin to learn even more about the company. In addition to training new hires I was able to help Supervisors with some of their day-to-day tasks and learn more about what specifically went in to their job.

Management was very supportive of my desire to learn more about the company and to develop my leadership skills. The support from Operations leadership and my desire to learn more about Harbor is what allowed me to reach my current position.

Q: How long have you been with Harbor?

H: I have been with Harbor since 11/08/2018.

Q: Any advice for advancing your career at Harbor?

H: My advice for advancing your career at Harbor is to adhere to the company values of genuine, motivated, resourceful, and friendly.

Q: What roles have you held at Harbor?

H: I have been an Order Selector in various departments, an Order Selection Trainer, and my present role as the Freezer/Cooler Supervisor.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality to have to get your career started at Harbor?

H:  I think the most important quality to have is the desire to learn new things about Harbor and how it operates.

Path Of Progress: Joy Stidd

March 16, 2020

Joy started at Harbor in 2015 as a Credit Clerk. Through her years at Harbor, she’s worked in different roles within Customer Service eventually transitioning to her current role of Customer Service & Sales Support Lead.

Q: How did you make the transition from where you started to where you are now?

J: I made the effort to become an authority in my roles at Harbor. I learned everything I could about how the Customer Service Department works and how we interacted with other departments across the company. I want to be the best at what I do, and I never stopped learning. I made sure my supervisor was aware that I wanted more and was willing to put in the time and effort it would take to move forward.

Q: How long have you been with Harbor?

J: It will be 5 years in July

Q: Any advice for advancing your career at Harbor?

J: Be open to every opportunity that comes your way. You also have to take responsibility for your own growth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to approach your supervisor about ideas, and never stop asking what else you can do. If you are willing to put in the effort you will get so much out of working here at Harbor.

Q: What roles have you held at Harbor?

J: I started as a Credit Clerk, then promoted to Customer Service Rep, then to Sales Support Admin, and finally I am now the Customer Service and Sales Support Lead

Q: What do you think is the most important quality to have to get your career started at Harbor?

J: Perseverance. Do the best you can every day. If you are showing that you want what is best for the company and you are growing, it will be noticed. It will not happen overnight, but Harbor is growing. I firmly believe that if you want it and work hard you will get there.

2020 Harbor Tradeshow Cancellation

March 3, 2020

Due to risk factors associated with the Coronavirus (COVID 19) we will be cancelling our upcoming tradeshows; March 12th and 13th in Tacoma, WA and March 26th and 27th in Canyonville, OR. While we believe the risk of contracting Coronavirus is low, we’re taking extra precautions to ensure that we don’t expose our team members, valued customers, and supplier partners to unnecessary risk. We’re seeing other events being cancelled across the country and carefully watching the decisions made by our local officials, health departments, and corporate leaders across the country. Your health and safety is of utmost importance and we felt it was imperative to do our part in limiting the opportunity for the virus to potentially spread further.

Please understand, this was a difficult decision for our company, we sincerely appreciate and enjoy your friendships, fun, and learning we share together each year. Those of you who know Harbor, know we’re here for the long haul and we’ll have a chance to celebrate together throughout the year and look forward to an incredible show in 2021.

Get To Know Our Transportation Department

February 6, 2020

If you have ordered product from Harbor, then chances are you’ve interacted with someone from our transportation department. Our transportation team is vital to ensuring product makes it out the doors from our warehouse to the shelves of our customers’ stores.

About The Team
Between LDC & RDC distribution centers, the transportation team is 95
members strong. There are several roles that contribute to the success of
the team. Delivery Drivers are the team members taking the product into
stores. They take care of customers and safely negotiate the daily hazards of driving a semi-truck in and around gas stations or strip mall parking lots.
The team also has Shuttle Drivers who travel the freeways getting the
loaded trailers to the Delivery Drivers who live in other areas of the states
we serve. Shuttle Drivers will also bring the empty trailers back to the
distribution centers. Driver Assistants are often team members who have
started in the Warehouse and want to start a driving career at Harbor.
Driver Assistants help on the longer, heavier routes assisting Delivery
Drivers unload. The transportation team also has a group of Administrative
Professionals who are behind the scenes every day making sure stops are
routed correctly, laying out how the trailer will be loaded, and communicating between departments and the transportation team. All of these individuals come together to ensure our customers are receiving on time and accurate orders.

Delivery Drivers start at seven different satellite hubs in addition to our two distribution centers: Mount Vernon, Everett, Pasco, Yakima, Vancouver, Medford, Bend and Redding.

How A Route Works
Harbor’s routes start at all hours of morning and night. On an average day, a Delivery Driver working nights start around 10pm, whereas a day route Driver starts around 3AM. Before starting the route, the Driver will ensure his driving logs are up to date and accurate, ensuring no customers are missed on the route. He checks his paperwork to see if there are any special instructions, what stops he has that day, and how the load looks. Before heading out on a route, a pre-trip inspection of the entire truck is conducted. This is one of the most important action items a Driver will do before setting out on the route. This inspection ensures the truck and trailer are in working condition. At Harbor, we take our responsibility as professional drivers very seriously.

The first stop for a Driver can be anywhere from ten minutes to three hours away. All routes are consistent, so our customers see the same friendly faces each week to develop relationships with their Delivery Driver. A Driver typically has anywhere from 12-15 stops on his route, and the entire load on the truck for these deliveries can weight up to 20,000 pounds! For most routes, everything is unloaded by one Driver, pushed into each store or restaurant one load at a time.

Our team has grown a lot over the years, and like everyone, they rely on technology more than ever for safety and order accuracy. Our team has gone from filling out paper driver logs and manually counting every piece delivered, to electronic logs on an in-cab computer and scanning orders for proof of delivery. As we continue to develop our use of these technologies, consolidating systems and simplifying data will lead to even more efficiencies and serving our customers even better in the future.