Habor Wholesale Foods


News. Blog. Announcements.


January 14, 2020

About The RDC Sales Team
Harbor’s team members serve customers all throughout the Pacific Northwest from Northwest Washington to Northern California. This month, we are highlighting our Sales Team based out of our Roseburg Distribution Center (RDC). Our RDC team is focused on ensuring our customers have the right products in the right places and support customer foodservice operations. They are obsessed with our customer’s success!

About The Newly Added NorCal Territory
Earlier this year, we officially added NorCal as a territory in our business. Since being officially added, it has become the number one growth area on the RDC team. The NorCal team serves both chain and individually operated stores, helping both groups of customers grow their business’ and be as successful as possible. Mountain Market stores, who was featured earlier this year in the Retail Solutions book, is one of NorCal’s customers.

Thank you RDC Sales Team for serving our customers and being obsessed with their success each and every day!

Terrebonne Thriftway in Terrebonne, OR with Territory Sales Manager Jerry Cummings and Store Solutions Rep Jeni Cox.
Regional Sales Manager Gary Duffy and Territory Sales Manager Ryan Wells with Janet from Lincoln Store in Salem, OR.

New Products From Hostess

December 9, 2019

Before your taste buds were even born, Hostess was making, creating and perfecting some of the tastiest snack cakes around. The rest, as they say, is sweet, sweet history.

Consumers are consistently voting with their dollars when it comes to Hostess, and hostess has some new and exciting products for 2020! New products include Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes, Triple Chocolate Brownies and Birthday Cup Cake.

Birthday cake has been growing flavors across categories, from cookies, to candies, to health foods. Consumers love these flavors! In fact, sales for Birthday Cake flavored items has grown by more than 20% since 2017 according to Nielsen. Among Millenials, sales for Birthday Cake flavored items has increased by more than 260% over the same time period, according to New York Times.

Cream Cheese is the #1 coffee cake flavor preference after Cinnamon Streusel when it comes to Hostess products. The new Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes are swirled into a buttery coffee cake base to make them rich and delicious and go great with coffee!

Hostess Triple Chocolate Brownies are made with real chocolate and has chocolate chips in every bite! Chocolate brownies, with chocolate chips and chocolate icing on top? What’s not to love about this new product!

Hostess turns everyday moments into small celebrations with these new items, and your customers are sure to love them.

We Are Northwest Fresh

December 9, 2019

The increasing customer demand for healthier, ready-to-eat options from convenience stores creates new opportunities for retailers. Take advantage of customer needs, wants, and in turn, grow sales.

With our new agreement with Partnership For A Healthier America (PHA), timing has never been better to add better-for-you and healthy products to your store. This product list is made up of products approved by PHA’s Healthier Food and Beverage Guidelines.

Try adding some of these items to your store for better visibility & increased sales when it comes to healthy foods!

41% of consumers want snacks that provide an energy boost, while 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks with health attributes according to the Hartman Group’s The Future Of Snacking Study.

Why should you expand your Water & Sparkling Water Category?

November 13, 2019

What is driving the increase in water sales?

With more consumers putting a focus on low calories beverages, Water and Sparkling Water products are seeing a spike in sales. According to a 2016 report from NACS, bottled water outshined soda in sales for the first time in U.S. history. Bottled water producers, like Nestle Waters & Perrier products, pointed to America’s desiring portable, calorie-free beverages for the increase in bottled water sales. This trend is predicted to continue in the coming years.

Another driving force behind the increase in Water sales in Partnership For A Healthier America (PHA) working with both NACS and wholesalers like Harbor Wholesale Foods.

Partnership For A Healthier America is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected healthy and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments, like increasing water sales, and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Harbor Wholesale began working with PHA in 2019 establishing goals to make healthier food options more readily available through the Pacific Northwest.

What products can you add to your store?

Sparkling water is experiencing extreme growth in the Convenience channel and is not expected to slow any time soon. Experts anticipate category sales ($) to double in the next three years. 67% of new sparkling water customers are entering through flavors. Having a broad flavor variety is critical to capture new and returning customers.

When it comes to flavor, variety, and being PHA approved, Perrier has you covered! With flavors like L’Orange, Watermelon, Peach, Pink Grapefruit classics like Original, there’s a flavor every customer will love. Plus, Perrier products are contributing to Sparkling Water market growth.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to add better-for-you products to your store to appeal to every customer. Harbor Wholesale is here to help make sure you have the best product selection available in your store. If you’re interested in learning more about PHA approved and Perrier products, talk to your Harbor Wholesale Sales Representative! Here’s to a healthier 2020 and beyond!

New Products From Haribo

November 7, 2019

Haribo is contributing the most (42%) everyday sugar growth dollars to the U.S. Confectionery Category! With this growth, they’re stretching their share lead further with the release of Haribo Watermelon and Haribo Sour Bites.

Harbio Watermelon, the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

With the gummy market expanding, Haribo has responded to this demand by launching these new products. The Z!ng line includes long, sugar-dusted strands called “streamer”. Their ‘playful’ nature encourages customers to try one flavor at a time – each one is a different color and flavor – and eat them by twisting, rolling or pilling. The new Sour Brites were launched at the Sweets & Snack Expo along with the part-sour Watermelon gummies.

The new Watermelon gummies include three layers, include one marshmallow layer, so they’re the perfect combination of sweet and sour.

Sour & fun Haribo Sour Bites

Both of these products hope to appeal to a wide customer market. Haribo is synonymous with gummy candy, and customers love their fruit flavored gummies. They’re the perfect addition to any candy aisle. Talk to your Harbor Rep to learn more!

Conagra Brands Showcases Snack Innovation Lineup at NACS Show

November 7, 2019

Conagra Brands, Inc. is bringing its most savage lineup of snacks innovation ever to the 2019 NACS Show, presented by the National Association of Convenience Stores, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Oct. 2 – 4. Conagra Brands’ $2 billion snacks business is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the food industry, and the company is doubling down on creating head-snapping products in the meat snacks, seeds, popcorn, sweet treats, and specialty categories.

“Snacking is on fire,” said Burke Raine, vice president and general manager, Snacks & Sweet Treats for Conagra Brands. “Conagra has a proven approach to innovating and growing brands, which we’re applying to our Snacks & Sweet Treats portfolio. We’re accelerating growth with Slim Jim, DAVID, BIGS, Duke’s and more by designing products for retail customers that perfectly align with what consumers want—more protein, big flavor, new forms, and better portability.”

Conagra Brands is also showcasing a selection of standout merchandising vehicles. Its breakthrough displays, racks and shelving units are designed to enable the right assortment and optimal shopping ability to drive impulse purchase of snacks at convenience stores.

Breakfast On-The-Go Just Got Better With Aunt Jemima Pancake Cups

October 14, 2019

Making pancakes just got simpler with Aunt Jemima Pancake On-The-Go Cups! Simply add water, stir, and microwave for a perfectly fluffy pancake in a cup that you can enjoy at home, at work, or on-the-go.

These pancake cups are available in two flavors- Chocolate Chip and Buttermilk & Maple. With the quick and easy preparation, this exciting new product is well positioned for the breakfast anytime trend!

Aunt Jemima is the #1 pancake brand in the mix with broad consumer appeal. These pancake cups have real pancake texture and are soft and fluffy.

How to Prepare Aunt Jemima Pancake On-The Go:

Remove lid and add 1/4 cup of water. Stir thoroughly with a fork ensuring the sides and bottom are clear of mix. Microwave on high for 70 seconds.


Flavor chips are included in the mix. They will melt when heated and add delicious flavor and texture to every bite. Aunt Jemima syrup is the perfect addition to these cups!

Aunt Jemima Pancake On-The-Go products are available now from Harbor! Talk to your Harbor Rep to add this new breakfast innovation to your store!

Oberto Snacks Inc is leading the trends with new fresh takes and low sugar items

October 9, 2019

Oberto Snacks Inc is going all-in to satisfy the growing consumer demand for low sugar and fresh refrigerated snacks.  Through intensive research and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, the company’s leading brands (Cattleman’s Cut and Oberto Specialty Meats) are launching a wealth of new products aimed at these growing snacking trends. And from early results, both retailers and consumers are, pardon the pun, eating it up.

“More and more, consumers are searching for savory, low-sugar snacking satisfaction.  We’ve seen these trends play out across categories and have invested in our processes to address this growing consumer need.” said Stephen Oberto, VP of marketing and great grandson of founder Constantino Oberto.

The focus on lower-sugar starts with the all new jerky and smoked sausages from Oberto.  For example, new Oberto Original Beef Jerky boasts 27% less sugar and 20% more protein than the current formula. Additionally, the flavor and texture will be enhanced with a new process that includes natural wood smoke and a tenderizing step.  And the enhanced products don’t stop with traditional jerky. New Oberto Smoked Sausages and Butcher’s Cut Bacon have less than 1 gram of sugar as well as unbelievable taste and texture consumers are sure to love.

In its ongoing pursuit to satisfy the cravings of heavy meat snack users, Cattleman’s Cut has its own low-sugar jerky and smoked sausages.   New Frontier Style Beef jerky is thinly-sliced to create a longer chew and boasts a more savory taste with 50% more protein and 75% less sugar than the leading jerky. The Cattleman’s Cut brand is bullish on this new product, as a large subset of heavy meat snack consumers strongly prefer Frontier Style Jerky to more traditional jerky. These heavy users have largely been ignored by the innovation in the category and represent a massive growth opportunity. Additionally, the Cattleman’s Cut Double Smoke Sausages have hit a cord with consumers.  Double smoked for double the flavor – Cattleman’s Cut uses real hardwood smoke blended with bold, savory ingredients for a delicious flavor with 0 grams of Sugar.

In addition to low sugar, fresh-focused snacking is on the rise. While overall snacking growth was flat in 20181, refrigerated meat, cheese, cracker and dessert snacks’ dollar sales were up 13%.2

“Convenient protein-packed snacks in the refrigerated section are on fire.  We feel very confident that our Cattleman’s Cut and Oberto Specialty Meats  brands are poised to drive even more growth in this segment,” Stephen Oberto added. Cattleman’s Cut is coming out with a new line of Smoked Sausage & Cheese refrigerated products that pairs its delicious smoked sausage with equally delicious smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella and smoked pepper jack cheeses.  The combos will extend the Cattleman’s brand into new territory, reaching new consumers who are looking for a fresher taste.

For Oberto Specialty Meats, the brand is leveraging its 101 year heritage by releasing new imported Italian Charcuterie. Artisanally produced, sliced and curated in Felino, Italyand never frozen.  The gluten-free antipasto, prosciutto and salami (which will be paired with an assortment of high-end Italian cheeses) will rival the finest fresh deli offerings. 

All of these innovations are part of an overall commitment from Oberto Snacks Inc. to produce high-end products aimed at discerning meat consumers.

“At the end of the day, we just want to make delicious, differentiated products that people love,” Oberto said. “That’s still the best recipe for success.”



Customer Feature: Fruit Valley Village

September 27, 2019

Fruit Valley Village is part of the Minit Mart family located in Vancouver, WA and selling Shell gasoline. This location recently underwent a major renovation. Owner and President Don Rhoads shared insights in what drove this renovation and how they continuously are focused on their community.

About Fruit Valley Village
Since the early 1930’s, there has been a store at the Fruit Valley Village location. Minit Mart acquired this location in 1968, and it has been part of the business ever since. The store was originally a 2,800 sq. ft. Superette grocery store but eventually transitioned to the convenience model.
Minit Mart is a family owned business much like Harbor. They have roots in the Pacific Northwest and are true partners with the areas that their locations serve.

About The Renovation
In 2018, Fruit Valley Village underwent a major renovation which was recently completed. The building built in 1968 went from 2,800 sq. ft. to a 12,000 sq. ft. shopping center to better accommodate the local community’s needs. The store itself added 1,500 sq. ft., adding a 1,200 sq. ft. kitchen with foodservice, including a teaching kitchen and commissary for the community. With the renovation, Minit Mart brought back the Superette grocery store model offering an expanded product selection and more grocery and fresh options for their customers. The decision to incorporate this model was based on the communities needs for quick, convenient, fresh food selections.

“With this renovation we’re symbolizing the community’s unique identity. From the physical design of the store and building, to the products we sell. Everything is focused on the Fruit Valley identity.” – Don Rhoads, Owner & President

Community Resources
In addition to updating the Fruit Valley Village location, tenant locations were added on property in the 12,000 sq. ft. expansion. A credit union, housing resource center, and foodbank are all tenants in the building. The overall theme of this location is to lift up the existing local populations and provide resources to help them thrive in the community. 

Thank you Fruit Valley Village and Minit Mart for partnering with Harbor!

Harbor Wholesale Foods Acquires A Portion of Food Services of America (FSA)

September 11, 2019

LACEY, Washington. September 11, 2019 – Harbor Wholesale Foods (Harbor) headquartered in Lacey, WA announced Harbor’s acquisition of a significant portion of the Food Services of America (FSA) Seattle business, including FSA’s 250,000 sq. ft. distribution facility in Kent, WA.  Harbor will assume a portion of the customer base currently served by the Kent facility, including roughly 1,700 independent restaurant operators throughout 10 counties in Western WA.  FSA Seattle’s executive leadership and several experienced and dedicated associates will be joining Harbor, creating a combined team of nearly 700 people.

Harbor and FSA share similar backgrounds as family companies and a common passion for associate growth and customer success. “The acquisition of a portion of FSA’s Seattle business aligns well with our existing culture and values,” said Harbor CEO Justin Erickson.  “We’ve grown our business over the years through our dedication to serving our independent and locally owned customer base. Our success is the result of empowering our team members to best serve our customers at every interaction. We’ve been serving NW communities for 96 years and the FSA Seattle business provides a platform to expand our presence and positive influence throughout the region.”

Acquiring FSA’s Kent Distribution Center achieves Harbor’s goal of becoming the Northwest’s premier foodservice distributor.  Harbor has roots in foodservice distribution dating back 96 years.  “As our company evolved, we shifted our focus to retail grocery and convenience store distribution. As foodservice has become the primary focus of convenience stores over the past 10+ years we’ve expanded our capabilities in foodservice to retain and grow our position as the NW’s leading convenience store distributor,” said Justin Erickson.

The Harbor location in Kent, WA will continue to be led by the current FSA executive leadership team, utilizing the same familiar systems, tools, and technology that customers and associates rely on today.  “The goal is to make the acquisition as seamless as possible, much of how Harbor and FSA do business today will not change,” Harbor CFO Jim Winkle said in a statement.

As a locally owned and operated business, with 96 years of excellent service to their customers, Harbor is the perfect distributor to fill a huge and important void in the foodservice market.  “We bring industry-leading technology, operational excellence, and competitive buying power. We put our customers first, and we’re committed to providing food and solutions to help their businesses flourish,” said Justin Erickson. “As a local distributor, we have a unique opportunity to partner with local suppliers, providing a unique mix of products versus the larger broad line distributors. The restaurant industry is more competitive than ever, and operators are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd.”