EcoZip Products Hits Grocery Store Shelves with the Help of Ahold USA

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Ahold USA helps EcoZip prosper in a competitive market.

EcoZip products can now be found in local grocery stores thanks to the Help of Ahold USA.

While Occupy Wall Street sparked worldwide discussion and debate over the corruption and greed in America, remarkable things can happen when both big and small business work together for a common goal.

When the books are lined with zeros and all the big retailers can say is "go build a success story and then come back with your product," what is a fledgling company to do?

Be Satori, the company behind the convenient EcoZip bag, ran up against this roadblock time and time again. Without the opportunity for success there was no way they could elevate their product to compete against the big guns like Hefty, Glad, and Ziploc. Thankfully they found their savior in the form of Ahold USA, a major U.S. grocery retailer that owns banners such as Giant, Stop&Shop, Martins, and Peapod online grocery delivery service. Through the partnership and tutorage of such a large company, Be Satori found new hope for adding diversity to the shelf.

Like its name suggests, Be Satori is a small, minority owned business with a mission to open consumers' eyes to alternative products that can help them live better lives. Their first creation, EcoZip bags, not only save space and promote portion control, but also reduce waste and help people live more eco-conscious lives without sacrificing convenience. "We had a great product." said BeSatori's CEO Mariagrazia LaFauci. "The only problem was that most retailers won't open up the door unless you are already on the radar."

As the creators of Be Satori would later say, their partnership with Ahold was a "win-win." Ahold saw the opportunity to bring a new innovative product to the shelf and in the same swoop give a small business an opportunity to get on the map . "With bigger companies offering large marketing and advertising incentives to get placement on the shelf, it is often not possible for a small company to compete with that," states LaFauci.

Meaghan Doherty, a buyer for Ahold's Stop & Shop chain, realized the potential EcoZip bags could have in a category that was stale, and jumped at the opportunity to bring their product on board.

Ahold went on to become not only their first major retail customer, but also a mentor for the burgeoning company. James Sturgis and his team at Ahold were able to give them the know-how to service big customers and promote their product, ultimately landing them shelf space in retailers like Hannaford, SweetBay, The Fresh Market, Duane Reade, Roundy’s, and more.

"One of the reasons our program exists is to find innovative products that can help give us a leg up on our competitors. The EcoZip product fit that bill," said Director of Supplier Diversity and Trade Relations James Sturgis. "We're excited to have them as part of our product portfolio."

Working closely with Larry Vereen, Manager of Supplier Diversity and Trade Relations, Be Satori was given expert advice about making intelligent decisions on marketing and promoting their products in Ahold Stores.

"He always made us feel comfortable and that no question was a dumb question," said LaFauci about Vereen. "Mentoring like that in this business can be hard to find."

In the years to come Be Satori will continue to promote consumption awareness and living a more eco-conscious life. They have big plans for motivating others to follow the path of entrepreneurship, and already give opportunities to others starting out. Through the Summer Search foundation they are able to provide low income kids with a taste of a business environment and encourage them to succeed academically. They are happy to share their contacts and knowledge with other inventors and frequently spend time at the Women's Business Development Center in Philly talking about their business and spreading the excitement for following a dream.

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Nicki Thomas
ChicExecs PR
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