UNFI, Spartan Gain
Other stocks that performed above the average for the industry for the year included wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc., which saw top-line benefits from the incorporation of specialty foods into its mix and the ensuing addition of more traditional supermarket customers.
“Sales were extraordinarily good, so their strategy of getting into the specialty product area was a good decision,” said Wolf. “In 2012 their sales should continue to grow, so it could be a big year.”
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan Stores was a bit of an exception to the market-share rule, as its stock saw gains of 9.14% despite its struggles to drive traffic gains.
“Spartan saw negative traffic trends, but not worse than the market as a whole,” Short explained. “So on a relative basis, Spartan wasn’t really losing share, which is why their stock kind of hung in there. Spartan also is maintaining its profitability.”