Photo Release -- Unified Grocers Introduces Natural Directions -- a New Line of Natural and Organic Food Products

LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers introduces Natural Directions(r), a new line of natural and organic food products that will be sold in independent grocery stores throughout the western United States. With an initial launch of 120 dry grocery, refrigerated and frozen items, the Natural Directions product line will make healthier, earth-friendly food choices more accessible and affordable to consumers.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Over the past year, ND Foods, Inc. has collaborated with Unified's Corporate Brands department, its Market Centre subsidiary, and with natural and organic category experts including Organic Foods International, Inc. to develop the Natural Directions brand. Their efforts have included extensive research and a careful and thorough screening of producers and suppliers, as well as working with Quality Assurance International (QAI). QAI is accredited by the USDA, and is the leading independent organic certifying agency in the United States.

QAI certification ensures the integrity of the organic food chain from grower to the table. Natural Directions supports the small organic farms and producers who are the backbone of the organic movement. Each vendor selected to provide Natural Directions product is required to meet or exceed rigorous quality control standards. Natural Directions and its organic farmers and producers are united in their commitment to reducing the use of pesticides and additives in the food supply, and to being environmentally responsible. They also support the humane treatment of farm animals in the production of food.

Ray Burtner, general manager of sales for Market Centre, a subsidiary of Unified Grocers that focuses on the specialty, natural and organic trade, said, "The sales of organic food products have doubled during the past 5 years. They have continued to experience double digit growth on an annual basis and we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. Natural Directions joins Unified Grocers' other quality corporate brands which offer retailers products that are competitively priced and provide a point of differentiation from national brands at shelf level. We believe the Natural Directions line provides our retailers with the opportunity to say to their customers: 'I care about the health and well being of you and your family.'"

"Over the next several months," Burtner continued, "we will continue to enhance the Natural Directions line of products with new items from all food categories in the store. Our retailers are excited about the Natural Directions brand and are looking forward to offering these quality products to their customers."

Brian Kennedy, director of purchasing, PW Markets, San Jose, Calif., said, "We participated in a test retail introduction of Natural Directions and are very excited about the prospects for the entire line. Having this new, private label program in natural and organic foods gives us the ability to compete with other retailers in our area who offer private label organic and natural products."

With its distinctive and attractive packaging, Natural Directions offers independent grocery retailers an opportunity to compete in an arena that was once the exclusive domain of natural foods retailers. Visit for more product information.

The Natural Directions logo is available at

About Unified Grocers, Inc.

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers, Inc. is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries, which generated approximately $4 billion in sales during 2007, offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

The Unified Grocers, Inc. logo is available at

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to benefits expected to be derived from the proposed acquisition. There are a variety of factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements above. These factors are outlined in Unified's Form 10-Q and other interim reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, Unified undertakes no obligation to update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

Natural Directions