(July 19) Bridgeport, N.J.-based Albert’s Organics has continued its Midwest expansion with the opening of its seventh division, Albert’s Midwest.

The 32,000-square-foot distribution center, which opened in May, is adjacent to a newly completed United Natural Foods Inc. facility in Greenwood, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis.

Danville, Conn.-based United Natural Foods is the parent company of Albert’s Organics.

The expansion follows the July 2005 acquisition of Minneapolis-based Roots and Fruits Cooperative and the establishment of Albert’s Organics’ Mounds View, Minn., distribution center. The Mounds View facility also is adjacent to a United Natural Foods distribution center.

Increasing interest in organic produce in the Midwest convinced Albert’s to expand its presence, said Frank McCarthy, vice president.

“The Midwest is an important consumer of organic product,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the new Indiana facility should greatly improve the company’s ability to serve its Midwest customers. Midwestern customers previously were supplied from distribution facilities as far away as New Jersey and California.

The new distribution center will carry the company’s full line of about 250 stock keeping units of organic fresh produce and perishables, McCarthy said. He estimated more than 500 truckloads of fresh produce and perishables will go through the facility annually.

It will serve customers in about a 275-mile radius, which extends from Indiana to Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky.

Co-locating with its parent company also is an advantage, McCarthy said.

“We can share trucks with them, which means that we can reach smaller customers,” he said.