KeHe Distributors is an independent, employee-owned, and Certified B Corporation that seeks to promote healthy living through the distribution of safe and healthy foods to its customers and vendors. Established in 1952 by Art Kehe, the company focuses on creating long-term partnerships with its customers and vendors that ensure their business’s growth and development. The company is one of the largest and respected food distributing companies in North America.
The provision of quality and healthy food is one of the major reasons why the company is highly respected. KeHe Distributors does not only provide quality foods; the company combines innovation with expertise and technology to provide superb services to their customers. The company is solution-oriented; it works together with its customers to help solve challenges in their business.
The organization has witnessed massive developments across all tiers; it currently runs a 16 distribution centre network with over 5,500 employee-owners. The company delivers natural, organic, specialty, and fresh food products. The organization is built on a faith-friendly culture that is surrounded by commitment, determination, and care.
Over the years, customers have relied on KeHe Distributors to provide exceptional services through timely delivery, accurate orders, and quality foods. Further, the company strives to provide the best solutions through innovation, efficient management, and technology.
Not only is this company passionate about business with integrity, but it also makes a conscious decision to serve across all levels possible. The organization caters to its customers and the less fortunate through the KeHe Cares Foundation. This foundation is a philanthropic branch of the company that provides for the less fortunate and caters to the needs of the less privileged. In KeHe Cares Foundation, employee-owners volunteer in different parts of the world, either home or abroad.
Few of the services include repair of damaged homes, provision of meal tickets, and serving in local kitchens. Kehe distribution donates 10% of its profit to the foundation and partners with other institutions committed to the growth of society and the world at large. YMEN, Mission Lazarus, Restoring Hope Nepal, amongst others, are few institutions the company partners with.
At KeHe Distributors, excellent food services are provided, ranging from natural and organic food products to exotic dish, and fresh products such as deli foods, bakery items, cheese, and culinary meal solutions. The company’s teamwork endlessly provides expert food solutions, new food items, and emerging trends on food products. The organization distributes food across different agencies, including Natural food retailers, Independent grocery retailers, E-Merchants, and more.
With KeHe Distributors, efficient, timely, and accurate distribution is guaranteed across North America through a reliable distribution network. The experienced team at the company ensures the best processes are followed. These processes are the foundation of quality food. The organization operates a standard five million square feet warehouse facility, an innovative warehouse management system, RF technology, Sixteen North American distribution centres, and a temperature-controlled warehouse. These exceptional facilities guarantee fresh products to customers.
Additionally, over 550 trucks run along 30,000 routes, consistently serving vendors from coast to coast. A few of the company’s locations include Dallas, Aurora, Portland, Romeoville, Stockton, Atlanta, amongst others.
Every year, more people eat outside of their homes. This trend has led to a rising potential for food , beverage and seafood businesses to become foodservice industry suppliers. Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, retirement communities, nursing homes, military bases, prisons and leisure facilities are included in the foodservice sector and are often referred to as the HRI Trade (Hospitality, Restaurants and Institutions). Foodservice operators are aggressively pursuing a diverse supply of food and beverage goods and there is a rising appetite for local and unique food selections.
Many foodservice distributors can trace their roots back to the mid-1800s when they started as family owned companies. The trend has continued in the industry as new foodservice distributors have entered the market and some of the original companies have maintained their independent / family owned status.
There are different requirements for the foodservice trade than for grocery retail, especially with respect to packaging and labeling. Pack sizes are usually larger and labels that appeal to customers are not needed. In “me-too” items, foodservice operators have no interest. Your product needs to be distinguished from the competition. There are many ways of identifying a product; only a few concepts are packaging, convenience and a business tale. For example, there are many honey products on the market; by using more compact packaging, innovative recipes and sharing the unique story of how the business started, a new honey may be distinguished from the competition.
The food industry firm, Technomics, estimated that approximately 225 million meals are eaten away from home each day in the United States. This includes both restaurant and non-commercial eating places. Americans can be very busy and at the same time social. Many Americans prefer to have at least one meal outside every day. It could be the lunch during work, or the breakfast at a restaurant opposite the office, or a late dinner with a friend at a nice place; it is a dominant culture in the country.
However, we know the names of these restaurants, we may know the popular chefs but the people who deliver food products the restaurants prepare are hardly known by us because they are always behind the scenes. These people are known as foodservice distributors.
A foodservice distributor works as an intermediary between manufacturers of food products and the foodservice operator. This could be a chef, foodservice director, food and beverage manager, and independent food preparation businesses operator owners. The foodservice distributor procures, stores, sells, and makes deliveries of food products, providing foodservice operators with access to items from a wide variety of manufacturers. Foodservice distributors purchase pallets and bulk inventory quantities that are broken down to case and sometimes unit quantities for the foodservice operator. Most foodservice operators purchase from a range of local, specialty, and broadline foodservice distributors on a regular basis which could be daily or weekly basis.
It would have been very difficult for restaurants to meet the nutritional needs of about 65% – 70% of Americans who eat outside every day if not for the job of foodservice distributors in the line. There are a lot of things to be concerned with in the running of a restaurant and it would be an enormous burden if restaurants go to manufacturers of food products to keep getting supplies which could be as frequent as daily or weekly. Someone has to be in the line meeting demands and getting the products across to the restaurants.
It should be clarified at this point that foodservice distributors don’t only distribute to restaurants, they also get food products to cafeterias, industrial caterers, and hospital and nursing homes.
Estimates by the International Foodservice Distributors Association reveal that foodservice distributors in the Unites States, as a daily average, deliver approximately 27 million cases of food and other products.
There are several foodservice companies and they may very well range in size from a one-truck operation to larger corporations. There are broadline foodservice distributor offers a wide array of products, while a system distributor stocks a narrow array of products for specific customers, such as restaurant chains. A broadline distributor may carry up to 15,000 different items for purchase and operate topnotch warehouse and transportation operations.
The average American who eats out has the cause to be grateful to foodservice distributors. The industry sector is projected to grow as more eating places are looking at offering their customers more varieties.
Top 10 Foodservice Distributors
- Cheney Brothers
- Sysco Corp.
- US Foods
- McLane Foodservice
- Performance Foodservice
- Cooper-Booth Wholesale Co.
- Gordon Food Service
- DOT Foods
- Reinhart Foodservice
- The Martin-Brower Co.
- Porky Products
- Ben E. Keith Co.
- Shamrock Foods Co.
- KeHE Distributors
- Food Services of America
- Vistar Transportation
- Golden State Foods
- Lipari Foods
- Buffalo Rock Co.
- Merchants Foodservice
- Blue Line Foodservice Distribution
- Labatt Food Service
- Systems Services of America
- DPI Specialty Foods
- Coastal Pacific Food Distributors
- Dutch Valley Foods
- Vendors Supply Inc.
- Orion Food System
- Jake’s Finer Foods