How to Sell Your Product into US Foods
Google “how to sell to US Foods” and you’ll find that submitting a product through their site is the first step. This might not be a bad option if you’re ready for a very long review and sales cycle. However, if you’re not prepared for how the company operates, there are plenty of potential pitfalls to submitting a product early as you may only have one chance.
US Foods is one of the leading food companies in the United States. It is a public service company that is registered under The Company Act with specialties in exclusive brand development, distribution logistics, supply chain food safety, and menu cost optimization, among others. Currently, the company has grown to partner with over 300000 foodservice operators and several restaurants across the country.
With just about 28000 registered associates and over 75 locations, it is obvious US Foods isn’t going anywhere soon. Since its inception, US Foods has carved a standing for itself in the food and beverages industry and is currently headquartered at 9399 West Higgins Road, Suite 500, Rosemont, Illinois, United States.
Just before its IPO, US Foods was the 10th largest company in the United States. Currently, that figure would have moved up considerably. With the amount of impact that the company has made on the economy of the country, coupled with its listing among investment companies on Wall Street, it is evident that the company is raking in massive billions every fiscal year.
Asides from the original products that the company retails and distributes, it has grown to curate exclusive brand products like prepackaged and frozen foods. Currently, US Foods have partnered with several multiple unit restaurants in the country to provide relief for the country during the food insecurity caused by the 2020 pandemic. This critical crisis response has increased the visibility and reach of the company within and outside the country. Although, there probably isn’t anyone in the United States who doesn’t know about US Foods.
While there were several rumors about the acquisition of US Foods by Sysco Corp in 2013 for about $8.2 billion, following a debt of approximately $4.7 billion by the company, it was later agreed that the merger between both companies would control over 75% of the Foodservice industry in the country. While this meant different things for both customers and other competitors in the industry, it would have proven to be a significant step in the industry’s development, especially in terms of finances.
In 2015, the merger between both companies was terminated. While other competitors could heave a collective sigh of relief, the dissolution dealt a blow to the financial overturn of the industry at large. While the reason for the dissolution is not known to date, the industry has been able to bounce back and thrive even more.
Specialty Divisions and Companies
As part of the strategies and campaign models of the company to increase its reach and solidify its standing as a leading company in the food and beverage industry of the country, US Foods operates several specialty divisions and companies to serve its customers better.
Some of these subsidiary companies include North Star Foodservice, Next Day Gourmet, and Stock Yards Packaging. Each of these companies is focused on providing services for a targeted range of customers and distributors.
Additionally, US Foods has partnered with several humanitarian organizations to offer direct services to the communities where they are located. It is also continually committed to providing both staff members and long standing customers and partners with opportunities to improve their careers and businesses.
Working with Foodservice Distributors
Merchants Foodservice is an organization created for the sole aim and purpose of diligently providing quality food supplies to their customers. Since the founding of the company in over a century in South Mississippi, the company has passionately discharged its duties of distributing food supplies.
As a food distribution agency, Merchants Foodservice has taken on the law and moral code of providing safe food to their customers and consumers. Through dedication and constant educational programs, the company’s members and staff have adopted a successful and aggressive approach to food safety.
Currently, Merchants Foodservice is the 12th largest foodservice distributor in the United States with 12 operation facilities in the state. This feat was achieved by diligent workers of the state that work for over 6,000 customers. The company is headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Merchants Foodservice has built its organization on a solid foundation of quality products, timely delivery, and most importantly, excellent customer relation. The company majors in the wholesale distribution of goods, food, beverages, and kitchen supplies. The prestigious concept of time is a culture that this firm has made its bedrock. They deliver to restaurants, eateries, kitchens, amongst many other locations. Therefore, this company takes pride in delivering food ingredients with care and on time.
This highly preserved culture is evident in the firm’s mission statement that says, “we believe in delivering great taste on time- and with the highest level of personal attention.”
Furthermore, the organization operates from ultra-modern warehousing and distribution centers in Newberry, South Carolina, Jackson, Mississippi, and Clanton, Alabama. The warehouse houses over 12,000 in-stock line items, including cooking supplies, meat, fresh produce, dairy, and even cleaning supplies. A team of more than 800 people is stationed at each warehouse, ready to represent the company and attend to each customer’s needs.
Also, the company possesses an around-the-clock online platform where customers can order food and beverages. The firm concomitantly provides in-person visits to their customers for inventory evaluation and recommendations.
In addition to this, delivery trucks also operate; they are responsible for the smooth transportation and delivery of products. The delivery trailers cover South and North Carolina, operating through Tennessee and Georgia to Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Merchants Foodservice is led by a board of directors who are vested with the powers and responsibility of ensuring progressive operations. The corporate leadership consists of 5 officers who are highly proficient in their chosen fields and positions. This board is headed by Andy Mercier, the President and Chief Executive Officer.
This team also offers exclusive benefits to its staff, such as Career Development, Health & Wellness, Financial Wellness, and Paid time off. In addition to this, the board and sales representative, the company also offers ideas and innovations to restaurants ranging from Cost Control to Menu Planning and more.
Merchants Foodservice has collaborated with other institutions, retail agencies, and suppliers over the years. These partnerships are based on official relationships and the core responsibility of providing quality products and services. Few of their supplier partnerships include Genpak, Ventura Foods, Essity, and Beaver Street Fisheries.
Find a Foodservice
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