|Last Quarterly Update:||11/25/2013|
|SIC Codes:||5141, 5142, 5143, 5144, 5145, 5146, 5147, 5148, 5149, 5153, 5159|
|Industry Overview||Trends & Challenges||Industry Forecast|
|Quarterly Industry Update||Call Prep Questions||Website & Media Links|
|Business Challenges||Financial Information||Glossary & Acronyms|
Companies in this industry distribute food and related products on a wholesale basis. Major companies include C&S Wholesale, McLane Company, SUPERVALU, Sysco, and US Foods (all based in the US), as well as Loblaw (Canada), Kokubu & Co (Japan), and Metcash (Australia).
The US wholesale food distribution industry includes about 33,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $750 billion. Growth challenges include increased competition.
Demand is driven largely by demographic shifts, particularly trends in population and age, working women, race and ethnicity, household size, and levels of disposable income. The profitability of individual companies depends on a good product mix and efficient operations. Large distributors are advantaged by bulk purchasing and economies of scale in distribution. Smaller companies can compete effectively by specializing in certain products or focusing on a geographical area. The industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 50 percent of industry revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major products are frozen, processed, and prepared foods; dairy items; poultry, fish, and meat; fresh produce; and baked goods.
Distributors are classified as "broadline," meaning that they sell a comprehensive range of products to multiple customer segments; "specialty distributors," which focus on a certain product category or customer segment; or "systems distributors" that sell to chain restaurants or multi-tenant operators. Only about 100 large companies are broadline; the remaining wholesalers typically specialize in a specific market. ...
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