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What Is a Wholesale Food Distributor?

The food industry is one that features products that go through many different stages to get to the end user, or consumer. Whether that food is sold at a grocery store, convenience store or in a restaurant, it doesn't just magically appear from the grower or manufacturer. For some types of food, the food distributor plays an important role in getting products where they ultimately need to be.

The Basic Premise The basic role of a distributor is as a kind of middleman between the manufacturer and retailer. The manufacturer makes and packages the product and the retailer makes those products available to the end user. In between, distributors often take control of the inventory and see that it gets to the various retailers to continue the chain.

The Retail Distributor The retail distributor takes the products directly from the manufacturer and sells them out of a retail store or outlet to the general public. The idea is to get the products at a discount in bulk quantities, then mark up the price to the public and make a profit.

The Wholesale Distributor The wholesale distributor is a company that purchases goods from a manufacturer and sells them to someone other than the end user. These sales are usually made to retailers and often come from warehouses where the products are stored. Larger wholesale distributors are often connected to many different manufacturers and have a wide network of retailers they supply products to.

Specializing in Food There are wholesale distributors that sell a range of products, but many end up specializing in order to provide more exact service with greater expertise. When distributors specialize in wholesale foods, they may buy packaged foods, frozen foods, beverages, snack foods, or fresh meats, seafood and produce. Not all wholesale food distributors sell all types of wholesale foods, and some will focus on a specific niche within the industry.

The Set Up In most cases, a distributor will have one or more warehouses to take in wholesale foods and re-sell them to retailers and other sellers. The products might be shipped or the customers may visit the warehouse to take possession of their purchases. In the modern business environment, some wholesale foods are sold via online warehouses, where retailers can visit a site and place their order.

Who Do They Sell To? A wholesale food distributor may sell to: • • • • • •

Convenience stores Large and small grocery stores Vending companies Restaurants Big box stores Cafeterias

Keys to Success Not everyone is cut out for selling wholesale foods as a distributor. Some of the special traits that are required, include: • Negotiation skills • Sales experience • Strong customer service skills • Business management skills • Shipping and receiving experience

References Entrepreneur D'workin's

What Is a Wholesale Food Distributor?  

Founded in 1966 as a tobacco wholesaler, Dworkin's is now the largest small wares and wholesale food distribution in Ontario. Offering a var...