Foodservice Equipment Reports

Big Broadline Distributors Outgrow Overall Foodservice Market

According to Technomic Inc.’s annual study,  the “Power Distributor Report: The Top 15,” while the foodservice industry as a whole barely managed to grow in `10, the top 35 foodservice distributors combined sales rose 5% last year. The study does not include or cover E&S distributors, nor does it include cash and carry distributors and warehouse clubs or custom/systems distributors, which serve only chain customers.

Nine of the 35 managed double-digit sales gains, led by Brossard, La.-based Doerle Food Services, which pushed sales 15% higher to $292 million. Nine of the 35 have total sales exceeding $1 billion, led by giant Sysco Corp.; the Houston-based distributor reported sales rose 7% last year. Among the top five, Performance Food Group, Richmond, Va., grew sales by 6%; Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Gordon Food Service saw sales rise 7%; Reinhart FoodService of Rosemont, Ill., increased sales 8%, thanks in part to the acquisition of former top 10 distributor CONCO Food Service. Sales at the second largest distributor, Rosemont, Ill.-based U.S. Foodservice, declined 1%.

According to Technomic, the top 35 distributors—those with sales of more than $150 million a year—control 46% of total North American foodservice distributor sales of $213 billion.

Nearly all the top broadliners sell equipment and supplies, with some companies placing more emphasis on E&S than others. Sysco verified E&S sales in ’10 of $700 million for FER’s Top Dealers Report, up from $675 million in ’09, making it the single largest distributor of E&S in North America. But three large E&S dealers—Edward Don & Co., TriMark USA and The Wasserstrom Co.—have higher verified E&S sales than the next closest broad market distributors, Jetro Holdings/ Restaurant Depot, a cash and carry distributor, and U.S. Foodservice. Another two E&S companies, Strategic Equipment and Supply and The Boelter Cos., would also qualify under the $150 million hurdle. And combined sales of Singer Equipment and M. Tucker, which Singer acquired this year, approached $185 million in ’10.

The big broad-market foodservice distributors did manage to grow faster than the big E&S distributors in ’10. FER’s 31 Top Dealers grew combined sales only 1.4% last year.

The “Power Distributor Report: The Top 15” is available for purchase from Technomic at www.technomic.com.