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Food Distributors

Food is a highly profitable business worldwide. According to Statista, the food market has a projected revenue of over $9 trillion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.25% from 2023 to 2028.

One of the main drivers of this growth is the fast food segment, which accounted for more than $275 billion of global spending in 2022.

The United States alone contributes $50 billion to this figure. (Source: BusinessDIT)

But fast food is not the only main driver. The top segments in the food industry include:

  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Milling and animal feeds
  • Bakery products
  • Dairy products
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Chilled and frozen products

Each sector has its own opportunities and challenges. So how do you know which one to choose?

The answer is simple: follow the trends.

The food industry is constantly evolving with the changing preferences of the customers. Some of the food trends that you can follow are:

●     Vegan food

Veganism has gained popularity over the years as many people want to stop animal cruelty and prefer healthier plant-based foods.

The global vegan food market was worth nearly $16 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach over $22 billion by 2025 (Statista).

●     Organic food

Another continuously growing trend is organic food. According to the Business Research Company, the organic food market grew from $259.06 billion in 2022 to $294.54 billion in 2023, with a CAGR of 13.7%.

This growth can be attributed to people becoming more health-conscious and aware of the chemical residues found in non-organic foods, leading them to believe that organic food is healthier. 

●     Frozen food

Since the world has become super-fast-paced, people have very busy schedules now so cooking every day just doesn’t work out for them. As a result, many have shifted towards frozen foods, as they retain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

The global frozen food market is projected to grow from $256.46 billion USD in 2021 to $385.04 billion USD in 2028, with a CAGR of 5.98% during the period of 2021-2028 (Source: Fortune Business Insights)

Now, if you want to take advantage of this high-potential market, then you need to find the best wholesale distributors for your business. These are the factors to look for:

  • Quality (Product shelf life, taste, appearance, packaging, etc.)
  • FDA (Food and Drug Administration) / HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification
  • Industry experience
  • Discount options
  • Delivery options

To find various food distributors, you can look at online directories, where you have multiple options to choose from.

Once chosen, you can order a sample from the distributor to determine the quality of the products before placing a bulk order.

You should also ask the distributors for information on the materials used in packaging or production, minimum order quantity, return policy, stock availability, payment methods, and shipping costs.

How to Choose a Wholesale Food Distributor?

The selection criteria for a food distributor vary from business to business. A retailer and a restaurant owner would have to focus on different aspects to find a food distributor. Still, the given factors are helpful for all.

Keeping Food Fresh: Make sure the distributor follows FIFO (first in, first out) or not when it comes to selling inventory. Most food items are stored at 4 °C. This is because food poisoning bacteria do not grow between a temperature range of 5-60 °. So check whether the inventory storage conditions of a distributor are up to the mark or not.

Quality Control: Sourcing quality food is a must if you want to thrive in the food business. If you’re ordering snacks, check their brand and handpick their best products. If you’re ordering canned food, check their expiry and how securely packaged the food is. These things have a huge impact on bumping up the quality of your offerings. You can also directly inquire about the quality of food from the distributor themselves.

Ask your quality control team to check product formulations to ensure the presence of the same ingredients in the same ratio every time. The standards of products’ weight, cholesterol, volume, texture, aroma, colors, etc. should be consistent.

Packaging and Safety: Check the packaging properly as it plays an important role in food safety to prevent chemical, microbial, and physical damage. It should comply with the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to label products informatively. The labeling should contain:

  • Name of ingredients
  • Shelf life
  • Manufacturer’s country
  • Allergic responses if any
  • Storage conditions
  • GMO status, etc.