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10 Largest Food Distribution Companies in the USA 

The Food Industry:

The food industry is one of the most advanced industries in today's world. From the innovative mechanics to the growing advancement in 'cooking techniques', this business has never seen a trough. This industry is not only confined to making the products but also transporting, storing, and selling them. The food industry starts in agriculture where the crops are grown and end on the shelf of a local store. It might also include catering because that's one of the biggest sectors related to food consumption. This makes the food industry unlike any other industry out there today. The food industry is one of the few industries that run based on demand. As the 'consumption patterns' of people change with the changing taste or season, the production also changes.

The Stats:

Talking to some statistics, the world’s food business generates about $4 trillion per year. The introduction of new packaging that has resulted in more safety and freshness of the products has further added up to these figures. As with the evolution of time, man has sought easier ways to get food and the solution for this now lies in process, ready to eat, packaged foods. As the demand is increasing, more and more research is being conducted for better products.

The food industry consists of several different sectors of food,

Dairy, seafood, fruits, vegetables, organic food, meat, and also functional foods such as vitamins. The list goes on. As long as it's edible, it's in the food industry. Around 84 percent of the food consumed by man today is through terrestrial farming and the remaining percentage covers fish farming.

Once the production of the products is done, comes the need for the distribution; One of the most crucial steps in the food business.

Almost every big food-producing company has a big cargo fleet that deals with picking up the products from the warehouse and transporting them to the retail shops.

The food industry also plays an important role in the economy of the United States with its contributions throughout the years. This sector holds 5 percent of GDP and covers 10 percent of the employment of the state.

The American food products are not only consumed locally but they're also distributed worldwide due to their top-notch taste and quality. This has generated multiplier effects throughout the US economy.

Let’s take a look at some of the largest food distribution companies in the US.

1. Sysco corporation

Sysco Corporation was founded on March 19, 1969, and has already celebrated its Golden jubilee. It is a public corporation that falls under the wholesale industry. Headquartered in Texas, the company is one of the biggest suppliers of food products to hotels which make up the company’s largest customers. It is providing its services to around 100 countries and has above 6 million clients all over the world.

As per 2017 statistics, the company employs 70,000 people. The net income for the same year is US$1.143 billion. According to some sources, they own about 8600 distribution trucks.

2. US foods

US foods is also a public food distributor corporation that was founded on August 1, 1989, by John Sexton and is now headquartered in Illinois.US foods falls under the food industry and deals with products like frozen foods and prepackaged foods, and fresh meats. The net income of the company according to 2017 statistics is 444 million US$. The revenue generated in 2017 was US$ 24.147 billion.

It employed around 26000 people in 2018 and owns around 5700 trucks. The main customers are restaurants, the health sector, the tourism sector, and also the educational sector.

3. Reinhart food company

This for-profit company was founded in DB Reinhart in 1972. The company is currently operating 29 distribution centers and owns a total of 1400 trucks. Its main products are the ingredients, meats and all the fresh products. The main customers are the food chain networks, healthcare centers, and schools. Reinhart foods employ around 2200 employees and have generated an estimated revenue of 666 million US$.

4. Ben E. Keith company

Ben E Keith company is a private food distribution company and was founded in 1906 in texas by Ben E. Keith.

The company currently employs 4000 people and has generated annual revenue of $5.5 Billion. It deals with products like meats, frozen foods, etc. Which are distributed by the company’s 1070 trucks. Beverages are also distributed such as beer and energy drinks. The main consumers are restaurants, health sectors, schools, etc.

5. Performance food group

The performance food group is a public food distributor company that was founded in 1885 in Virginia. The company has more than 14000 employees that work on making its products one of the best in the food market. The main consumers are independent restaurants and chain restaurants. The products distributed are everything that falls under the category of food items.

According to the 2017 statistics, the company generated annual revenue of around $18 billion.

6. Golden state foods

Golden state foods are one of the biggest suppliers to Mcdonald's and one of the largest food distribution companies in the US. This company was founded in 1947 in California and started as a meat provider to McDonald's.

The company was employing 6000 people in 2010 and had generated a revenue of around 7 billion dollars in 2017. Not only McDonald's, but it also supplies food to Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, KFC, and Taco Bell. The main products are beef and other meat supplies. This company owns about 600 to 700 trucks.

7. United natural foods

United national foods is a public food distribution company that was founded in 1976. Headquartered in the United States, the company provides its services all over the United States and Canada. The revenue generated touched the figure of around US$20 billion. The company has a market value of $1,781 million according to Forbes. According to 2019 statistics, the total number of employees was 19,000. The main products supplied are organic, and health-related foods. It deals with importing, roasting, and packaging nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and snack items.

8. H. T. Hackney Company

H. T. Hackney Company is an American wholesale distributor company. It was founded in 1891 by Henry Tate Hackney. The main products supplied are grocery, tobacco items, frozen foods, deli products, snacks, and beverages. The services provided by H.T. hackney are mainly in  21 different states of the Eastern  United States. Grocery stores and drug stores are the main retail centers.

According to the 2019 statistics, this distribution company generated a revenue of around 6 billion US dollars. There are 4300 employees recruited by the company that provides their services day and night to make the business flourish.

9. McLane food services

McLane company was founded in 1894 in texas. Today it is one of the best wholesale suppliers to 49000 grocery stores and 37000 restaurants. It is one of those few distributors that provide its services to military bases too.

The number of employees in this company is 21000.

In 2017, the company’s earnings crossed $205 Million. A total of 2200 tractors are owned by McLane food services.

10. Performance food services

Performance food group company is a public food distribution company that was founded in 1885 by James carper. It has its headquarters in Virginia. The total number of employees working in performance food services is around 14000.

According to 2017 statistics, the total revenue generated touched the figure of $17.5 billion. The products delivered are seafood, cheese and dairy, bakery items, fruits and vegetables, spices, and beverages. The consumers include grocery stores and restaurants.

Let's Wrap it Up

These are 10 of the most successful and largest food distribution companies in the United States. If we talk about their annual revenues, and net income, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that approximately all of them have growing sales. With the opening of new stores, new restaurants, and with the introduction of new technologies, the food industry will continue to flourish and satisfy everyone’s taste buds!

Business finance, By: Bizroutes ON 22 Aug, 2021