Wholesale food distributors are those who act as sales brokers between manufacturers and merchants, or in certain cases, individual customers. Generally, a wholesale food distributor operates out of a warehouse or food storage facility. There is a vast array of food products distributed each day by wholesale suppliers, and these include dairy and meat products, vegetables and fruit, seafood, frozen goods, and confectionery. Wholesale food distributors who specialize in certain items can also be found in today’s marketplace. Merchant wholesalers usually deal in grocery products, while systems distributors typically specialize in items such as spices, seasonings, coffee and tea. There are also specialty wholesalers who focus on the distribution of dairy products or poultry.
As previously mentioned, wholesale food distributors generally operate from a warehouse and do not usually conduct business with walk in customers, as displays of their products are not always readily available. Most clients arrange for an appointment at which time the wholesaler will offer a full presentation of the foods they can provide. Typically, clients are offered various processing options for their bulk orders. The wholesaler usually handles these functions, which include the cutting and packaging, and even seasoning of the items required to fill the order. In addition, if the customer prefers, the food products can be purchased without any processing. The latter is common with vendors who prefer to process and package their own foods, either to cut costs or because they have their own unique way of marketing their product and for this reason prefer to complete the processing in-house.
Since most food items are perishable, a good rapport and synergy is essential between business owners and wholesale food distributors in order for them to work together effectively. There are many facets to running a successful wholesale food distribution business, and at times complicated problems can arise. However, many individuals are motivated to stay in this line of work as the continual demand for food gives one a certain degree of job security.
Wholesale food distributors focus on marketing and distributing foods that will ultimately result in increased profits for wholesalers and retailers. If this is accomplished, most customers will return again to do business with the distributor and a professional relationship will be formed. Negotiating transactions that will offer benefits to both the distributor and the wholesaler is vital to the success of this relationship.