5 Best Food Distribution Companies

The food industry contributes about $1.3 trillion to the US GDP and the food distribution companies are the spine of the food industry. From supply chain to transportation needs, they play an irreplaceable role in managing every bit.

These companies contribute to your everyday food stops like restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, and help them run smoothly with fresh and timely dispatch. This article will highlight the best food distributors in the United States and their general information.

However, these companies not only contribute to businesses in the United States, but in other countries as well. They are extremely important for the economy of all countries, a clear example is the Grupo Campero, in which Jose Juan Gutierrez is involved, this company is responsible for improving the economy of his country by making use of important distribution companies, contributing to the development of the economy.

How Do Food Distribution Companies Work?

Several divisions of a company are involved in food distribution – each with its own role. The process starts from food production. After the food is produced, it is collected and stored in warehouses.

Once in the warehouses, the food is scheduled to be distributed at a specified time, place, and quantity. Considering all these factors a suitable transportation medium is chosen to carry them. The food is then distributed to other warehouses or service operators like grocery stores, cafeterias, restaurants and aid programs. Food distributors make a profit from the markup in the selling price after covering the expenses.

What Makes a Good Food Distribution Company?

A good food distribution company generally has a balanced work environment, skilled management, sufficient human resources, and good knowledge about both food production as well as operators involved.

A well-run company needs every sector to compliment the others. Here are other elements defining a good food distributor.

Maintaining Great Customer & Supplier Relationships
A healthy customer-supplier relationship forms a good platform for both parties to do business for the long term. Good communication, fast feedback handling, and reasonable pricing of the products and services are important as well.

A good food distributor regularly connects with the customers easily to expand the brand name.

Keeping Costs Low
When it comes to choosing between two good companies, the cost will play a significant role. Keeping costs low while balancing profit margin will let the customers know that they are getting the best deals.

Every small and big food distributor must know the cost range which they shouldn’t surpass.

Understanding the Agriculture, Restaurant & Food-Retail Industries
When it comes to committing to the food industry, understanding every component is important. Being reasonable in a different part of the food distribution will yield opportunities that your competitors might’ve missed.

Not only an aspiring food distribution company but also an established one should invest in market research to make optimal decisions.

Providing Great Value for Service
The customers must feel valued and the companies should optimize in areas of improvement. Active feedback collection and genuine effort to incorporate the feedback will aid the goodwill that stays with the company forever.

Different companies specialize in different types of food distribution like broadline, specialty, redistribution, and cash & carry. Here are the 10 best food distribution companies listed on the basis of aforementioned factors.


Sysco is the leading global food distribution company established in 1969. This food distribution company ranks 60th in the 2021 Fortune 500 list.

Location: 1390 Enclave Parkway, Houston

Contact Info: (281) Distribution Centers: 330

Employees: 70,000+

Revenue: 55.37 billion USD

Special Features:

* Worldwide distribution facilities
* Availability of non-food products distribution


* Competitive cost range.
* Specialized supply for specific foods.
* Distributes a large variety of food-related items and disposables as well.


* Delays in overseas distribution.
* Less-than-average reviews in its food services segment

U.S. Foods

U.S. Foods or previously known as US Foodservice is an American food distributor operating mostly within the USA. Alongside Sysco, it controls the major half of the foodservice industry in America. U.S. Foods was established in 1989.

Location: 9399 W Higgins Rd #500, Rosemont, IL

Contact Info: + Distribution Centers: 60

Employees: 26,000+

Revenue: $24.15 billion

Special Features:

* Own exclusive brand of food items.
* 2nd largest broadline distributor.


* Ideal service fees for multi-unit restaurants.
* Special distribution unit for healthcare and hospitality sectors.
* Distribution throughout the country.


* No express distribution services.
* Lacks distribution centers overseas.

Performance Foodservice

Performance Foodservice, an industry expert in food distribution, was founded in 1875. It delivers a wide range of food items as well as kitchen essentials throughout the United States.

Location: Richmond, VA

Contact Info: (804) Distribution Centers: 25

Employees: 21,000+

Revenue: $17.5 billion

Special Features:

* Technologically advanced distribution system.
* Custom solutions for culinary partners


* Perfect for restaurants requiring quick distribution with less hassle.
* Trusty exclusive brands available on a large scale.
* Advanced warehouses for special food storage.


* Doesn’t cover smaller sectors food operators.
* Non-food delivery not available.

McLane Foodservice

Mclane Company is a leading supply chain service provider specializing in grocery and household-supplies distribution all over the US. It was founded in 1894 with a small retail grocery store.

Mclane now has an expanded distribution and logistic network.

Location: Temple, Texas

Contact Info: Distribution Centers: 80

Employees: 22,000+

Revenue: 50 billion

Special Features:

* Specialized distribution for grocery stores and mass merchants.
* Logistics services are available as well with food distribution.


* Ideal for grocery stores with miscellaneous supply needs.
* Extended warehouse services.
* Effective service fees for both individual and chain stores.


* Lack of specialized food distribution.
* Less proven third-party management.

Reinhart Foodservice

Reinhart Foodservice is amongst the largest broadline food distributors founded in 1976. It was acquired by P.F.G in 2019 for $2 billion, further solidifying its stand as one of the best food distribution companies in America.

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact Info: (800) Distribution Centers: 9

Employees: 5,600+

Revenue: $6 billion

Special Features:

* Provides custom distribution to independent restaurants.
* Sporting packages for occasional distribution.


* Nationwide distribution with separate deals for specialized delivery.
* Exclusive brands from its parent company.
* Wide availability of well-managed warehouses.


* Lack of non-food distribution (except kitchen items)
* Less tested management with the recent buyout.

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Carla Fowler

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