Big food distributors have a growing appetite for larger portions of ecommerce


Mark Brohan, Digital Commerce 360

Sep 16, 2022


US Foods Inc. and Sysco Corp., a pair of the biggest food distributors, each launch an accelerated ecommerce plan to serve up faster digital ordering for customers.


Food distribution companies have a big appetite these days for serving up more digital commerce. Two cases in point include US Foods Inc. and Sysco Corp., a pair of the biggest food distributors.


At US Foods, which does most of its $32 billion in annual sales through B2B ecommerce, the latest initiative is a push for better mobile commerce through a new app. Meanwhile at Sysco, the biggest digital update is providing customers with more personalization tools.


Sysco is a large multinational distribution company that provided services to more than 650,000 customer locations, including restaurants, health care and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other foodservice customers during fiscal 2021. The company says it accounts for about 17% of the approximately $285 billion annual foodservice market in the U.S. and generated 2021 sales of $51.3 billion.


450,000 products available online


Six years ago, Sysco spent $105 million to acquire Supplies on the Fly, an ecommerce platform provider. It enabled Sysco customers to place orders for more than 170,000 products online or by telephone. It also offered restaurant supplies and equipment exclusively to Sysco customers.


Since then, Sysco has used the acquisition as one cornerstone of its ecommerce technology and business strategy. Today, foodservice customers can go online to to research and purchase items from an inventory of more than 450,000 products, finance purchases, receive a complementary business consultation, and access up to 14 months of previous order history and modify existing orders up to the delivery cut-off time, among other digital features...


More ecommerce changes ahead for Sysco, US Foods ...


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