June 22, 2024
June 22, 2024
min read

The Top 16 Food Distributors in the USA (2024)

Discover the top food distributors in the USA that can help you launch and scale your food and beverage business. This comprehensive guide will provide key insights into the top players in the industry, their strengths, and specializations.

GourmetPro Expert

Garrett Owen

Ryan is a highly skilled leader with extensive experience in multi-billion-dollar businesses on a global platform. With over ten years in the international arena.

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Discover the top food distributors in the USA that can help you launch and scale your food and beverage business. This comprehensive guide provides expert insights about the top distributors in the industry, their strengths, and specializations.

How Do I Find A Food Distributor For My Product?

When seeking and choosing a food distributor for your products in the US market, recognize that your every company has unique needs. Your location, product, the quality of your relationship with a distributor and more will determine which distributor is right for your product.

Purely in terms of size and reach, Sysco, US Foods, and PFG are the biggest food distributers in the USA. But size isn’t the only factor you should consider when choosing a distribution partner. Start by understanding your options by reviewing our list of the top 16 leading food distributors in the US below.

Finding the right distributor for your food product in the US takes time. Understanding the landscape if your first step. But remember, distribution in the U.S. can differ significantly by region. Once you know who’s-who, spend time getting to know distributors of interest in the regions where you want your product distributed.
Matthew Smith, GourmetPro Market-Entry Expert

How We Selected Our Top Food Distributors

We interviewed over 20 experts in the GourmetPro network with decades of experience launching and growing food businesses in the US market. They provided us with the latest insights about the distribution landscape in the US.

To rank the distributors, we carefully analyzed our expert's answers against relevant factors to ensure a comprehensive understanding of each distributor's strengths and capabilities. Factors include:

  • Annual revenue: A strong indicator of a distributor's market presence and success
  • Founding date: The experience and longevity of the company in the industry
  • Number of customers and facilities: The reach and scale of their operations
  • Type of clients served: The range of clients, from independent operators to national chains
  • Industry specializations: Unique niches and expertise within the food and beverage sector
  • Growth history: A track record of expansion and adapting to market demands
  • Client reputation: The quality of relationships with well-known brands and partners

By evaluating these factors, we have created a thorough overview that enables food and beverage industry executives to make informed decisions when selecting distribution partners to support their business in the competitive US market.

When considering which distributor to partner with, you have a lot to consider. From understanding the US landscape and where your product fits into it to how well a distributor can help you reach your business goals, it’s important to take your time. Start by reviewing our expert guide to ensure you don’t make any missteps.

The Top 16 Food Distributers in the USA

1. Sysco Corporation - The Top Food Distributor in the USA

Sysco Corporation is a leading distributor in the foodservice industry, generating an impressive annual revenue of over $68 billion. Established in 1969, this Houston-based company has expanded its services to 90 countries with over 700,000 customers and 333 distribution facilities. Sysco primarily serves restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, and lodging establishments. The company's growth is fueled by its focus on customer service, supply chain efficiency, and a broad product offering, including fresh and frozen food, beverages, and equipment.

  • Website: https://www.sysco.com/
  • Contact: (281) 584-1390
  • Headquarters: Houston, TX
  • Distribution Centers: 172+ (only in the US)
Sysco has a vast network of distribution facilities across North America

2. US Foods

US Foods, founded in 1989, is another major foodservice distributor in the US with an annual revenue of $28.1 billion. Headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, the company serves over 300,000 customers and operates more than 70 distribution facilities. US Foods caters to independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, and other foodservice businesses. The company is known for its high-quality private-label products and commitment to sustainable practices. With over 6,000 suppliers and huge scale, they are an attractive partner for big players entering the US market.

3. Performance Food Group (PFG)

Performance Food Group, founded in 1885, is a top food distributor in the USA with annual revenue of $56.7 billion. PFG serves all 50 states from its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, with over 150 distribution centers across the nation. The company boasts an impressive 300,000 customers, ranging from independent restaurants to national chains, and specializes in custom solutions tailored to their clients' needs. PFG's client roster includes big names like KFC, highlighting their ability to accommodate large-scale distribution requirements.

  • Website: https://www.pfgc.com/
  • Contact: (804) 484-7700
  • Headquarters: Richmond, VA
  • Distribution Centers: 150+

Looking to Import to the USA?

If you’re a company seeking to import your products to the USA, check out our expert guide to US food import regulations. Inside you’ll learn all the steps involved in importing food and beverage to the US and learn the tips and tricks recommended by GourmetPro’s experts for a smooth route-to-market.

4. McLane Company

The McLane Company, established in 1894, is a Texas-based food and beverage distributor with an annual revenue of over $51 billion. Serving more than 110,000 clients, McLane operates over 80 distribution centers across the US. The company specializes in grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, and drug stores. McLane's long-standing partnership with Walmart demonstrates its expertise in managing large-scale distribution channels.

Looking To Get Your Products Into A Specific Supermarket?

GourmetPro’s experts have created a list of the top us supermarkets that can give F&B brands a big boost in the market. Our experts have decades of experience working with national and regional US retail chains. Hit the contact button at the bottom of the page to discuss how you can grow your F&B business in the US by striking the right partnerships.

5. Gordon Food Service (GFS)

Gordon Food Service, a family-owned business founded in 1897, is one of the largest privately-held foodservice distributors in the US. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, GFS generates annual revenue of over $12 billion and serves over 100,000 customers across the US and Canada. The company operates over 28 distribution centers and focuses on the needs of restaurants, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities. GFS's commitment to exceptional service, quality products, and sustainability has attracted leading clients in foodservice.

  • Website: https://www.gfs.com/
  • Contact: (800) 968-4164
  • Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Distribution Centers: 28+

6. The H.T. Hackney Co.

The H.T. Hackney Co., founded in 1891, is a prominent wholesale distributor based in Knoxville, Tennessee. With an annual revenue of $5.9 billion, Hackney serves over 20,000 customers through 28 distribution centers across 22 states. The company specializes in convenience store distribution, providing a diverse product selection including food, beverages, and non-food items. Hackney's extensive experience and customer-centric approach have led to partnerships with prominent convenience store chains like Circle K.

7. KeHE Distributors

KeHE Distributors, established in 1953, is a leading natural and organic food distributor with an annual revenue of $5.5 billion. Headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, KeHE serves over 30,000 retail customers across the US and Canada through 18 distribution centers amounting to over 5 million square feet of warehouse space. The company is recognized for its focus on sustainable practices and commitment to natural, organic, and specialty products. KeHE's impressive client list includes prominent retailers such as Whole Foods Market, showcasing its expertise in the growing health-conscious consumer segment.

  • Website: https://www.kehe.com/
  • Contact: (630) 343-0000
  • Headquarters: Naperville, IL
  • Distribution Centers: 16
The right distributor in the USA depends on your product and vision

8. Reyes Holdings

Reyes Holdings, founded in 1976, is a food and beverage distributor with a primary focus on beer distribution. With annual revenue of over $30 billion, the company is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, and operates in North America, Europe, and South America. Reyes Holdings serves a wide range of customers, including retailers, bars, and restaurants, through its multiple subsidiaries. The company's partnership with prominent brands like Coca-Cola and Heineken highlights its strength in beverage distribution.

Pause For a Sec...let’s Talk About Your Food Labels

You have literally too many options for distribution in the US. But you won’t be able to explore any of them if you don’t get this one thing right. We’re talking food labels. According to our experts, this is one area that clients consistently struggle with. That’s why they created this comprehensive guide to food labeling requirements in the US. Check them out to save time and avoid costly mistakes when selling your products in the US.

9. Ben E. Keith Foods

Ben E. Keith Foods, a family-owned business established in 1906, is a premier foodservice distributor in the southern US. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the company generates annual revenue of $5.5 billion and serves over 14,000 customers from 11 distribution centers. Ben E. Keith Foods specializes in supplying independent restaurants, regional chains, and institutional accounts. The company's long-standing relationship with Sonic Drive-In showcases its ability to support large-scale foodservice operations.

10. Shamrock Foods

Shamrock Foods, founded in 1922, is a leading foodservice distributor based in Phoenix, Arizona. The company generates annual revenue of $4.8 billion and serves over 24,000 customers across the US through 11 distribution centers. Shamrock Foods focuses on providing high-quality, fresh ingredients to restaurants, healthcare providers, and educational institutions. Clients like the national restaurant chain, Village Inn, trust Shamrock Foods for their food distribution needs.

11. Maines Paper & Food Service

Maines Paper & Food Service, founded in 1919, is a foodservice distributor headquartered in Conklin, New York. With annual revenue of $3.5 billion, the company serves over 7,000 customers from over 9 distribution centers throughout the US. Maines specializes in supplying chain restaurants, independent operators, and institutional accounts with a comprehensive range of products. The company's partnership with major restaurant chains like Applebee's showcases its expertise in large-scale foodservice distribution.

12. SpartanNash

SpartanNash, established in 1917, is a leading food distributor and grocery retailer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company generates annual revenue of $9.4 billion and serves customers across the US and overseas through 18 distribution centers. SpartanNash caters to independent retailers, national accounts, and military commissaries with a focus on private-label products. The company also operates over 145 grocery stores and distributes to more than 2100 locations across the US.

13. UNFI

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), established in 1976, is a leading distributor of natural, organic, and specialty foods in the US. Based in Providence, Rhode Island, the company generates annual revenue of $29.86 billion and serves over 15,000 retail customers across North America through 58 distribution centers. UNFI is committed to providing sustainable and high-quality products, catering to the growing demand for healthier food options. The company's collaboration with retailers like Sprouts Farmers Market highlights its expertise in the natural and organic food sector.

  • Website: https://www.unfi.com/
  • Contact: (401) 528-8634
  • Headquarters: Providence, RI
  • Distribution Centers: 58

14. C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers, founded in 1918, is a privately-held food distributor based in Keene, New Hampshire. The company generates annual revenue of $33 billion and serves more than 7,700 customers across the US through 50 distribution centers. C&S Wholesale Grocers specializes in supplying grocery stores, chain restaurants, and institutional accounts with a wide range of products. The company's long-standing relationship with Ahold Delhaize, a leading global food retailer, showcases its ability to manage large-scale distribution channels.

15. Core-Mark Holding Company

Core-Mark Holding Company, established in 1888, is a leading food and beverage distributor focusing on convenience retail. Headquartered in Westlake, Texas, the company generates annual revenue of $16.4 billion and serves over 40,000 customer locations across the US and Canada through 32 distribution centers. Core-Mark specializes in providing innovative merchandising solutions and a diverse product offering to convenience stores. The company's partnership with well-known convenience retailers like 7-Eleven highlights its expertise in this niche market.

16. Cheney Brothers

Cheney Brothers, a family-owned business founded in 1925, is a foodservice distributor based in Riviera Beach, Florida. The company generates annual revenue of $3.0 billion and serves over 20,000 customers across the US, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through 11 distribution centers. Cheney Brothers focuses on supplying high-quality products to restaurants, hotels, and institutional clients.

How Can You Work With Top Food Distributors in the USA?

Navigating the diverse landscape of food and beverage distributors in the US can be challenging for businesses looking to launch or expand in the market. Partnering with the right distributor is crucial for success, and GourmetPro's experts can help match you with the ideal distributor to maximize your growth in the booming US market.

Contact us and let’s talk stratgey.

FAQs About The Top 16 Food Distributors in the USA

Q: Who is the largest distributor in the USA?

A: Sysco Corporation is the largest food and beverage distributor in the USA. Sysco has an annual revenue of $78+ billion; approximately 25 billion more than PFG, the next largest distributor in the USA.

Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Sysco serves a wide range of clients, including restaurants, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and lodging establishments. With over 330 distribution centers across North America, Sysco's extensive network and diverse product offerings make it a leading player in the food and beverage distribution industry.

Q: How many distributors are there in the USA?

A: The food and beverage distribution landscape in the USA is vast and diverse, with thousands of distributors ranging from small, specialized players to large, national corporations. It's difficult to provide an exact number, as the industry is constantly evolving with new entrants, mergers, and acquisitions. However, the top 17 distributors highlighted in this article are among the most prominent and influential in the US market, catering to a wide array of clients and offering a comprehensive range of products and services.

Q: What are the top USA food companies?

A: The top food companies in the USA include:

  • PepsiCo: Known for beverages like Pepsi and snacks like Lay's.
  • Nestlé USA: Offers a variety of products, including Stouffer’s and Nestlé Toll House.
  • Tyson Foods: Major player in chicken, beef, and pork products.
  • General Mills: Famous for cereals like Cheerios and snacks like Nature Valley.
  • Kraft Heinz: Produces well-known items such as Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

These companies dominate the market with diverse product lines and strong brand recognition. As the US market rapidly evolves, staying on top is increasingly challenging.

Reviewing your distribution strategy regularly is just one of the essential activities every F&B company should take as part of maximizing performance in the US market. Get in touch with GourmetPro's experts to find the ideal partner for your product distribution needs.

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