grocery store distributors

Grocery Store Distributors AKA Wholesale Grocers

Grocery Store Distributors AKA Wholesale Grocers



Grocery store distributors are the link between manufacturers and retailers. These distributors or wholesale grocers help reach thousands of products into various stores and hence to the consumers.


Grocery store distributors are solely in the business of distribution of products from the manufacturers or vendors to the retailers. These retailers can be independent stores or high-end supermarkets. Some manufacturers undertake the task of reaching out to the stores directly while others do so at least at the start of their business. This might save time or money or both in the initial days of a new business. But as the business grows vendors need to reach more retail stores in the most cost-effective way and also with the most ease. Therefore there are several advantages of working with a grocery store distributor AKA wholesale grocers.


Grocery store distributors offer several benefits to manufacturers or vendors


Working with wholesale grocers is cost-effective business decision for the manufacturers. Grocery store distributors provide manufacturers with an option of distributing their products in ways that will save them money. Catering to the supply needs of an independent store is a big task. More so if the store is a high-end supermarket dealing with thousands of products. The distributors can make this task easier for the vendors by taking care of the distribution of the products and managing supplies to the stores.


Supplying to the stores needs a different infrastructure. The transport alone can cost a lot of money as the vehicles need to be purchased or leased. Then there is the fuel cost. Wholesale grocers have the infrastructure in place to distribute food and other groceries in an efficient manner. Bringing this infrastructure in place can be a time-consuming as well as expensive endeavor for most manufacturers or vendors.


Working with distributors saves time. Grocery store distributors have their logistics in place for the business. There is an inventory to take care of and deal with ongoing demands of hundreds of stores. There are discounts and offers to handle and manage. There is task of invoicing and collection and establishing the terms of the credits. Wholesale grocers have to maintain storage for their stock and take care of products that reach them through shipping or as air cargo. There is a ton of stuff to handle in the distribution business. Grocery store distributors take care of all these tasks that are necessary in the business. Establishing and maintaining such logistics takes time and requires long-term efforts.


Working with wholesale distributors offer vendors the advantage of their huge network. Grocery store distributors work through a large network of vendors and retailers. This is built through years of business. They know and understand the requirements of their clients and can serve them better by providing them with the best of supplies. This works out for the benefit of all parties involved in the business.


Working with wholesale distributors gives the vendors the advantage of marketing. It is through distributors that promotional banners and flyers reach retail stores. When these are placed in the store for the benefits of consumers; stores can get advance orders for the same. This can give an idea about the response to the new product to the manufacturers or vendors and they can work on arranging the requisite numbers to supply to the retailers.


Working with wholesale store distributors help manufacturers reach newer markets. Wholesale grocers have solid business relationships with retail stores of all types. They know what product will fare better in what location. A store with predominant population of a particular community will do better with products catering to that community. It is also in the interest of the distributors to reach as many stores as possible.


Only distributors can continually look for newer markets, which not only helps them but also the manufacturers. Working with wholesale store distributors can reduce the workload of the vendors. It is the distributors who take care of returns and credits of the retail stores. This helps manufacturers and vendors considerably as these processes need time.


Grocery store distributors offer several benefits to retailers


Grocery store distributors work with each retail client to supply them with the best of products from the best of vendors. Not all distributors supply all the products. Some distributors might be in the business of supplying only poultry products to retail stores or they might deal in only vegetables. When a distributor dealing with only meat products is aware that a retailer might need a huge supply of chicken in a particular month, the distributors can make the quantity available to that retail client.


Grocery store distributors bring offers and discounts to retailer. These discounts or promotional offers come directly from the manufacturers and these help the retailers sell more products to the consumers. Every new product comes with a promotional discount or offer. Then there are seasonal and special holiday offers. Some manufacturers work on special products that are only available through the holiday season. These can reach a retail store only through a distributor who can notify the stores well in advance and retail stores can manage their orders for the same accordingly.


Grocery store distributors also do the job of providing feedback from the retailers to the vendors or manufacturers about the products. If customers are not satisfied with a product or a store is handling many returns then the same can be conveyed to the manufacturer. This helps the retailers as the manufacturer might replace the product or reduce the cost of a defective product.


Grocery store distributors ease the supply worries of the retail stores by making sure manufacturers are supplying all necessary products in time and in the right quantity.

Grocery store distributors help retail businesses by introducing new products in their stores. The better the business terms between a distributor and a retailer, the better deals for the latter. The manufacturers might give promotional placements products for a few retail store only. It becomes the prerogative of the distributors to decide which store gets the free promotional products.

How to find wholesale grocers

How to Find Wholesale Grocers

How to Find Wholesale Grocers

How to find Wholesale Grocers on the internet may be difficult, so I would visit We provide a list of over 2,000 wholesale grocers and over 2,500 food service distributors.


The following issues have to be kept in mind while looking for a wholesale grocers for your product


  1. Portfolio of wholesale grocers – There are different types of wholesaler grocers who supply products to Grocery store and Supermarket chains and also grocers which consist of only food products. Some wholesale grocers have their own vendors supplying food products which are sold to grocers and c store distributors under their own brands. If the wholesale grocer has too many products which can be your competitors then avoid them.


  1. Outreach of wholesaler – If you are planning to have a nationwide launch for your products then a wholesaler with reach into regional or statewide markets will not be effective. You need to carry out extensive research about a wholesaler’s distribution network and the time he will take to distribute your products across grocery stores. As your products have to be available on shoppers’ shelves after a marketing campaign it is essential that your distribution cycle is effective too.


  1. Experience of wholesaler – While making a sales pitch to these wholesale grocers make an attempt to find out if they have sold products similar to yours in the past and what has been their experience. This will give you a fair idea if they will be able to distribute your product effectively or if they will be able to identify potential markets.


  1. Does your wholesale grocer supply to both c store chains and grocers – Decide whether you want your product stocked at a convenience store or a grocers chain stores. Remember a convenience store is not always the best place for your food products but in a remote location it is the likeliest place customers will drive in for their daily requirements.


Before you find wholesale grocers for your product you need to perform necessary steps as a form of groundwork for your products which will help sales once they land on grocers’ shelves.

  1. Collecting necessary permits and insurance – To make your product suitable for sale in grocery stores you need to have necessary permissions and certificates from state’s health department to show that your product is fit for consumption. Insurance to protect yourself from perceived injury that a customer might face from your product.


  1. Packaging and labeling – An attractive package with information about quantity of ingredients, product manufacturing and expiry dates and details of nutritional value of each product will be required to make your product suitable for display. Though suitable ready made containers can be purchased from suppliers, their designing and labeling has to be done in a professional manner to give your product a unique look and feel.
  2. Participate in trade shows and network – Participate aggressively in farm markets and trade shows in your area to spread word about your products. Network with wholesale grocers at trade meetings and shows to showcase your products and the value it can add to their product portfolio. Share samples and contact information with them along with attractive discounts you can offer for bulk purchases.


  1. Prepare a suitable media campaign to back your product launch – Just distribution of your product will not sell it, you have to convince buyers of benefits form your products. Make a convincing media campaign which can be shown via television commercials or online advertisement campaigns through social media. Have an interesting website with videos or audio clips about how to use your product and its benefits.


  1. Can you meet growing demands of business – While setting up a advertisement campaign or ironing out your distribution channels check if you have the capacity to scale up if demand for your product increases. Keep contingency plan and resources in place which can be helpful if you are given a big order which can make or break your business.


Are you going to use full service or limited service wholesale grocers – As the name states, full service wholesalers provide a host of services to their vendors which include assistance in stocking, pricing and display across grocery stores they service. Limited service wholesalers generally service local stand alone stores and convenience stores chains and have limited storage and distribution facilities.


Zeroing on the right wholesale grocer to sell your product – The packaged food industry within United States is extremely competitive with sub categories of every product which makes it confusing for buyers to remain with a particular brand for a long time. While some producers want to remain limited to their local markets and loyal customers, others want to make a splash in national markets. Every grocer has to make a detailed study of market and reach of wholesale grocers before zeroing in on the right one who can meet their existing distribution needs and future growth requirements.

Make a marketing plan and distribution strategy when you are going to meet a potential wholesale grocer who can be your partner in profits. Unless you convince him about utility or unique sales point about your product he cannot convince grocers to stock your products. A strong channel partner with a powerful list of convenience chain stores in its client list can help take your products to right customer base. When you are using a wholesaler network for marketing your products remember to meet each and every grocer where your product is likely to be displayed to develop a sustainable promotional strategy.

The only way you can find a list of wholesale grocers is through the Wholesale Grocers Directory Research and frequent meetings with their management and also with the store owners where they distribute their products. Choosing the right distribution channel can help sell a product and give it a competitive edge over others who may have similar ideas.

Wholesale Grocers

Things To Keep In Mind When Selecting Wholesale Grocery Distributors

Things To Keep In Mind When Selecting Wholesale Grocery Distributors

Wholesale Grocers

You’ve seen the way entrepreneurs have pitched their products on the hit series Shark Tank, and now it’s your turn to throw your hat into the ring. Yours is an organic food item that will help to meet the rising demand at grocery stores around the country.

However, now the trick is to get your product from your hands onto the retail store shelves. It’s  no small task, considering that you’re entering a field that generates more than $500 billion in sales each year across the industry. You’re going to have to invest just as much effort as you did in developing your food item as you will in getting it into the hands of consumers.

Most importantly, you should work with wholesale grocery distributors. These professionals are the middle-man in supply-chain management and have established relationships with grocery chains around the country. This will give you a better shot at growing your business versus other options, such as selling your food items to individual farmers markets.

Start Small

Even if you eventually want to see your product mass marketed at major grocery chains around the country, keep it small to start. Begin working with local distributors in your area so that you can identify the markets in which your food item is received well. Otherwise you could waste time and resources looking for the big payoff while a small-scale rollout could yield better results.

Consider it a learning experience in which you seek out feedback both from the wholesale grocery distributors and grocery chains for ways to improve the presentation of your product. You might also find that certain grocery markets and distributors favor local businesses, which can give you the break you need. Once you have generated sales and gained a reputation for your brand, you can begin seeking greater distribution.

Find Your Niche

Also, you’ll want to find wholesale distributors with protocols in place that support the type of food item you make. For instance, you’ll have to consider expiration dates and refrigeration needs. Certain wholesale grocery distributors might have strengths that support your product’s unique needs, such as frequent distribution. Others may specialize in a particular food category such as perishables that would help to get your product to the grocery chain quickly.


Make sure that you educate your distributor as much as possible about your item. In turn, that distributor will be in a more-informed position to field queries by the grocer directly. This will reflect well both on you and your brand. Choose wholesale grocery distributors that are willing to listen to the story behind your product as well as to the features that help define your item.


If you’re ready to move your product from your factory to shelf space at grocery chains, let us help you locate the wholesale grocery distributors that are best for you. Contact us today to discuss your options.

How to find wholelsale grocers

Wholesale Grocers for Grocery Stores

Wholesale Grocers for Grocery Stores


Wholesale grocers and grocery stores have a business relationship that is built on economics and trust. This is the business network that helps bring goods to their final consumers. Every grocery store needs a dedicated group of not one but many wholesale grocers.

So what is the business model that connects wholesale grocers to the grocery stores? Or what is this network that brings business from wholesale grocers to the grocery stores? What does the process entail?

The distribution network between wholesale grocers and grocery stores

Wholesale grocers bring products to the grocery stores. In most cases manufacturers do not work directly with retail stores. There are some manufacturers who set up their own distribution networks to do direct business with the retailers. This is seen more so in the last few decades. But it is still not very common. Either way, whether a manufacturer sells their products through their own distribution business or through other wholesale grocers, it is the wholesaler who deals with retailers. This section of business – that is selling goods to retailers – work through its own methods and processes.

Now to talk through examples, which still follow the traditional manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer cycle; a wholesale grocer is the middleman here. Wholesale grocers are the link between a distributor and a retailer. This is a very crucial link that builds or breaks businesses.

Wholesale grocers introduce new products to the retailers. They are the ones who get to decide first and foremost what product is going to the next stage of the distribution cycle. One particular wholesale grocer might not like a particular product and decide to not distribute it while another grocer might decide to go ahead with it. This will decide what retail grocery stores are selling what products.

For instance, if a wholesale grocer decides to not distribute a new type of jam then all the retail stores in their network will not get to see that new type or brand of jam and decide if they want to stock it or not. Where as if wholesale grocers decide to go ahead with this jam then all the retail grocery stores in their network will get to see and test this jam.

Another scenario is that a retail grocery store might be served by say two different wholesale grocers. Then if one brings the jam to the store and it becomes a hit with the consumers, and the other wholesaler might fall out of favor if this becomes a regular thing.

Deciding on what products to sell or at what cost is a job function of the wholesale grocer. This is very important as they can make or break a product. Not only they introduce new products to retailers; they also have the power to decide if they want to discontinue the distribution of a product or sell a new one. Mostly the cost factors decide these things.

Wholesale grocers also have the control over what products to distribute and what cost. If wholesale grocers, through their network or business association, decide to not distribute a certain product then both the manufacturers and retailers are at a loss. This could be for a number of reasons. One instance would be when a manufacturer is being a bully and not negotiating on pricing for a certain product. The wholesale grocer being the middleman does have the power to control the distribution and cost of a product.

Wholesale grocers bring the best of the products to the retailers. Wholesalers also work on profit margins. The more products and categories of products they sell to retailers, the more money they make. The more profit margins wholesale grocers can work out for themselves, the better pricing they can pass to the retail grocery stores.

Wholesale grocers also bring the best of promotions and offers to the retail grocery stores especially when a manufacturer is launching a new product in the market. This is how retail stores are always running some promotion or the other for the consumers. Retails grocery stores also get free gifts or special holiday discounts to pass on to the end-users. This is the reason retail stores are filled with shiny new packages during Christmas times and other holidays.

The trusted network between wholesale grocers and grocery stores

Business relationships are necessary for the sustenance of any business. How well a business partnership works is an important factor in how well a business runs.

The wholesale grocers are the link between the manufacturer and the retailers. Grocery stores will run of out milk or a brand of yogurt if the wholesalers refuse to distribute it. Yes, manufacturers can directly reach the retail grocery stores. But establishing the distribution side of business is not easy. It takes years of dealings and trust and a strong network to run a successful distribution business. It can’t happen instantaneously if a distribution problem arises.

For instance, if wholesale distributors collectively decide to boycott a product then there is nothing a manufacturer can do in a short period of time to have the product reach the retail grocery stores in the same amount of time as the wholesale grocers can.

Wholesale grocers also have a trusted circle of retail stores where they bring their best products and discount offers. This is true for any business relationship. These business relationships between wholesale grocers and retail grocery stores build over the years through honest business transactions and mutual benefit. This relationship also ensures that a retail grocery store can ask for the stock of a particular product that is in high demand during a season but low in supply.

Why will wholesale grocers prefer one retail store over another? The reasons of course are nature of the business partnerships. Distribution networks work on credit. Those retail stores who pay the wholesale grocers on time will help make the wholesaler make its payment to the manufacturer in time. This is one major reason, which helps develop good relationship between wholesale grocers and retail grocery stores.

Who Are the Largest Wholesale Grocers?

Who Are the Largest Wholesale Grocers?


Wholesale grocers are in the business of bringing goods from the manufacturers and vendors to the stores. Wholesale grocers cater to different types of retail clients and they supply different types of manufactured goods to these stores.

Here are some of the largest wholesale grocers in the country.

C&S Wholesale Grocers

C&S Wholesale Grocers is one of the largest suppliers of groceries in the USA. It was also featured in the Forbes magazine under the category of large private companies in the USA.

They supply groceries to almost 4000 stores that are a mix of high-end stores to supermarkets to food retail stores at the military bases. C&S Wholesale Grocers handle distribution of about 100,000 products through their warehouse that are scattered all over the country.

It was founded by Abraham Siegel and Israel Cohen with a distribution business of only 1,200 products. Today C&S Wholesale Grocers is the largest company by revenue that is in the business of groceries. Back then, in 1918, when the company was founded, it employed only three people and served the grocery needs of the residents of Worchester.

During the World War II the founders seized the business opportunity of serving the food needs of military commissaries. In fact C&S Wholesale Grocers are known for seizing newer markets through opportunities that presented themselves or by creating their own. They are also the pioneer in establishing several methods of cutting costs and making the distribution system efficient. One such initiative was to use rollers in the warehouses to make movement of products easier. The company also utilized the supermarket boom during the war to make new clients.

In less than 20 years, the company became the leader in supplying groceries to supermarket chains. As the years went by the company continued to do newer things in their business. They quickly gained control of the frozen food market and also made new acquisitions, which contributed to the growth of the company. In the 1990s, the company added clients like Wal-Mart to its repertoire and in 1991 they registered sales of $1 billion dollars.

Their business acquisitions continued and also the growth and within a decade their annual sales reached upward of $8 billion dollars and in 2006 the same touches the figure of $20 billion.

The success of C&S Wholesale Grocers is attributed to the fact that they serve all types of stores irrespective of their size. And they do this in a very efficient manner. They are also able to offer their clients the best of discounts and services. C&S Wholesale Grocers have also involved in many philanthropy works over the years like free food distribution to the hungry kids or providing support to literacy programs. They have also reached out to the community in times of natural calamities and other emergency situations in the country.

Brenham Wholesale Grocery Co., Inc.

Brenham Wholesale Grocery Co., Inc. is based in Texas and one of the largest wholesale grocers in the US today. With their inventory of 17000 products, the company serves supermarkets, small stores and restaurants as well. Their product range includes meat produce, frozen foods, dry grocery items, candies, ice creams and many household products. The company was founded in 1905 and has been consistently growing in revenue ever since. The goal was to serve the grocery needs of their small Texas town but Brenham Wholesale Grocery Co., Inc. quickly grew to cover newer markets and geographical locations.

The success of Brenham Wholesale Grocery Co., Inc. is given to the fact that the company and its people quickly adapt to new markets and embrace new technology with ease to improve their business. The company is also known for their exemplary customer service.

International Wholesale

International Wholesale located at Southfield, Michigan specializes in serving the food distribution in dollar stores. But they do cater to all supermarkets, convenience stores and small retail stores. The company serves stores across many states in the US but also to other countries in many parts of the world. They also help businesses open new dollar stores. They have made a name in the market for selling quality products at a dollar rate. Their growth has been consistent over the years and their future looks brighter still


SpartanNash; in terms of revenue; is one of the largest wholesale food distributors serving the military commissaries in the USA. It not only distributes food products in the USA and some other countries as well but also owns and operates its own retail stores like Bag ‘n’ Save, Sun Mart and many more.


SUPERVALU is a leader in wholesale grocery distribution. The company serves stores across the nation through its dedicated network of stores. With their annual sales reaching the figure of $17 billion and their distribution network reaching millions of people, SUPERVALU is a name to be reckoned with and continues to grow in terms of size and revenue.

The company also manufactures their own products that they distribute through their own network. Their distribution centers are equipped with the latest technology. They pride themselves in keeping the pricing affordable for all. They have always believed in innovation and it is one of the reasons for the success of SUPERVALU. They have a solid distribution network and a team of dedicated employees. They also have a strong online tool that has helped the company expand its market. The tool helps suppliers by helping them with their orders and inventory management.

Synergy Brands Inc.

Synergy Brands Inc. distributes groceries and other household products to stores across the US. The company also manufactures its own range of packaged meals and spices and distributes the same as well. It was ranked as one of the largest distributors of groceries in the US, Synergy Brands Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

Metro Inc.

Metro Inc. is based in Quebec Canada but deserves a mention here as it is one of the largest distributors of food in Canada. The company operates hundreds of its own brands of food stores.

How to find wholesale grocers

Who Are Wholesale Grocers? – Wholesale Grocer Distributors

Who Are Wholesale Grocers? – Wholesale Grocer Distributors


Wholesale grocers are the bridge between the manufacturer and the retailer. Yes they are the ‘middleman’ everyone has come to despise. But few realize that without a dedicated distribution network, it is very difficult for products to reach the right stores and therefore the consumers.

The role of wholesale grocers

Wholesale grocers help with the merchandize distribution. They buy from the manufacturers and supply the products to retail stores, which is when the goods reach the consumers or the end-users.

How does a bar of soap reach the end-users or say a pack of cookies? When consumers buy a bar of soap from a retail store, they might not realize how the soap has reached their hands. The product distribution network works behind the scenes to reach consumers of all pocket sizes and needs. Some wholesale grocers supply to retail grocery stores and some sell to other wholesalers or distribution companies.

Wholesale grocers deal in perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and other food stuff. They also deal in nonperishable products such as dry food products like cookies, snacks, candies, chocolates, canned foods, dry foods and such and also other products that a household needs like cleaning products, toiletries and such.

The types of wholesale grocery business

Wholesale grocers can work through different types of operations. Most common type is the wholesale distribution work. This is the classic ‘buying from manufacturers and selling to other wholesale grocers or retailers’ scenario. This is what comes to mind when people think of the wholesale business.

But there are times a manufacturer takes over the role of a wholesale grocer. Manufacturers might decide to not work through wholesale grocers and reduce the profits of their own. When such is the case manufacturers build their own network to deal with the sales and play the role of wholesale grocers, distributing their own products to the retailers.

One other thing that is popular in the wholesale grocery trade is the network of distribution brokers or agents who sell to retail stores after buying goods either directly from the manufacturers or wholesale grocers.

The functions of wholesale grocers

Successful wholesale grocers are expert negotiators. They work with the manufacturers to buy their products at the best pricing, which would prove to be profitable for them and earn them the widest margins of profits when they sell the same to the retailers. And they negotiate the pricing with retailers and other distributors as well. Without this skill wholesale grocers can’t survive in the wholesale trade or can’t make much profits.

Successful wholesale grocers are expert communicators. This is a skill they need to deal with people they have to do business with at each stage of the distribution process. Effective communication is an essential element of every business irrespective of the size and the industry. But in the case of wholesale trade, it is a must as someone who is not a good communicator won’t be able to negotiate well.

Negotiations are required for profit margins, to get the largest discounts and to get the best promotional offers that might be seasonal or not. These promotional offers often become the attractions for retail businesses as they can pass the same offers to the consumers, which is always the plan. For instance, in the case of soaps of the same quality, a manufacture who offers a free soap with three bars of the same soap might sell more than another brand of soap with no offers. Or during holidays, say Christmas, shiny packages or discounts on gift items might make the consumer really happy.

So a manufacturer might not always offer discounts or offers but a wholesale grocer might need to negotiate these out of them to increase their own profits margins. Then the expert communicators can negotiate the offers for them and not other wholesale grocers. This is business after all. A retailer might want to buy good from a wholesale grocers who has products with offers or promotions than from a grocer who has none or less attractive offers.

Successful wholesale grocers are blessed with good people skill or develop these over the years. One of the components through which Businesses thrive is the working relationships formed over the years. The trust that builds between say, a manufacturer and a distributor or a wholesaler and a retailer is what ensures long-term work and continued business.

Successful wholesale grocers are endowed with good finance skills. Wholesale business is the business of managing the slightest of margins. This is what makes a wholesale grocer profits. Even a tiny profit margin can ensure huge sums of profits over a period of time. Good money skills are therefore a quality every wholesale grocer needs to thrive in this business.

Successful wholesale grocers have excellent organization skills. Wholesale grocers need to maintain their own warehouses to store their goods, manage a fleet of vehicles needed to transport their stuff from one place to another and manage their employees at various stages of the business. Then there might be shipping involved if they deal in products that are being shipped to them by a manufacturer. Going to ports, doing the necessary paperwork and dealing with customs are not easy functions to perform. All these require a great set up that is only possible through god organizational skills.

Successful wholesale grocers need quick decision-making skills. Quick-thinking is a prerequisite to success in any business. More so when one needs to quickly decide on a pricing decision or think of placing a new product in the market, which could prove risky business. For instance manufacturers often give heavy discounts on goods that have some minor defects but are still usable. Wholesale grocers will need to quickly think if they can place this product with a retail store and if yes, then at what geographical location.

Successful whole grocers need ample patience. This is not the business of the timid. One needs to be fierce but still be patient with the several people involved in many distribution channels.