Almost all food and beverage items purchased by consumers at the retail and foodservice level are made available through a network of food and beverage distributors. Additionally, a broad range of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and foodservice goods are generally made available to food and beverage retail and foodservice outlets through this same or related network of food and beverage distributors. A myriad of specialty distributors provides fresh produce, seafood, meats, ethnic, and artisanal food and beverage items.
Food and Beverage Distributors can generally be grouped into distribution industry segments designated as Grocery Distribution, Food Service Distribution, Convenience Store Distribution, and Public Cold Storage.
The same consumer safety standards that apply to food and beverage processing facilities also apply to food and beverage distributors. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives the FDA the authority to inspect food and beverage distributors for compliance against consumables being exposed to improper contact from humans, vermin, debris, pathogens, potentially hazardous chemicals, and to environmental factors that can potentially compromise product integrity, such as storage temperature fluctuations. A critical defense against food and beverage distributor food safety risk are Distribution Center (DC) facilities that provide a food-safe environment. The design professionals at The WEBBER/SMITH Group® branded companies are ready to add value and reduce food safety risk on your next food and beverage DC renovation, expansion, or greenfield project.
Supermarket companies primarily rely on wholesale food and beverage distributors supplemented by specialty distributors to stock their shelves with a wide-range of groceries and CPGs. Most of the largest grocery store companies such as ALDI, Hy-Vee, Meijer, and Kroger own and operate their DCs. Some large and regional grocery chains are serviced by large independent wholesale grocery distributors, e.g. C & S Wholesale Grocers. Many of the DCs associated with the supermarket industry are very large facilities with several Dry Goods, Refrigerated, and Frozen warehouse areas. It is not unusual for the refrigerated and freezer sections of these warehouse to be divided further into specific temperature zones depending on the diary, meat, or produce item being stored. The design professionals at The WEBBER/SMITH Group® branded companies are experts at designing the refrigeration systems, preventative condensation thermal envelope details, building and structural systems, and MEP infrastructure to insure a food-safe environment is created for the proper storage and handling of food and beverage items.
Food Service Distribution
Foodservice distributors deliver food, beverages, and other supplies to more than 1 million professional kitchens every day. “Broadline” distributors carry a wide range of products for a wide range of customers. Some have more than 10,000 items in stock. “Systems” distributors carry more narrow lines of products for their chain restaurant customers. “Specialty” distributors may specialize just in produce or protein. All Foodservice Distributors play a vital role in insuring that the food you eat at restaurants, schools, and other venues outside of the home is safe for human consumption. Many of the Broadline Foodservice Distributors such as Sysco and Gordon Foodservice operate large DCs with multiple temperature zones and highly automated systems to efficiently manage inventory and fulfill thousands of orders every day. Foodservice Distributors can rely on the professionals at The WEBBER/SMITH Group® branded companies to design Foodservice DCs that ensure a food-safe environment is created for the efficient storage and handling of food and beverage items.
Convenience Store Distribution
Convenience Store Distributors typically service convenience stores, drug stores, truck stops, gas stations, and other small format retail outlets. It is not unusual for broadline convenience store distributors such as Farner-Bocken Company to carry tens of thousands of items in the categories of tobacco products, candy, snacks, groceries, automotive, beverages, health and beauty, ice cream, paper goods, chemical supplies, and convenience foods. Many Convenience Store Distributors are also producing their own fresh food product offerings and venturing into the Foodservice Distribution market increasing their exposure to food safety risks. Convenience Store Distributors can rely on the professionals at The WEBBER/SMITH Group® branded companies to design Foodservice DCs that ensure a food-safe environment is created for the efficient storage and handling of food and beverage items.
Public Cold Storage
Public Cold Storage facilities such as those owned and operated by Hall’s Warehouse Corporation, United States Cold Storage, Inc. and Americold Logistics, have been around for many years and the demand for them continues to increase every year. Many food manufactures use public cold storage DCs to supplement or replace their need for onsite cold storage facilities. WEBBER/SMITH Associates, Inc. was founded more than 40 years ago and cut its teeth in the design of Public Cold Storage Warehouses. Over the years there has been much consolidation in this industry and value-added services offered by these cold storage logistics companies to remain completive. The design professionals at The WEBBER/SMITH Group® branded companies are experts at designing the refrigeration systems, preventative condensation thermal envelope details, building and structural systems, and MEP infrastructure to insure a food-safe environment is created for the efficient storage and handling of Public Cold Storage warehouse food and beverage items.