How the Grocery Supply Chain Works

Grocery Supply

Grocery stores are where we purchase the majority of our food and products that allow us to go about our daily lives. But how do these products get to the stores in the first place? Atlantic Dominion Distributors takes you through the supply chain steps and teaches you how the grocery supply chain works. 

What are the Supply Chain Steps?

Once you understand the five main steps of the supply chain, it becomes much easier to find where you land in the process. The five steps are food processor sends to food manufacturer who sends to the food distributors who then sends to the grocery stores who finally sell them to consumers. Did you catch all that? Don’t worry it can be confusing, so we will break it down some more. 

Step 1: Food Processor

The food processors are the people or organizations that grow or develop the food, such as farmers. Some of these processors skip the next step and go directly to the distribution center because they do not need to be packaged or used in a recipe—this includes fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, etc. On the other hand, there are some processors who send their food to a manufacturer who will use it in a recipe or package it.

Step 2: Food Manufacturer

The food manufacturer receives the food that the processor has grown and packages it with their brand label, or uses it to create another food item. For example, a food manufacturer can take flour that they receive and package it for people to buy, or they could use it to create muffins which they then package for people to buy. On some occasions, the food processor and the food manufacturer are one and the same. Many large brands choose to grow and manufacture their own food so they can save time and money and cut out the middle man. 

Step 3: Grocery Store Distributors

Once the food is packaged, labeled, and ready for sale, it is shipped to the distribution centers. These food distributors essentially keep a large inventory of food items ready and available for purchase by the grocery stores. The grocery store distributors are typically placed in a central location so that they can ship the products to the stores when they order them.

Step 4: Grocery Store

The grocery stores keep track of their inventory and order more food from the distributors when they are beginning to run out. The grocery store distributors then come and deliver their orders to the store. Once the orders have arrived, the store’s employees stock the aisles and get the products ready for consumers to purchase.

Step 5: Consumers

Finally, after all of these steps, the consumers go to the grocery store and purchase the items that have been created by the manufacturers. 

Why is the Grocery Supply Chain Important?

Now that you have seen the many steps it takes to get to the consumer, you can understand why many stores have been having supply chain issues. If even one of those steps is delayed or shut down, the entire chain is messed up. During the pandemic, food processors and manufacturers were shutting down their services or becoming delayed. The supply chain is necessary in order for consumers to be able to get the food they typically purchase. 

Grocery Distributors in Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina

Atlantic Dominion Distributors is an established and well-known grocery store distributor in Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina. We know that you have your choice of food distributors that is why our work speaks for itself. With over a century of experience, quality merchandise, and an experienced professional team we know that we can provide you with the service you need.  Looking for a new dry food distributor in Virginia? Get in touch with us today!