The Vital Contribution of Wholesale Food Distributors to Supply Chain Efficiency


When store shelves are packed, and restaurants are handing out their full menus to patrons, most people don’t think twice about what makes this possible. However, when your favorite product is running low or out of stock, it grabs your attention. Wholesale food distributors are the key to keeping the supply chain running efficiently.

When your wholesale food service team does its job, you might barely notice its work because products arrive on time and in the desired quantity. We’ll discuss the work of wholesale food suppliers and how you can find the right partner to ensure the efficiency of your supply chain.

How Wholesale Food Distributors Work

At the most basic level, bulk food suppliers serve as the connection between manufacturers and customers. Food wholesale companies purchase and store the products at their warehouses. When restaurants, caterers, cafeterias, and retail stores need these products, the wholesaler delivers them.

Some of the key services that bulk food distributors provide include:

  • Timely shipping
  • Safe storage of products
  • Safe handling of food
  • Maintaining food quality standards
  • Inventory management
  • Anticipating and preparing for changes in consumer preferences

If the supply chain from the manufacturer to the consumer has bottlenecks, food may not reach the consumers until it is close to or beyond an expiration date. Food distribution services must be able to move any perishable food quickly and safely. 

Even canned food or other packaged food with a long shelf life must move efficiently. Consumers don’t want to purchase packaged food that’s within a few weeks of the expiration date. Managing the supply chain on time is challenging for a food wholesaler. Errors and missteps simply can’t be part of the equation.

How Wholesalers Help Manufacturers

By performing supply chain management, wholesalers take pressure off manufacturers. The food manufacturer can focus on simply making food, packaging it, and creating new recipes. The wholesaler handles the complex process of moving the food to the retailers and customers.

The food wholesale company can often help manufacturers find new customers and new product outlets. Because the wholesaler deals with retailers and restaurants on a regular basis, it’s far easier for the wholesaler to help introduce products from the manufacturer.

If manufacturers need specific options for preserving their food products, such as temperature or humidity control, wholesalers can help. Having proper storage capabilities on-site will help the wholesaler manage the flow of food through the supply chain more effectively.

Maintaining OTIF Standards

One of the most important aspects of wholesale food service is maintaining on-time and in-full (OTIF) delivery standards. Wholesale food distributors who follow OTIF promise to deliver their products on time and in the quantities the retailer ordered. 

If the wholesale grocery distributors are late with a delivery, it could be devastating for the restaurant that needs a particular product for a promotion. If the distributor does not fill the retailer’s entire order, leaving shelves empty, consumers will head to a competitor for the product.

Incorporating technology and digital tools for the wholesale food industry can help suppliers manage orders accurately. When the wholesaler has a clear idea of the quantities of items in stock, filling orders becomes easier. Knowing such technology is in place helps retailers trust the wholesale food distributor.

You Can Rely on Our Wholesale Food Service

At Atlantic Dominion Distributors, we take pride in delivering the products you need when you need them. We understand our key role in the wholesale grocery supply chain. We know you rely on us to show up on time with the products we promised to deliver, and we work hard to fill your needs. 

With 150 years in business, we have a track record of success that stands out from other wholesale food distributors  in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. To learn more about how we can serve you, contact Atlantic Dominion Distributors today.