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Food Distributors – Industry Research, Analysis, Statistics, and Forecasts

SIC 514  |  NAICS 4244

This free online guide to industry research and analysis provides sources for industry statistics, trends, and forecasts, financial ratios, salary surveys, and more.

See the following sections listed below to view available resources by category:

For guides to other industries, see our index of over 400 industries.

Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

Industry Research Reports
Grocery Wholesaling  (view report)
Food Wholesaling by Product Line  (view reports)
Comprehensive industry research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Topics addressed in the reports include:
Sample report and selected industry statistics including market size, five-year average growth rate, number of businesses, and total employment are available free online.

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Wholesaling

Introductory section provides an overview of the food wholesaling industry, with information provided including a description of the major types of wholesalers (e.g., merchant wholesalers, manufacturing sales branches and offices, brokers and agents), the types of products distributed (e.g., general line, specialty, miscellaneous), and the types of customers served (e.g., retail outlets, food service firms).

The Hale Group
Foodservice White Papers

White papers explore emerging issues and opportunities for U.S. foodservice distributors, with topics covered in this section including "Foodservice 2025: Digitalized, Democratized & Disrupted", "A New Era Emerging in Foodservice", "GPO's in FoodserviceLandscape and Growth Opportunities", and "Foodservice Distributors of the Future". All publications in this series can be downloaded free online.

International Foodservice Distributors Association
Publications available from this trade association include:

IFDA Newsletters
Newsletters provide news and information for foodservice distributors, with topics covered in various issues including operations, transportation, regulations and legislation, IFDA programs and research, public policy issues, and recent government activities. IFDA Daily Update and IFDA Weekly Ops are available free with email registration; IFDA State and Federal Insights are available to members only.

IFDA Monthly Economic Update
Monthly macroeconomic trend and outlook analysis includes detailed information on leading industry and economic indicators, with data analyzed in each update including retail sales, price indices (e.g., CPI, PPI), gross domestic product, personal consumption expenditures, and labor market data (e.g., payroll employment, average hourly earnings, unemployment rate, and labor force participation rate).

IFDA Operations & Financial Performance Report
Annual foodservice distributor survey provides a compilation and analysis of operations and financial data segmented by sales volume, number of distribution facilities, and return on assets performance, with topics covered including sales growth, private-label product sales, inventory levels, inbound and outbound totals, on-time delivery rate, error rate, technology implementation, and employee turnover.

BizMiner Market Analysis Reports
Food Distributors and Wholesalers  Search for "4244" to see available reports

Market analysis reports provide industry statistics for a user-defined area on a national, state, county, metro area, or zip code level, with data provided including number of companies, market volume and sales trends, average company sales, sales per employee, staffing and employment trends, average employee wage, and business start up activity and failure rates. Sample report can be viewed online.

More industry research reports »

Financial Statements and Financial Ratios

BizMiner Industry Financial Ratios
Food Distributors and Wholesalers  Search for "4244" to see available reports
Five-year financial statement analysis reports provide income statements, balance sheets, and key industry financial ratios for companies of all sizes, with financial data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metropolitan area level including:
Sample financial statement and ratio analysis report is available free online.

Industry Research Reports
Food Wholesaling
(see links for individual reports)  (sample spreadsheet)

Key statistics section of these reports provides detailed income statements and balance sheets on a common-size basis and over twenty-five industry financial ratios, with financial ratios provided for the each of the four most recent calendar years and on a historical average basis for 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year time periods. Sample spreadsheet with breakdowns by asset size can be viewed free online.

International Foodservice Distributors Association
IFDA Operations & Financial Performance Report

Annual survey lets users compare their firm's operational and financial performance with other IFDA firms, with financial data, including income statements, balance sheets, and financial ratios, reported in aggregate for all participating firms and by general business profile category, annual sales volume (<$75M, $75M - $200M, >$200M), number of distribution facilities, and return on assets performance.

More financial benchmarking data »

Compensation and Salary Surveys

International Foodservice Distributors Association
Compensation surveys available from this trade association include:

Cross-Industry Compensation and Benefits Survey
Comprehensive survey provides compensation and benefits data for over 35 executive, salaried, and sales positions in the wholesale distribution industry based on data submitted by member companies from twenty-one wholesale distributor trade associations including the IFDA. Participating firms have access to interactive online reporting tools that allow users to filter the results by user-defined criteria.

Compensation Survey: Driver and Warehouse Positions Edition
Cross-industry survey of hourly wage job positions provides median and average compensation data (e.g., base compensation, gross compensation, effective base hourly rate, and effective gross hourly rate) for five driver positions and nineteen warehouse positions, with survey results for each position reported by distributor type (e.g., IFDA firms, all firms), annual sales volume, and geographic region.

PayScale, Inc.
Food Wholesalers

Free online service provides salary, bonus, and hourly wage data for job positions in this sector such as regional sales manager, outside sales representative, warehouse manager, forklift operator, order selector, and delivery driver, with food distributors for which compensation data is provided including Sysco Corp., US Foods Inc., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., and Performance Food Group Company.

More compensation surveys »

BV Guides and Databases

Private Company Sales Transaction Databases
Free "Visitor Search" allows users to search the DealStats, BIZCOMPS, and FactSet/BVR databases for private company sales transaction data by SIC or NAICS Code using the following codes:
  SIC Code 514 - Groceries And Related Products
  NAICS Code 4244 - Grocery and Related Product Wholesalers
Types of establishments included in these codes
General line groceries wholesalers - establishments primarily engaged in the distribution of a broad range of grocery products, including canned and dry goods, baked products, beverages, and snacks, to supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food outlets.
Packaged frozen food wholesalers - establishments focused on wholesaling frozen food products that are packaged for retail sale or foodservice use to a wide variety of clients, including supermarkets, restaurants, cafeterias, and other foodservice establishments.
Dairy products distributors - establishments primarily involved in the distribution of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, and ice cream, derived from milk from mammals, including cattle, goats, sheep, and other animals.
Poultry and poultry products wholesalers - establishments specializing in the distribution of poultry products, including whole birds, cut-up portions, eggs, and processed poultry products, to grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and other foodservice operations.
Confectioneries distributors - establishments that are primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of confectionery products, which include candies, chocolates, sweets, and snacks, to clients ranging from large food chains to candy stores and movie theaters.
Fish and seafood distributors - establishments specializing in the distribution of fish and seafood products, including fresh and frozen fish, shellfish, cured and smoked seafood, and processed seafood products, to grocery stores, seafood markets, and restaurants.
Meat and meat products wholesalers - establishments involved in wholesale distribution of meats and meat products, including fresh meat cuts, processed meat products, and cured or smoked meats, to grocery stores, butcher shops, and foodservice operators.
Fresh fruit and vegetable distributors - establishments engaged in wholesale distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes, to grocery stores, restaurants, school cafeterias, and foodservice operators.
Sample reports with detailed sales transaction data and valuation multiples are available free online.

More valuation data »

Related Industries:
Convenience Stores
Food Service Contractors
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
Restaurants and Sandwich Shops


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