The USA food market has tremendous possibilities.
Some data for food wholesaling, including retailers, foodservice operators, other wholesalers, government, and other types of businesses, could give you an idea of the dimensions of the market:
- Sales to the food-at-home sector (FAH - retailers) were $282 billion in 2002.
- Sales to the food-away-from-home sector (FAFH - foodservice) were $118 billion in 2002.
- Sales to other wholesalers were 26% of total sales.
There are 3 basic types of wholesalers:
- Manufacturers' Sales Branches and Offices (MSBOs) are grocery manufacturers that market their own products.
- Merchant wholesalers (also referred to as third-party wholesalers) buy groceries and related products from manufacturers and resell them to retailers, institutions, and other businesses. Sales by merchant wholesalers account for 61 % of the market volume.
- Brokers and agents (wholesale operators who buy or sell for a commission as representatives of others and typically do not own or physically handle the products). This is where Worldwide Provisions business model fits.
Classification of merchant grocery wholesalers:
- General-line distributors (broadline or full-line distributors) handle a broad line of groceries, health and beauty aids, and household products.
- Specialty distributors do wholesale distribution of items such as frozen foods, dairy products, meat products, or fresh fruits and vegetables. Specialty wholesalers account for nearly 50% of the grocery wholesale sales.
- Miscellaneous distributors do wholesale distribution of a narrow range of dry groceries such as canned foods, coffee, bread, or soft drinks.