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【爱马斯全球】单一化供应商即将退出历史舞台

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In the search to create menus that convert, food service operators know that the “farm to fork” narrative resonates well with customers, meaning a large proportion of the budget is allocated to higher-value proteins and fresh produce. But for their specialist suppliers, dependent on a limited number of product lines, lack of diversity leaves profit margins dangerously exposed. As a result, independent suppliers face a choice between lowering prices to remain competitive, or expanding inventory across verticals to remain agile. Typically, that means a transition from center-of-plate to broadline distribution.

在创建可转换菜单搜索功能时,食品服务运营商就知道,“农场到餐桌”的理念能与用户产生很好的共鸣,因此运营商将很大一部分预算放在高蛋白和新鲜农产品上。但是,对于产品线数量有限的单一供应商来说,缺乏多样性利润不会高。所以单一供应商面临的选择是要么降低价格以保持竞争力,要么扩大库存量以灵活应对市场。这就出现了从单一供应向多样化供应转变的现象。

The food distribution landscape

食品经销商现状

There are more than 16,500 food service distribution companies in the U.S., with the industry worth roughly $268 billion. As with any industry that emerged from a national network of independent businesses, larger players have come to dominate the market though acquisition and consolidation, so that today the top 8 distributors control 41%of the market.

在美国,有超过16500家的食品经销商,市值约为2680亿美元。只要出现任何一个独立企业,都会被规模较大的企业收购和整合,因此,如今排名前8的经销商控制着41%的市场份额。

 

The pace of food service supplier consolidation within the industry shows no signs of relenting. Despite the ongoing saga of the Sysco / US Foods merger, the larger players continue to absorb independent suppliers to build their portfolio of signature lines. Moreover, the distribution giants aren’t just getting bigger—they are getting smarter, too. The Amazon Business acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion is just one of the signs that food service distribution will increasingly follow a path of digital transformation and automation.

食品经销商整合的步伐并没有放缓的迹象。Sysco 及US两家食品公司的合并仍在继续,还有一些大的食品经销巨头在不断并购其他供应商,以便建立自己独特的产品线。此外,这些经销巨头不仅规模在扩大,也变得越来越精明。亚马逊(Amazon)以137亿美元收购了全食超市(Whole Foods),这只是食品服务分销将日益走上数字化转型和自动化道路的迹象之一。

The types of food service distribution

食品经销类型

Food service operators will typically deal with two types of intermediary between them and the manufacturer: the “center-of-plate” / system distributor, and the broadline supplier. Platform Innovation specialist Applico paints a picture where the typical food service operator buys from 2-3 broadline suppliers, and 6-7 specialty distributors, on a regular basis.

食品经销商通常在单一化供应商和多样化供应商之间选择。创新平台Applico指出,食品经销商通常会定期从2-3家多样化供应商和6-7家经销商进行采购。

Center-of-plate – quality at a price

 单一模式供应具有价格优势

Taking their name from the signature proteins that headline the menu, center-of-plate distributors specialize in beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, items which command the highest cost. Most tend to focus on a narrow range of products targeting a clearly defined sector, such as restaurant chains.  

对于菜单上的菜名,单一化供应商会重点以一些肉类命名,如牛肉、羊肉、猪肉等这些品类价格较高的食品上。大多数经销商会把精力集中在这些有限的产品上,供应目标相对明确,比如连锁餐厅。


The foundation of the center-of-plate offering is better quality and customer support. Center-of-plate supply evokes sales teams building close relationships out in the field, promoting select product lines with a backstory. That same strength, however, can be a weakness. If food service operators are no longer willing or able to meet the reserve price on core products, there is little leeway to fight off competition from the bigger distributors other than cutting price.

单一化供应商的基础是更好的质量和老客户支持。单一供应商鼓励销售团队使用产品背后故事推广产品线,以此建立亲密的供应联系。当然,这种方式也存在弊端,就是如果食品经销商不再愿意采购或者不满意核心产品的最低价格,那么单一化供应商除了降价,没有其他办法与规模较大的供应商竞争。

 

Today, center-of-plate territory no longer belongs exclusively to the independents. Food service operators may also choose to build relationships with broker networks, which continue to develop their own center-of-plate offering, handling a variety of brands. Inevitably, however, time-pressured brokers will lean heavily on their top-selling brands and may not always offer the actual variety they promise. Likewise, the big food distributors continue to follow a relentless strategy of buying up independent distributors to incorporate their own center-of-plate house brands. This provides a valuable resource for regional or national chain restaurants that require a consistent supply.

如今,单一化供应商不再有优势。食品经销商会找代理,代理也在发展自己的供应中心,处理各种品牌。但是,时间紧迫的代理人主要依赖他们最畅销的品牌,可能并不总是提供他们实际所承诺的多样性。同样,大型食品经销商也会不停地收购小型经销商,以整合自己的核心品牌。这为需要持续供应的区域或国家连锁餐厅提供了宝贵的资源。

Broadline – the ‘one-stop shop’

多样化一站式购买的崛起

The broadline food distributor emerged in the 1970s as a partner capable of delivering everything from proteins to dry goods and disposables on the same truck. Now responsible for around 60% of distributor sales, broadline distributors carry a wide variety of products, with the average distributor handling 8,000 to 12,000 units.  

多样化食品供应商出现于20世纪70年代,起初只做乳制品、干货及一次性用品。后来开始处理各式各样的产品,逐渐发展为占食品经销商约60%的销售额,平均处理8000到12000件商品。

 

Unlike center-of-plate distributors, broadline suppliers may be servicing a variety of sectors outside the traditional restaurant trade, from the health sector to schools. As a consequence, they are more likely to have a more sophisticated range of options for warehousing and transportation.

与单一化供应商不同,除了传统的餐饮行业,多样化供应商还服务其他很多行业(如卫生部门、学校等)。因此,他们还将面临仓库和交通工具选择的问题。

The advantages of moving to broadline distribution

多样化供应的优势

Towering over the broadline distribution sector is Sysco, the world’s largest food service distributor, controlling some 27% of the U.S. market. While the majority of Sysco’s business is in fresh and frozen meats (21% of sales) and canned/dry goods (16%), it also serves a diverse range of needs, including paper and disposables (7%) and medical supplies.

西斯科是多样化供应行业的巨头,是世界上最大的食品经销商,控制着美国27%的市场。西斯科大部分业务是鲜冻肉(21%的销售额)和罐头干货(16%的销售额),但同时它也提多元化需求,包括纸张等一次性耗材(7%的销售额)和医疗用品。

 

The opportunity for independent suppliers, however, is that not all food service operators relish the prospect of placing their budget with the top five distributors: Sysco, US Foods, Gordon Food Service, Performance Food Group, or Reinhart Foodservice. They fear losing autonomy and bargaining power in the face of a marauding giant, and suspect that they will be toward the back of the line when it comes to addressing missed or incorrect orders, or receiving discounts or signature brands.

但是一些小型独立供应商也是有机会的,因为不是所有的食品经销商将预算投入在前5强的美国食品供应商上的(Sysco, US Foods, Gordon Food Service, Performance Food Group, or Reinhart Foodservice)。因为面对经销巨头时,他们也会担心失去自主权和议价空间,尤其是在处理错过的订单,或者是接受打折要求和贴品牌标签时。

 

Here, then, is the territory that the smaller independent can fill—not by trying to emulate the size and scope of the bigger broadline distributor, but by looking for complementary lines to adopt. Center-of-plate suppliers can leverage their existing relationships to identify new areas for growth, from dry goods to disposables. They can exploit their reputation for customer service and reliability with the business owner to introduce new lines away from the fresh food sphere. By anticipating a buyer need, the distributor not only consolidates their own revenue stream, but also avoids losing an existing customer. Because the loyal client who searches for disposable gloves or detergent and finds a competitor who also sells meat is suddenly harder to retain.

对于那些小型独立供应商,不要试图去模仿大型供应商,而是要充分利用可实现的空间。无论是干货还是一次性用品批发,小型供应商要善于利用现存的资源找到可增长空间。比如重视客户口碑、利用自己可靠的供应关系来引进新的产品线。通过对采购者的需求的挖掘,小型供应商不仅会不断增收,还会提高客户留存率。那些对一次性手套和洗涤剂都有需求的客户会很忠诚,以此轻松打败竞争对手。

Food service distribution trends to follow

食品经销趋势

Although family-owned “mom and pop” food distributors still account for two-thirds of businesses in the sector, they account for less than 10 percent of revenue. Growth has to come through consolidation.

尽管家族性食品经销企业仍占有2/3的市场份额,但是它们收入已不到10%。利润的增长是建立在稳定的基础上。

 

According to The Hale Group 79% of operator purchases will be made through centralized purchasing by 2020. It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see that doing the same thing and hoping for a different result would be not necessarily madness, but certainly unwise.

根据The Hale Group(美国食品相关数据网站)称,到2020年,79%采购者将会采用统一的采购方式。很明显,继续坚持单一化供应模式,肯定是不明智的。

 

To compete in the modern food service marketplace, businesses will be obliged to diversify and offer better economies of scale by carrying a wider variety of products. As retail giants such as Walmart, Costco, and Amazon have shown, consumers will ultimately gravitate to a retailer offering everything under one roof. For the distributor, that means identifying new products with wider margins that can be incorporated at the best price, and using them to support and nourish the original center-of-plate roster.

为了保持竞争力,企业不得不尽快实现多样化,并且通过提供不同种类的产品来规模化。作为零售巨头沃尔玛、好市多、亚马逊表示,消费者最终将会被吸引到一个能提供多样化的平台上购物。对于经销商来说,这意味着要尽快锁定一个新产品、制定合理价格扩大盈利,并且利用这个来补充传统(产品线)的不足。

 

One great addition to any center-of-plate lineup is disposable gloves. Required by OSHA regulations, they offer high profit margins while being a repeat purchase item.

经销一次性手套就是一个伟大的补充。根据OSHA(职业健康与安全标准)称,销售一次性手套不仅利润可观,回单也快。

爱马斯,手套品牌领导者。专注“健康、卫生、安全”的防护领域30年。

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