Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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28 Guide to Foodservice | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Figuring Out the Foodservice at Retail Supply Chain C-stores have myriad choices for foodservice sourcing By Don Longo T here is no single correct answer when it comes to foodservice supply-chain sup- port. Convenience store retailers have several different sources to consider for their foodservice solutions, and each type of source has its own particular pros and cons for retailers. C-store retailers can choose from among tra- ditional foodservice distributors, such as Sysco; broadline distributors such as McLane, Eby-Brown and Core-Mark; or local sources such as commis- saries and direct-store distributors, according to Convenience Foodservice Exchange presenter Holly Veale, product director of foodservice for McLane Co. Inc., a leading supply chain services company based in Temple, Texas. Veale has been with McLane for 10 years. Most recently, her team designed, developed and implement- ed McLane Kitchen and its Fresh Produce+ initiative, the convenience store industry's first national solution for fresh produce. "Traditional foodservice suppliers offer high frequency of delivery, foodservice expertise, trace- ability and compliance," explained Veale, but those benefits come with such drawbacks as increased invoicing and labor costs, higher inventory levels, increased home-office and store labor, and lack of c-store expertise. Local commissaries provide quick turnaround and frequent delivery, but do not provide the consistency of quality across a geographic span that most retail chains seek. They can also be challenged on traceabil- ity and regulatory compliance, she said. Broadline distributors offer "dependability, reduced inventory, reduced home-office and store labor, trace- ability, regulatory compliance, a consistent item mix, and reduced traffic on your store lot," said Veale. On the perceived con side are decreased delivery frequency and smaller product mix. However, she noted that broadline distributors' large purchasing power enables them to have a robust item mix. She also highlighted that they understand the c-store business, know how to maximize category management, and already have strong relationships with suppliers. During her presentation, Veale also described how the landscape for food distribution has been impacted by significant government regulation, such as trans-fat labeling requirements in 2003, food allergy labeling mandates in 2004, and the Food Safety and Modernization Act in 2011. All of these have added to the complexities of ensuring a safe supply chain. CSN Holly Veale of McLane ran down the pros and cons of various c-store foodservice supply sources.

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