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.
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.