Foodservice purchases online will continue to grow

Chicago / IL. (tni) The percentage of street operators purchasing goods online has dramatically increased since 2014, with over 40 percent saying they use third-party e-sourcing (3ES) at least once a month. According to Technomic’s «2018 E-Sourcing Impact Study», supplies, disposables, specialty foods and shelf-stable foods represent much of what is purchased.

«Our research suggests that street restaurant operators are bullish on the future of third-party e-sourcing,» said Joe Pawlak, managing principal. «Today, operators are most inclined to purchase products in the nonfoods and shelf-stable space but are reluctant to source frozen and perishables from 3ES. However, they can envision a giant like Amazon developing a solution to make operators comfortable purchasing these products online.» Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Unless 3ES can compete beyond price and many of the unique benefits that distributors provide, they will never become the primary source for operators
  • As a result of new purchasing expectations from the younger tech-savvy generation, distributors are evolving and investing in developing user-friendly online ordering platforms and apps to mirror Amazon’s interface
  • Some distributors report that operators are using 3ES for price checking, sometimes finding lower prices on Amazon and trying to negotiate price on this basis
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