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US Foods Inc.: Supplying And Distributing A Basic Essential

October 29, 2012

One of man’s basic needs is food. Over the years the food distribution business has evolved. While some food establishments may buy their food items and ingredients from the local grocery or local fresh market a huge number of restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities rely on large sophisticated companies that offer hundreds of thousands of products.

US Foods one of these companies with more than 250,000 customers, including healthcare and hospitality enterprises, independent and multi-unit restaurants, educational and government institutions. US Foods sells more than 350,000 products, among them their high-quality exclusive brand Chef’s Line; chef-inspired line of scratch-quality products that saves on time. Another premium line is Rykoff Sexton, offering specialty ingredients that have been procured from around the world.

While food is an essential and may seem to have a ready market there are numerous challenges involved from having to deal with perishable goods to food safety. A bacteria outbreak or food poisoning case can greatly damage the business.

Despite the many challenges, US Foods is the second largest food service supplier in the country. The company has a very long history. One of the many entities that comprise U.S. Foods is Monarch Foods a company that traces its roots to the 1850s. This was a company based in Dubuque, Iowa that sold items for wagon trains that were heading west. John Sexton and Company started as a tea and coffee merchant in 1883.

US Foods has grown to become the 10th largest private company in the U.S.  Its annual revenue tops $20 billion.  It has 25,000 employees in 60 locations. Aside from food items and ingredients the company also sells kitchen and cleaning supplies and restaurant equipments. US Foods formerly known as US Foodservice is owned by private equity firms Clayton, Dublier & Rice and KKR & Company.

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