The challenges for wholesale food distributors – and how InFlavour can help

The challenges for wholesale food distributors – and how InFlavour can help

Wholesale food distributors: we see you. You play a crucial role in the food industry, providing restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses with the goods they need to keep their shelves stocked and their customers satisfied.

However, this critical sector comes with its own set of challenges – and at InFlavour, global F&B experts will be exploring how to overcome them.

What are challenges for wholesale food distributors?

Firstly, there’s the need to constantly maintain a fresh and diverse inventory. With consumer demands and tastes changing all the time, and the fluctuating availability of certain products and ingredients, distributors have to be agile in order to adapt to the market.

This is a key issue for distributors of all sizes, but smaller companies that might lack the resources or experience to handle a constantly changing inventory can find themselves in a precarious position very quickly.

Logistics and transportation also pose a constantly evolving challenge for food distributors. As we saw when the pandemic hit, geo-political changes can happen very quickly – affecting a company’s capability to source ingredients and transport food, particularly across borders. As reported by the OECD, COVID-19 placed ‘unprecedented stress’ on food supply chains, creating bottlenecks in transport and logistics – as well as huge changes in consumer demand.

And this couldn’t have been predicted. Whole food companies have to plan for the unpredictable in order to build resilience into their operations.

Even in relatively stable times, though, logistics and transport require a huge amount of organisational efficiency. Clients expect products to arrive on time and in good condition, and when products are perishable or to travel in specific conditions, this is a complex process.

The challenge of food safety and compliance is closely linked to logistics – but carries an additional set of challenges. Companies must understand and adhere to government regulations that may change frequently, and vary across different countries. There’s a high (and costly) level of diligence involved, but it’s essential for maintaining the trust of clients and protecting public health.

Your path to new frontiers in food

It’s clear that wholesale food distribution isn’t a simple sector – you face a varied and shifting pool of challenges, and you have to approach them with skill, curiosity, and dedication. We say have to because the world needs you: the food industry can’t function with expert distributors.

The path towards resilience and success includes these steps:

  1. Invest in the right technology and tools.

    From inventory management software to transportation management systems, there’s a growing number of sophisticated tools available to support your work. Stay open to new technologies, learn about how they could make your job easier and more efficient, and leverage their capabilities to streamline your operations.
  2. Build strong partnerships and collaborative relationships.

    You need people. And not just any people – you need to meet the right people, build relationships with them, and create ways of working together that are mutually beneficial for your businesses. By working closely with your suppliers, you can gain a better understanding of their capabilities and inventory levels, enabling you to coordinate orders more effectively – and support each other as you improve tooling and upskill your teams.
  3. Stay informed and up-to-date on industry developments and trends.

    Knowledge is power. In order to overcome current challenges and understand when new issues are emerging, wholesale food distributors must stay informed about what’s happening in the industry, and the external forces that are influencing industry success. Staying informed means staying ahead of the curve – so you can adapt quickly and stay competitive.

We’re here to help with all of the above. InFlavour is on a mission to support food businesses as they navigate changing markets in an uncertain global landscape – because we don’t want you to fall behind.

When you head to Riyadh for InFlavour 2023, you will:

  • Learn about the latest trends and developments in the food and beverage industry, from global leaders in the wholesale distribution sector – and experts from a cross-section of industry segments that can broaden your knowledge base.
  • Connect face-to-face with potential customers and partners. You’ll meet decision-makers from global brands and fledgling F&B startups, and have the opportunity to build meaningful, collaborative relationships with them. Making an impression in person means you’ll also be front-of-mind when they’re looking for a partner like you in the future.
  • Be able to showcase your products and services to a global audience. InFlavour will feature a trade show floor, where distributors can market directly to the most relevant industry professionals and increase visibility.

InFlavour is the event for wholesale food distributors who want to reach an engaged global audience. We can’t wait to see you there.

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