The Daily Dilemma

A look at the future of daily fresh-food deliveries, and what’s in their way.

By
Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Special Projects Coordinator

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The snag comes in trying to get those products from the assembler to the retailer frequently enough for the product to be fresh and appealing. Chiovera points to distribution as “the biggest gap,” making it cost-prohibitive for retailers to get such products into their stores.

“Broad-line distributors … are the answer, and they just don’t know how to deal with it,” he says.

Holand suggests that distributors could do more to serve as foodservice category managers for retailers, actively and aggressively coordinating and putting programs together. Many, including the companies mentioned in this story and the Category Management Association, are taking more steps toward advanced foodservice category management tools.

“I need to look at what I have in my four walls, and have to act like a category manager of a retail operation, and say, ‘What do I need to have in my distribution center to give to my retailers to make them competitive?’ ” she says. “It needs to be a push back out to the retailer.” 

Chiovera sees retailers partnering to be able to economically fill a truck with fresh product and get it to their stores daily; it’s his solution to critical mass.

“[Retailers] need to find a way to align from an assembly standpoint, but compete from a retail standpoint,” he says. “And people need to be comfortable with that, but they’re not.

“There’s a solution out there, but it’s really going to take … competitors working together on the infrastructure in order to compete on the street. That’s the big gap right now.”

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