Foodservice Redistributors: The Missing Link In Your Supply Chain

The foodservice supply chain is complex and critical. From manufacturers, distributors, and redistributors such as Honor Foods, to drivers and warehousing, efficiency is crucial in controlling costs, ensuring product safety and being responsive to rapidly evolving market conditions. 

Foodservice redistributors like Honor Foods play an important role in ensuring revenue and market satisfaction — from restaurant menu consistency to the advanced-menu planning requirements for school-based food service/cafeterias. 

Foodservice redistributors also play an important role in bridging the gap between manufacturers and distributors. Redistributors purchase large quantities of food products from manufacturers and then sell them in smaller quantities to distributors. This allows distributors to offer a wider variety of products to their customers, including products from smaller manufacturers that would otherwise have no direct access to the supply chain.

By consolidating shipments from multiple manufacturers, redistributors also help reduce transportation costs and improve delivery times. The customers of Honor Foods enjoy this benefit  —  it helps to ensure that food products are available when and where they are needed.

Why The Foodservice Industry Is Essential 

Foodservice is essential because, quite simply, it provides people with access to prepared and nutritious food. Providers such as restaurants, cafeterias, and institutional catering companies directly meet the needs of consumers — from those who are too busy to prepare meals on their own to those who may not have the resources to do so. 

Foodservice entities of all sizes impact their communities in many other ways —  providing jobs, supporting local farmers, and promoting cultural diversity. 

Foodservice businesses also provide value through:

  • Convenience: with extended hours, multiple locations, drive-thrus, pick-up or quick-pay checkouts, these merchants make it possible for consumers to access food round-the-clock, but especially during peak service windows. 
  • Variety: meeting dietary or allergy concerns, cultural or religious preferences — even 2 AM pregnancy cravings — foodservice providers offer a variety regardless of the reasons.
  • Affordability: as a direct benefit of redistribution partners, foodservice businesses can offer affordable meals, reasonable quantities, and healthier options designed to meet every budget.
  • Socialization: from enjoying a meal following the big game to picking up snacks for a road trip, restaurants, convenience retailers, and foodservice businesses provide an environment for people to gather and socialize. 

Through such valuable services, these retailers make many significant contributions to their communities — a fact that was made clear during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide, we felt the loss of socialization and meeting places, yet to this day, restaurants continue to see a shift in consumer patterns. While takeout, delivery, drive-through, and curbside sales are above pre-pandemic levels, on-site restaurant traffic remains down. As Gen Z gains purchasing power, they continue to support the growth of third-party delivery providers, which include DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats.

The Two Segments Of The Foodservice Industry

There are two segments of the foodservice industry. The one that usually comes to mind first is commercial. 

Food Catering Cuisine Culinary Gourmet Buffet Party Concept
  • In the commercial sector, businesses prepare and serve food to the public for a profit. This includes restaurants, bars, cafes, catering companies, and food trucks. Commercial foodservice businesses sell food and beverages at a price that is higher than the cost of producing and serving the food.
  • In the non-commercial sector, businesses prepare and serve food to a specific group of people, such as students, employees, or patients. This includes schools, hospitals, businesses, and government agencies. Non-commercial foodservice businesses are typically motivated by factors not focused on profit, such as providing a service to their customers or employees. They may not charge for their food and beverages, or they may charge a subsidized price.

It’s imperative to recognize the differences between commercial and non-commercial foodservice businesses when providing various companies with product recommendations and logistics plans. With such different needs in operations, a flexible and diverse redistributor is important to have at the ready!

The Functions Of Each Of The Players In The Foodservice Industry Supply Chain

The foodservice industry supply chain is a complex system that involves many different players. Each division has a specific function that ensures that food products are safely and efficiently transported from the farm to the table. Honor Foods is a redistributor in the foodservice industry supply chain, creating more opportunities for distributors to get their businesses the products they need. 

  • Producers: Producers are the first link in the supply chain. They grow or raise the food products that are used in the foodservice industry.
  • Processors: Processors take raw food products and turn them into finished products that are ready to be consumed. For example, processors may grind wheat into flour or pasteurize milk.
  • Manufacturers: Manufacturers produce food products on a large scale. They may specialize in a particular type of product, such as baked goods or frozen meals.
  • Distributors: Distributors purchase food products from manufacturers and then sell them to restaurants and other foodservice businesses. Distributors typically have a large network of warehouses and delivery trucks, which allows them to quickly and efficiently deliver food products to their customers.
  • Redistributors: Redistributors buy food products from manufacturers/suppliers and then sell them to distributors, who sell them to commercial and non-commercial foodservice businesses. Redistributors can help to reduce costs for distributors by consolidating orders and negotiating lower prices with manufacturers.
  • Foodservice businesses: Foodservice businesses, such as restaurants, cafes, catering companies, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, are the end users of the foodservice industry supply chain. We are all personally familiar with this final step!

Honor Foods As A Redistributor

Honor Foods is a redistributor that specializes in providing food products to distributors.

Honor Foods is a redistributor that specializes in providing food products to distributors. Honor Foods helps its customers save time and money by consolidating orders and offering a wide variety of food products, including fresh produce, frozen meals, and snacks.

Honor Foods benefits its customers in a number of ways, including:

  • Lower costs: Honor Foods provides lower prices with distributors because it purchases food products in bulk. 
  • Convenience: Honor Foods consolidates orders from its customers and then delivers the food products in a single shipment, saving time and hassle.
  • Variety: Honor Foods offers a wide variety of specialty food products, including spices, fresh produce, fresh dairy, and commercial-sized ingredients. This allows Honor Foods’ customers to find the food products they need to meet the needs of their own clients.

Sustainability In The Foodservice Industry Supply Chain

Sustainability is a growing concern in the foodservice industry. Foodservice businesses are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact and to support sustainable food production practices.

One way to improve sustainability in the foodservice industry supply chain is to follow the ‘right-sizing’ efficiency model. Within transportation logistics, costs and assets need to be optimized for maximum efficiency in the foodservice industry supply chain. Honor Foods is a redistributor that emphasizes ‘right-sizing’ its fleet, which is important for customer satisfaction, faster deliveries, and driver satisfaction. Using the right vehicles for the right purpose creates reduced downtime and increased productivity for the drivers with the appropriate sized, fuel-efficient vehicles. The reduction of “truck time” when using a redistribution partner as part of the supply chain can greatly increase sustainability in the foodservice industry supply chain. 

Another way to improve sustainability in your foodservice industry supply chain is to find a redistributor with strategically located distribution hubs. For the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions, that are Honor Foods and Sunny Morning Foods. Distribution hubs located close to major highways and population centers reduce the distance that food products need to be transported. For example, Honor Foods is located in Philadelphia, PA, with easy access to I-95, I-76, the Pennsylvania & NJ Turnpikes, and the four major bridges that serve Philadelphia’s surrounding regions.

Redistributors Ensure A Timely Response In The Foodservice Industry Supply Chain

  • Monitoring industry trends: Honor Foods stays up-to-date on the latest trends in the foodservice industry by attending industry events, reading trade publications, and talking to its customers.
  • Developing relationships with manufacturers: Honor Foods builds relationships with manufacturers to get early access to new products and trends.
  • Offering a wide variety of products: As a redistributor, Honor Foods offers a wide variety of products, including both mainstream and niche products. This allows it to meet the needs of a variety of customers, even as trends change.
  • Using technology: Honor Foods uses technology to streamline its operations and to better understand customer needs. For example, using data analytics to track sales trends and predict demand for new products.

By following these practices, Honor Foods foodservice redistributor is able to quickly identify and respond to market trends. This helps the companies keep their customers ahead of the curve and ensure that they have the products they need to meet the demands of their customers.

Some specific examples of how foodservice redistributors are responding to market trends:

By responding to these market trends, Honor Foods foodservice redistributor is helping its customers to meet the demands of its customers and to stay ahead of the curve. This strategy allows merchants to be timely in responding to market trends while not over-investing and having wasted product.

  • The rise of plant-based foods: Redistributors are offering a wider variety of plant-based products, such as plant-based meats, cheeses, and milks. 
  • The growing popularity of ethnic cuisine: Redistributors are offering a wider variety of ethnic food products, such as Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern ingredients. 
  • The increasing demand for convenience foods: Redistributors are offering a wider variety of convenience foods, such as pre-cut vegetables, pre-cooked meats, and ready-to-eat meals. 

A Redistributors Role In “The Secret Life Of Groceries” By Benjamin Lorr

Sunny Morning, an Honor Foods brand, is a leading distributor of dairy products to retail distributors, such as grocery stores. The company offers a wide range of dairy products, including milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt, and supplies these items to grocery stores in need of fresh food.

Sunny Morning plays an important role in the food supply chain by connecting dairy producers with retail distributors. The company’s services help to ensure that dairy products are available to consumers in a timely and efficient manner to maximize shelf life.

The book “The Secret Life of Groceries” by Benjamin Lorr provides a fascinating look at the food supply chain, including the role of distributors and redistributors. Lorr’s book highlights the importance of redistributors by discussing the trucking and shipping industry and how this relates to the large-scale operations of grocery stores. 

Sunny Morning’s services to retail distributors align with the themes of Lorr’s book. Sunny Morning plays an important role in the food supply chain by connecting dairy producers with retail distributors. This helps to ensure that dairy products are available to consumers in a timely and efficient manner.


Overall, partnering with Honor Foods is a great way for distributors to increase their foodservice industry product catalog and improve their bottom line. Honor Foods and its subsidiaries offer a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices coupled with excellent customer support.

About Honor Foods

Honor Foods, a Burris Logistics Company, was founded in 1949 as a redistributor of center-of-the-plate foods. Since then, Honor Foods has grown into the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier provider of frozen, refrigerated, dry, and dairy products, representing more than 300 brand-name food suppliers and carrying more than 3,000 in-stock items. Honor Foods brands R.W. Zant and Sunny Morning provide additional beef and dairy expertise on the West Coast and in the southeast. In addition, our exclusive house brands — Colony Lane and Valley Fresh, have a well-earned reputation for top quality and value at competitive prices.

Great products and prices are just part of the Honor Foods value-add. We pride ourselves in having a Team of dedicated professionals who manage each partnership. Our commitment to your business needs is what makes us unique.