When it comes to distribution, you may not know what you don’t know. Sure, this person is going to get your product from A to B. Maybe they’ll even care if it sells, and want to make sure that it gets to stores in a timely manner. However, there is much to the producer-distributor relationship that many food entrepreneurs don’t know to anticipate, and so they may not choose wisely. We can help.

Food Service Distribution

If you haven’t heard of Sysco, you’re new to the industry. The largest food service distributor in North America, Sysco is the ultimate goal for a small food maker – it’ll take a while to get there. Note that food service distribution means that Sysco is bringing your product to food service operators (restaurants, institutions, etc). CPG friends, this may not be for you! But get ahead of the curve with this great bank of knowledge on Medium about how their distribution works.

Specialty Food Distribution

If you’re a small food brand reading this page, you’re a likely candidate for specialty food distribution. We found a great article from Gredio that details the nature of the relationship with a specialty food distributor. The author quickly crushes any romantic ideals you might have about the partnership, but does offer valuable insider information about how it works: ordering on promotion, forced advertising, and account stealing are just some of the tricks you might not know to watch out for.

Feeling a little confused about how it all works? This handy little infographic from Handshake can answer some of the questions you’re not even sure you have yet.

Want more of the best in F&B maker content? Check out our newsletter!