The First Online, Direct-to-Customer Foodservice Program in the U.S. is Expanding to Canadian Market; Poised to Surpass 50,000 Products

Drop Ship Items

Gordon Food Service, North America’s largest privately held and family-managed foodservice distributor, today announced its first-in-the-industry drop-ship program will soon be available to Canadian customers, beginning January 2020. The company also highlighted significant growth in the product offering as customers have embraced the program, which is seamlessly integrated into both the company’s broadline e-commerce platform and its unique Gordon Now app with smart-speaker ordering capabilities.

“We’re excited to share this feature-rich ordering tool with Canadian customers after successfully proving the concept in the U.S.,” said Toby Gebben, Expanded Product Offering (EPO) Business Manager. “Since our pilot launch in July of 2017, we’ve grown the offering dramatically and will host more than 50,000 products in our virtual warehouse by late October. More than a third of our online customers have already used the program to conveniently access unique ingredients and lower-volume specialty items that previously weren’t practical, or even possible, for traditional wholesale distribution,” Gebben added.

Gordon Food Service puts the emphasis on customer convenience with a wide range of products and service options on a single unified e-commerce platform. This means easy access to hard-to-find products, as well as national and in-house brands and high volume commodities, all in a single order. Customers simply place their online order normally, selecting direct-ship items along with their truck delivery product order. Direct-to-customer item pricing includes ground shipping, with multiple delivery options available.

“The easy convenience of one-stop-shopping is what I really appreciate,” said Chef Ken Barkley of Captain’s Quarters Riverside Grille near Louisville, KY. “And I save both time and money. Not only do I get my items fast, in my experience it’s often at a better price than if I approached these suppliers directly."

The expanded product range includes everything from chef-inspired artisanal ingredients like ancient grains, wild game, and other exotic meats, to globally sourced seasonings and spices, to eco-friendly food items, specialty produce, fresh and frozen meats and seafood, and front and back-of-house wares and equipment.

Melanie Helfrich, Sales Manager and Partner at OMG…It’s Gluten Free, an Illinois-based supplier of gluten-free baked goods, pizzas and entrees, shared her company’s experience, “We absolutely love our relationship with Gordon Food Service and their EPO system. As a young company with great products but limited reach, it’s helped us connect with discerning customers looking for great-tasting gluten-free items. System set up and implementation was seamless and since our first order in May to now, orders come in daily and increase weekly. We look forward to working with Gordon Food Service in serving their customers for years to come.”

The program functions as a virtual warehouse and is particularly well suited to smaller local and regional suppliers, who can leverage Gordon Food Service’s international presence to reach customers across North America using a direct delivery model.

Rich Wolowski, President and CEO, Gordon Food Service noted, “This first-in-the-industry capability is a great example of our continuing drive to innovate for our customers, using technology to create greater convenience, value, and access. We’re successfully bringing together unique suppliers and emerging product ideas with sophisticated buyers who are looking for solutions that will inspire and delight.”

About Gordon Food Service

Since 1897, we have delivered uncompromising quality and heartfelt service for our customers. We began as a simple butter-and-egg delivery service, and have grown to become the largest family business in the foodservice industry by upholding the same approach for 120 years—remaining passionately committed to the people we serve. Today, we serve foodservice operators in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States and coast-to-coast in Canada. We also operate more than 170 Gordon Food Service Store locations in the U.S. By partnering with organizations from across industries—healthcare to education, independent and chain restaurants, and event planners—we help our customers create food experiences that people choose, enjoy, and remember.