National foodservice brokers… where to go from here

HPC-podcast-artAs the failed Sysco-U.S. Foods merger continues to unfold, what has it all meant down on the street for national brokers and manufacturers that must now re-validate their local go-to-market strategies?

Dave Miesse sees the practical reality as he goes on sales calls, attends distributor meetings and talks to manufacturers as the executive director of the Association for Foodservice Distributor Representatives (AFDR).

      229 Future of brokers

The bottom line is the foodservice world isn’t coming to an end because of any recent events.  The proposed Sysco merger and efforts to nationalize brokers have just added a little more chaos to the already frenzied industry.  But are there any far-reaching effects — especially for national brokers now that the merger is history?

Dave and I chatted recently for a multiple-episode podcast series that will be featured on the AFDR site over the next few months.  Here’s a sneak preview of one of the podcasts that captures Dave’s perspective from his work with hundreds of sales reps over the past year.

In short, we cover:

  • AFDR surveys find the vast majority of DSRs perceive that national brokers spend their time working with Sysco versus other distributors.
  • Training is the key differentiator when trying to compete in an industry saturated with me-too products.
  • The idea of keeping training “proprietary” is silly — especially when brokers, DSRs and even operators are starving for practical information on how products can drive profitability.