Wholesaling M&A

Advice on Selling Your Wholesaling Business 

If you’re considering selling your wholesaling business, we are here to help. If you were to sell your business yourself, you would have to do all of the work – from valuing your business and marketing it to searching for buyers and completing tons of paperwork. Although possible, it’s a long, complicated process that comes with many hiccups. But you don’t have to worry because we have years of experience and can help you avoid costly, time-consuming issues while navigating you smoothly through to the closing.

M&A Advisors to Wholesaling Companies

Like most business owners, you’ve worked hard to grow your company and deserve nothing less than the best team for support and advice when you’ve decided it’s time to consider selling. We’ve made it easier for you because Morgan & Westfield is a leading firm of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisors to people in the wholesaling industry. We have a proven track record of helping wholesalers sell their companies at the best price possible. We know what today’s buyers look for in potential acquisitions, which makes us your top advocate in helping you position your business in the best light. Selling a business can be challenging, but with the right advisor on your side, it can go smoothly. Get started with a free consultation where we will answer your questions and discuss what you want from your sale, with no long-term obligations. 

Know the Value of Your Business

You may not have any plans to sell just yet, but there’s a lot you can do now so you will be ready when the time comes. An excellent place to start is determining what the value of your business is and what steps you can take today to increase its value later. For instance, we have discovered that most wholesale company owners can benefit significantly from strengthening their management teams and improving cash flow long before putting their businesses on the market. The bottom line is that having an outside professional assessment will help you see exactly where you stand.

Types of Businesses We Sell and Value 

  • Alcohol-Free Beer and Wine Wholesalers
  • Alcoholic Beverage Wholesalers
  • Bakery Product Wholesalers
  • Beer Wholesalers
  • Beverage Ingredient Wholesalers
  • Beverage Wholesalers
  • Bread and Pastry Wholesalers
  • Candy Wholesalers
  • Cheese Wholesalers
  • Cider Beverage Wholesalers
  • Coffee Bean Wholesalers
  • Confectionery Wholesalers
  • Craft Beer Wholesalers
  • Craft Hard Seltzer Wholesalers
  • Craft Spirits Wholesalers
  • Culinary Ingredient Wholesalers
  • Dairy Product Wholesalers
  • Distilled Spirits Wholesalers
  • Draft Beer Wholesalers
  • Energy Drink Wholesalers
  • Ethnic Food Wholesalers
  • Flavoring and Extract Wholesalers
  • Food Ingredient Wholesalers
  • Food Product Wholesalers
  • Food Service Wholesalers
  • Food Supplement Wholesalers
  • Fresh Produce Wholesalers
  • Frozen Dessert Wholesalers
  • Frozen Food Wholesalers
  • Frozen Seafood Wholesalers
  • Functional Food Wholesalers
  • Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Wholesalers
  • Gluten-Free Bakery Product Wholesalers
  • Gourmet Food Wholesalers
  • Gourmet Ingredient Wholesalers
  • Gummy Candy Wholesalers
  • Gummy Supplements Wholesalers
  • Health Beverage Wholesalers
  • Health Food Wholesalers
  • Health Snack Wholesalers
  • Health Supplements Wholesalers
  • Meat and Poultry Wholesalers
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages Wholesalers
  • Nut and Seed Wholesalers
  • Organic Bakery Products Wholesalers
  • Nutraceutical Wholesalers
  • Organic Food Wholesalers
  • Organic Meat Wholesalers
  • Organic Produce Wholesalers
  • Organic Snack Wholesalers
  • Pasta and Grain Wholesalers
  • Plant-Based Food Wholesalers
  • Powdered Drink Wholesalers
  • Prepared Food Wholesalers
  • Ready-to-Drink Wholesalers
  • Ready-to-Eat Wholesalers
  • Salty Snacks Wholesalers
  • Seafood Wholesalers
  • Snack Food Wholesalers
  • Specialty Beverage Wholesalers
  • Specialty Chocolate Wholesalers
  • Specialty Food Wholesalers
  • Specialty Liqueur Wholesalers
  • Specialty Sauce Wholesalers
  • Spices and Seasonings Wholesalers
  • Superfood Wholesalers
  • Sustainable Food Wholesalers
  • Sweetener Wholesalers
  • Sweets and Treats Wholesalers
  • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers

Overview of the Wholesaling Industry

Wholesaling refers to two possible business models. First, a business may buy goods in large quantities from manufacturers, warehouse them, and resell them. And second, a business may produce its own products and sell them to retailers, which then sell those products to end users. Either way, wholesalers are a vital link in the supply chain. 

There are various types of wholesalers. They include merchant wholesalers who own the products they sell, and brokers and agents who facilitate sales without taking ownership. Then there are manufacturers’ sales branches that wholesale their own products. The main functions of all three include bulk breaking, storage, transportation, risk-bearing, market information dissemination, and sometimes offering credit to buyers. 

The industry faces challenges from e-commerce, which allows some retailers to bypass wholesalers and buy directly from manufacturers, and globalization, which has intensified competition. Despite these challenges, wholesalers have a significant economic impact, contributing to employment, tax revenues, and overall economic growth. As the landscape evolves, wholesalers adapt by providing value-added services, ensuring their relevance in the global supply chain. 

How We Got Here – A Brief History

  • 1600 – The British East India Company Founded: The British East India Company set the stage for large-scale, organized trading, effectively acting as a wholesaler between colonies and the home country.
  • 1602 – Dutch East India Established: The Dutch East India Company became another pivotal player in large-scale trade during the Colonial era. 
  • 1800s – The Industrial Revolution Started: The Industrial Revolution had a huge effect on wholesaling. The production of goods on a massive scale led to the need for intermediaries who could distribute these goods efficiently.
  • Late 1800s – Wholesale Development Grew: With the global expansion of the railway system, wholesalers moved goods faster and more efficiently, which led to the establishment of large wholesale districts in major cities worldwide.
  • 1922 – The Associated Wholesale Grocers Established: The Associated Wholesale Grocers, a retailer-owned cooperative, was established in the United States. It is an example of how wholesalers began to organize and consolidate.
  • 1950s to 1980s – Wholesaling Landscape Shifted: The rise of big-box retailers and supermarket chains created a shift in the wholesaling landscape. Some retailers started bypassing traditional wholesalers to buy directly from manufacturers, increasing the growth of warehouse clubs and supercenters. 
  • 1990s – Traditional Wholesaling Challenged: The advent of the internet and e-commerce challenged the traditional wholesaling model. Some businesses started to cut out the middleman by selling online directly to consumers. 
  • 2000s – Technological Advancement Used: Technological advancements, especially in IT and logistics, transformed the wholesaling industry. Wholesalers used advanced inventory systems, e-commerce platforms, and data analytics tools. 
  • 2020s – Robust and Adaptable Supply Chains Emphasized: Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for robust and adaptable supply chains. Wholesalers were challenged to adapt quickly to disruptions and rapidly-changing consumer behavior. 

Trends That May Affect M&A Activity

The following is a list of trends that can affect future M&A activity in the wholesaling industry: 

  • B2B Personalization: Today’s business-to-business (B2B) consumers expect the same level of personalization they would receive from an in-person shopping experience. As a result, businesses need to understand their customers’ preferences at an individual level. Marketing teams must adapt their strategies to give shoppers what they want when they want it. With B2B personalization, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts by targeting high-intent customers. This optimization enables companies to communicate with customers in real-time and deliver advertising through the appropriate channels.
  • E-Commerce Sales: Like most sectors, wholesalers were hit hard during the pandemic. Increases in online sales provided crucial relief to the wholesale industry, and according to reports, this trend is expected to continue as more B2B buyers shift their businesses online.
  • Globalization: The B2B sector will need to expand internationally if it wants to continue to grow. And as customers diversify their supply chains, wholesalers must digitize their own supply chain networks. This can be a complex task, but the process should start by reassessing marketing strategies and implementing processes for accepting international payments.
  • Omnichannel Selling: Selling through multiple channels, both online and offline, is nothing new in the retail sector. But the wholesale industry needs to catch up. Omnichannel selling is doing business over various channels, aiming to give customers a seamless, cross-platform buying experience. Omnichannel sales are customer-centric and always strive to improve the user experience with adaptable and engaging interfaces.
  • Online Wholesale Platforms: As more businesses go digital, online wholesale marketplaces will become more popular and will offer a variety of products and services, streamlining the process for retailers to find and purchase goods.
  • Smart Inventory Management: If your business still relies on a paper trail for inventory management, it’s time to automate. As wholesalers deal in bulk, managing multiple warehouses and storing massive amounts of inventory can become complicated. Inventory management software can make the process easier on staff and reduce the risk of excess inventory.
  • Subscription-Based Services: To maintain customer loyalty, wholesalers may offer subscription-based services for regular product deliveries, special discounts, and other exclusive benefits.
  • Tech Evolution: Technology is evolving. AI, cloud computing, and automation are changing most industries, meaning that keeping up with technology trends is crucial to the wholesale distributors’ operating model. Distributors tend to be traditional, but as the pandemic made it clear, they must adapt to the online marketplace.

Summary of Wholesaling Acquisitions

Summary of Acquisitions
TargetBuyerTransaction
Target Industry(Industry > Niche)TargetTarget LocationBuyer IndustryBuyerBuyer LocationDatePurchase Price
Distributor > Ice CreamSouthern Ice Cream and Gourmet FoodsUSAIce Cream DistributorGlacierPoint EnterprisesUSAJun 2022Undisclosed
Producer – Exporter > Baking ProductsClabber Girl CorporationUSAAmerican Branded Foods HoldingB&G FoodsUSAMay 2019Undisclosed
Supplier > Beer Howdy Beer BrandUSACraft CideryStem CidersUSAApr 2022Undisclosed
Supplier > Edible Oils, Wholesale ProducerKTC EdiblesUKPrivate EquityEndless LLPUKMay 2022Undisclosed
Supplier > Packaged Ice DistributorNorth Star IceCanadaPremium IceArctic GlacierUSAMay 2022Undisclosed
Wholesale > Food DistributorB&R GlobalUSAFresh Produce DistributorHF Foods GroupUSAJun 2019$740 Million
Wholesale > Pet Food and Livestock Feed ManufacturerF.L. Emmert CompanyUSAAnimal NutritionWilbur-Ellis NutritionUSAAug 2022Undisclosed
Wholesale > Retailer > Meat ManufacturingSyracuse Food GroupUSAProtein Packaging CompanyStandard Meat CompanyUSAJun 2022Undisclosed
Wholesale > Quinoa ProducersNorQuinCanadaPlant-Based FoodAbove FoodCanadaMay 2022Undisclosed
Wholesale > WineryShafer VineyardsUSADepartment StoreStarfield PropertiesUSAFeb 2022$250 Million

GlacierPoint Enterprises Inc. Acquired Southern Ice Cream Corporation (Ice Cream) 

  • Date: June 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods – Mainly operating in North and South Carolina, Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods is a full-service ice cream and related products distributor to convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, and scoop shops.
  • Location: North Carolina, USA
  • Buyer: GlacierPoint Enterprises Inc. – A leading direct store delivery distributor and the sole distributor of Häagen-Dazs, Nestlé products, and Unilever ice cream, as well as other fresh and frozen products from the New York metro area to the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Purpose: The combined capabilities and resources of Southern and GlacierPoint offered the opportunity to deliver customer service and care that exceed industry norms.

B&G Foods North America Inc. Acquired Clabber Girl Corporation (Baking Products)

  • Date: May 2019
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Clabber Girl Corporation – A leading producer of baking products, including baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch from Hulman & Company.
  • Location: Indiana, USA
  • Buyer: B&G Foods – A U.S. branded foods holding company based in Parsippany, New Jersey. The company was formed in 1996 to acquire Bloch & Guggenheimer, a Manhattan-based producer of pickles, relish, and condiments, founded in 1889.
  • Purpose: Kenneth G. Romanzi, president and CEO of B&G Foods, said: “This acquisition is consistent with our longstanding acquisition strategy of targeting well-established brands with defensible market positions and strong cash flow at reasonable purchase price multiples.”
  • Details: B&G Foods expected the acquisition to immediately be accretive to earnings per share and free cash flow. The acquired business was expected to generate $70 to $75 million in net sales annually.

Stem Ciders LLC Acquired Howdy Beer Brand (Beer Brand)

  • Date: April 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Howdy Beer – A U.S. lager-style beer brewed by The Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette.
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Buyer: Stem Ciders LLC – A craft cidery headquartered in Colorado, known for its adventurous exploration of various flavors.
  • Seller: The Post Brewing Co. – Serves award-winning, gluten-free fried chicken, soulful sides, and food-friendly craft beer.
  • Purpose: According to Dave Query, founder of the Big Red F Restaurant Group, “The partnership with Stem will allow Howdy to reach its brand and distribution potential. They have a skilled sales team and a strong knowledge of the industry needed to launch a brand across several regions.”
  • Details: Stem Ciders will venture further into the craft beer realm after acquiring the Howdy Beer brand from The Post Brewing Co., which remains involved as a strategic partner.

Endless Acquired KTC Edibles LTD (Edible Oils)

  • Date: May 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: KTC Edibles LTD – KTC is one of the biggest edible oil suppliers, providing over 250 million liters annually to retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers across the United Kingdom and globally.
  • Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
  • Buyer: Endless LLP – A leading, mid-market private equity investor in the United Kingdom.
  • Purpose: The acquisition of KTC is an additional investment for the Endless company’s growth plans by further developing its service offerings, operations, and range.
  • Details: Wells Fargo Capital Finance (UK) Limited supported the transaction. The head of EMEA Commercial Credit, Nigel Hogg, said: “We are delighted to support Endless in the acquisition of KTC, a superb business with a strong position within the food sector.”

Arctic Glacier LLC Acquired North Star Ice Ltd (Supplier)

  • Date: May 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: North Star Ice Ltd. – Has produced and delivered packaged ice products to Ontario’s retail grocery, hospitality, and recreation industries since 1954.
  • Buyer: Arctic Glacier LLC – A leading provider of premium ice products and related services.
  • Purpose: The transaction and new Montreal facility enhance Arctic Glacier’s long-standing presence as Canada’s largest ice manufacturer and distributor.
  • Details: The acquisition included the grand opening of a new state-of-the-art production facility in Montreal, Quebec.

HF Foods Group Acquired B&R Global (Wholesale Food Distributor)

  • Date: June 2019
  • Price: $740 Million
  • Target: B&R Global Holdings Inc. – A food distributor headquartered in Industry, California. It specializes in wholesale distribution to Asian restaurants.
  • Location: California, USA
  • Buyer: HF Foods Group Inc. – A marketer and distributor of fresh produce, dry and frozen food, and non-food products for Chinese and Asian restaurants and other foodservice customers throughout the Southeast, Mountain West, and Pacific United States.
  • Purpose: The combined companies will become the largest food distributor to Asian restaurants in the United States.
  • Details: The acquisition by HF Foods of B&R was in exchange for a consideration of 30.7 million shares of HF Foods’ common stock.

Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition LLC Acquired The F.L. Emmert Company (Pet Food and Livestock Feed)

  • Date: August 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: F.L. Emmert Company – A family-owned, 140-year-old company with manufacturing operations in Cincinnati, Ohio, and over 35 employees. Emmert manufactures and markets innovative nutritional solutions for the livestock and pet industries.
  • Location: Ohio, USA
  • Buyer: Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition – A leader in the international distribution and marketing of nutrients for the livestock, pet food, aquaculture, and animal nutrition industries.
  • Purpose: The acquisition will expand Wilbur-Ellis’s product and customer base in pet food with value-added products.
  • Details: A team of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman lawyers advised Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, a division of Wilbur-Ellis, in its acquisition of F.L. Emmert. The terms of the definitive agreement were not disclosed.

Standard Meat Company LP Acquired Syracuse Food Group LLC (Wholesaler)

  • Date: June 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Syracuse Food Group LLC – A retail and wholesale meat manufacturing company that produces everything from Italian sausage to the classic meatball.
  • Location: Texas, USA
  • Buyer: Standard Meat Company LP – A multi-generational portioning and protein packaging company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Purpose: “Our partnership has been incredible,” Ben Rosenthal, CEO, said. He added, “We are honored to continue to carry out their 40-year legacy as we integrate the business into Standard Meat, ensuring both companies continue their focus as one united organization.”
  • Details: Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Above Food Inc. Acquired Northern Quinoa Production Corporation (Quinoa Producer)

  • Date: May 2022
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Target: Northern Quinoa Production Corp. (NorQuin) – A vertically integrated producer and the largest quinoa supplier in North America.
  • Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Buyer: Above Food Corp – A plant-based food company, Above Food Corp., was founded in 2020 to deliver dense, nutritious, sustainable, and superior food products.
  • Purpose: To add a scaled portfolio of specialty ingredients, capabilities, and customers while bolstering the company’s growing agriculture and other businesses.
  • Details: Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Starfield Properties Acquired Shafer Vineyards (Winery)

  • Date: February 2022
  • Price: $250 Million
  • Target: Shafer Vineyards – Shafer Vineyards is a family-owned winery that has produced wines in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District since 1978.
  • Location: California, USA
  • Buyer: Starfield Properties Inc. – Starfield Properties is the U.S. property arm of Shinsegae, a South Korean department store franchise.
  • Purpose: “With the acquisition, we plan to further expand the group’s wine business by creating synergy with Shinsegae L&B that is in charge of the wholesale distribution of wine and liquor,” said a Starfield Properties official.
  • Details: Shafer winemaker Elias Fernandez and the core winemaking and vineyard staff remained with the winery. The deal includes 225 acres of vines.

Public Companies 

The following is a list of public companies that operate in the specialty food industry:

Core-Mark Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: CORE): A wholesale distributor to the convenience retail industry in North America. It provides sales, marketing, distribution, and logistics services.

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL): While known for its branded food products, Hormel also operates a foodservice division that provides high-quality protein products to the foodservice industry.

Performance Food Group (NYSE: PFGC): A U.S. company founded in 1885 in Richmond, Virginia, by food peddler James Capers. Headquartered in Goochland County, Virginia, it distributes a range of food products and employs more than 22,000 people.

SpartanNash Company (NASDAQ: SPTN): A U.S. food distributor and grocery store retailer headquartered in Byron Center, Michigan. Its core businesses include distributing food to independent grocers, military commissaries, and corporate-owned retail stores in 44 states, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY): Sysco, short for Systems and Services Company, is a U.S. multinational involved in marketing and distribution. It sells, markets, and distributes food and non-food products to restaurants, healthcare, educational facilities, lodging establishments, and other customers around the world.

The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDE): A U.S. agribusiness established in 1947 and headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, it started as Andersons Truck Terminal, a grain terminal, in the 1940s.

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI): A Providence, Rhode Island-based natural and organic food company, United Natural Foods is the largest publicly traded wholesale distributor of health and specialty foods in the United States and Canada. As Whole Foods Market’s main supplier, its traffic makes up over a third of United Natural Foods’ revenue in 2018.

US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD): A leading foodservice distributor, partnering with 300,000 restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed, US Foods is one of America’s leading food distributors, servicing restaurants, the healthcare industry, and more.

Private Equity Firms

The following is a list of private equity firms investing in the specialty food industry:

  • Freeman Spogli and Company: A private equity firm that invests in and partners with management in U.S. consumer-related and distribution companies. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Winebow – A national importer and distributor of wines and spirits from around the world. Within its wholesale segment, Winebow sells directly to restaurants, retailers, chains, clubs, and grocery stores in 19 states that comprise 65% of all U.S. wine consumption, including seven of the top 10 consuming markets.

  • Main Street Capital Corporation: Has helped over 200 private companies grow or transition by providing flexible private equity and debt capital solutions. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Café Brazil – Owns and operates full-service restaurants/coffee houses in the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas metroplex. It also operates a wholesale bakery production facility that provides fresh bread, empanadas, pastries, cakes, and assorted handmade bakery and dessert items to each restaurant.

California Splendor – Processes and distributes organic and conventional fruits for blue-chip customers in the consumer-packaged goods and the foodservice sectors. The fruits are used as ingredients in spreads, pies, individually quick-frozen berries, smoothies, and yogurts.

  • Monogram Capital Partners: Has invested more than $1.5 billion of equity capital, primarily in consumer businesses. Using best practices and relationships from leading institutions, it brings elite investing and advisory experience to the lower middle market. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Chewy – Offers 30,000 items for dogs and cats, with a focus on carrying one of the widest and deepest ranges of food brands in the space.

Ellenos logo

Ellenos – Sells a curated line of yogurts through wholesale and retail channels in the Pacific Northwest, where the brand has become a cult favorite.

Tartine – Starting as an iconic San Francisco bakery, Tartine has expanded into new geographies, including internationally, with elevated food and coffee programs, as well as into new channels, including premium specialty wholesale.

  • PAI Partners: Invests in market-leading companies with a unique perspective in realizing opportunities and forging dynamic partnerships. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Euro Ethnic Foods – Operating in the grocery sections of the Grand Frais food retail stores in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Euro Ethnic supplies grocery products to independent shops as well as networks of organic and bulk-purchase stores using its distribution platform.

  • Sky Island Capital: A private equity firm born out of a desire to work alongside entrepreneurs and family business owners of manufacturing companies to serve as a resource and strategic partner with one goal: growth. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Kaufhold’s Kurds – A wholesale manufacturer of hand-breaded Wisconsin cheese curds. It is known as the “home of the original hand-breaded cheese curd” and sells its products through foodservice distributors across the United States.

Venture Capital Firms

The following is a list of venture capital firms investing in the specialty food industry:

  • Bluestein Ventures: Invests in the future of food. It looks for game-changing ventures across the food industry that redefine how consumers achieve their health and wellness. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Local Foods – Chicago’s first wholesaler of exclusively local food, including a full range of produce, meat, dairy, grains, and more from the Midwest’s finest farmers.

Provi – The largest online marketplace that simplifies the process of ordering wholesale alcohol. It connects buyers, distributors, and suppliers.

  • Clover Capital Partners LLC: Invests in food and beverage companies at the lower end of the middle market. It takes a flexible investing approach inspired by the diverse needs of privately held businesses and the people who own them. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Main Street Gourmet – Provides customized bakery products for national and regional in-store bakeries, restaurants, and other food operators. Its product lines consist of muffins, cookies, brownies, bars, granola, quick breads, toppings, and many other dessert products.

  • District Ventures Capital: Invests in innovative companies in the food and beverage and the health and wellness sectors. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters – A chain of Parisian-style cafés offering an upscale and authentic French experience. It has made a name for itself by delivering high-quality products and a great in-store experience. It also has a growing wholesale coffee bean business and recently expanded into a larger roasting facility to meet increased demand.

  • Rockstart: An early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across energy, agrifood, and emerging technologies, Rockstart invests in start-ups. It provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates, and its wider network. Investments it has made in the industry include:

Invisible Food – A business-to-business marketplace for trading surplus food between producers, importers, wholesalers, and retail companies.

Professionals

The following is a list of professionals servicing or investing in the specialty food industry:

Angel Investors

  • Joanne Wilson: Joanne started in retail, eventually moving to the wholesale arena, and then transitioned to the media side of the technology world before reinventing herself as an investor. She is an active angel investor with a portfolio of over 90 companies, such as Food52, Sweeten, Vengo, Nestio, Phinand Phebes, Makers Row, Clutter, and Union Station. Joanne has been involved in numerous real estate transactions from beginning to end and continues investing in that world. Her investments include:

Porter Road Butcher — A high-end butcher shop providing hormone-free, pasture-raised meats sourced from local farms. They distribute meat to a roster of restaurants in Nashville and surrounding cities, as well as national distribution via US Foods.

  • Nick Green: Nick is the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market, a membership-based market that makes high-quality, healthy, and sustainable products available for every budget, lifestyle, and geography. His investments focus on food and beverage, wellness, and food processing. His investments include:

Positive Food Co. – Dedicated to distributing and providing retailers with the freshest, highest-quality food, Positive Food uses simple ingredients and ensures every meal is made with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Consultants

  • Bisham Consulting: A retail consultant and wholesale consultancy firm, the Bisham team includes former retail and wholesale operations heads. Their modern retail industry expertise includes food, food services, and catering, non-food, fashion, and apparel. The firm has extensive knowledge of DIY and builders merchants, department stores, CTNs (confectionery, tobacco, newsagents), convenience stores, and petrol forecourts.
  • Human Resource Consulting Group: Simplifies workforce management for wholesale businesses by securely and efficiently handling HR, benefits, payroll, time, and attendance, allowing clients to focus on enabling and empowering their teams to maximize productivity throughout the entire operation of the business.
  • Point Star Consulting: Delivers top-notch services covering all touchpoints to B2B and B2C customers. Keeps track of inventory and helps clients run efficient, profitable wholesale distribution networks.
  • Synapse: Understands the role of technology in the overall success of wholesale and distribution companies. Manages IT systems professionally and reliably, generating positive returns for businesses.
  • William Advisory Group: Assists retail and wholesale businesses in creating operational performance improvement strategies and evolving their traditional retail business models to meet the challenges of the globalized digital era and maximize commercial opportunities for retail and wholesale businesses.

Law Firms/Attorneys 

  • Benesch Law: A part of the food and beverage industry for decades, Benesch works alongside clients to address the spectrum of legal issues that arise from farm to table in the food supply chain, including food and beverage manufacturers, processors, packagers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, from product development and regulatory approval and clearance to advertising, marketing, and distribution.
  • Gislason & Hunter LLP: Recognizing today’s challenges and an increasingly complicated legal environment involving individual state, federal, and industry-specific regulations and laws, Gislason & Hunter works diligently to ensure that distribution clients thrive and are positioned for the changing world.
  • Montgomery Purdue: Provides a full-range of business transactions and litigation legal services to clients engaged in manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, and retail activities.
  • Mulcahy Carrillo: Has successfully represented numerous clients in a long list of franchise and distribution cases before arbitrators, courts, and juries throughout the United States in a wide range of franchise and distribution law matters,
  • Skene Law Firm: With wholesale and importing expertise, Skene represents beer, wine, and spirits distributors and importers operating on a local, regional, national, and international level.

Wholesaling Industry Associations

The following is a list of associations for the wholesaling industry:

  • American Spice Trade Association (ASTA): Represents the U.S. spice industry in the global market, including wholesalers, processors, and suppliers. The highest priority of ASTA and its members is ensuring the supply of pure, safe spices to American consumers.
  • Association of Wholesale Diversity (AWD): Founded in February 2016, AWD serves as a bridge between the African-American communities of the U.S. and the financial services wholesaling industry.
  • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA): A trade association serving the foodservice distribution industry, its members include foodservice distributors, manufacturers, and buying groups.
  • National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW): One of America’s leading trade associations since 1946, NAW represents the $8 trillion wholesale-distribution industry. It comprises national, regional, and state employers of all sizes, industry trade associations, partners, and stakeholders spanning all distribution sectors.
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA): Representing the interests of beer distributors in the U.S., the NBWA provides leadership and enhances the independent beer and beverage distribution industry. It also advocates before the government and the public, encourages responsible alcohol consumption, and provides programs and services to benefit its members.
  • National Grocers Association (NGA): Represents the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.
  • Specialty Food Association (SFA): A membership-based trade association in the United States representing 3,000+ member companies, the SFA represents manufacturers and wholesalers of specialty foods, offering events like the Fancy Food Shows.
  • Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA): Represents the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry as the only national membership organization of wine and spirits distributors. WSWA advocates on federal, state, regulatory, and legal issues impacting distributors and the beverage alcohol industry.

Wholesaling Industry Publications

The following is a list of publications in the wholesaling industry:

  • Beverage Industry Magazine: The information source for analyzing trends, formulation, technology, and products shaping the beverage industry, reporting on a wide range of marketing and manufacturing subjects with an emphasis on new products, research and development, packaging, production, distribution, retail, wholesale, and marketing innovations.
  • Winsight Grocery Business: Provides insights into the retail food industry, grocery, and supermarkets. Winsight is a B2B magazine for executives, grocery wholesalers, independent grocers, and grocery distributors.
  • Modern Distribution Management (MDM): Offers news, research, and analysis for wholesale distribution professionals and covers several sectors within the distribution industry.
  • The Shelby Report: The leading publication for the food and grocery industry, delivering the latest regional and national supermarket news, including wholesale and distribution.
  • Specialty Food Magazine: The UK’s leading publication and content channel for the fine food industry, with industry-leading commentators and experts providing news, special reports, trend analysis, product recommendations, business advice, and opinions.
  • Total Food Service Industry and Restaurant News: Supplies the latest national foodservice industry news on restaurants, trends, chefs, dealers, consultants, suppliers, and distributors.

Resources (Books, Podcasts, etc.)

The following is a list of resources servicing or investing in the wholesaling industry:

  • Books
    • ALIBABA: The House That Jack Ma Built: An engrossing insider’s account of how an English teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies rivaling Walmart and Amazon, forever reshaping the global economy. In just a decade and a half, Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings, transformed Alibaba into an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend.
    • Start Your Own Wholesale Distribution Business: If you like making deals and earning money but don’t care for the daily grind, consider becoming a middleman – the wholesaler who buys goods in volume from manufacturers and sells them to retailers for a profit. The experts of Entrepreneur magazine deliver a step-by-step guide on how to start a thriving wholesale operation specializing in any industry, and running it from the comfort of your home.
    • Wholesale 101: A Guide to Product Sourcing for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners: Learn the secrets to succeeding in global trade and gain tools and insight to launch a successful business by combining various platforms, including B2B sites, trade shows, and trading companies, into a powerful product-sourcing strategy. Whether you want to drop ship from wholesalers and manufacturers or import products directly to sell in your store, this unparalleled guide reveals the inside information.
    • Wholesale Distribution Business: Step-By-Step Startup Guide: In this book, the experts at Entrepreneur magazine provide a two-part guide to success. First, learn how to start a thriving wholesale operation in any industry from your kitchen table. Then, master the fundamentals of business startup, including defining your business structure, funding, staffing, and more.
    • Wholesale Distribution Channel: New Insights and Perspectives: Bert Rosenbloom has gathered some of the leading academic scholars on wholesale distribution, who present state-of-the-art analyses and research on the subject, clarify readers’ insights, and deepen their understanding of this two trillion-dollar industry with a wide range of topics.

Industry Information

  • NAICS Codes
    • 4242 – Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers
    • 4244 – Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424410 – General Line Grocery Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424420 – Packaged Frozen Food Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424430 – Dairy Product (Except Dried or Canned) Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424440 – Poultry and Poultry Product Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424450 – Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424460 – Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424470 – Meat and Meat Product Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424480 – Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424490 – Other Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers
    • 4245 – Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424510 – Grain and Field Bean Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424520 – Livestock Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424590 – Other Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
    • 4248 – Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424810 – Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424820 – Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
    • 4249 – Miscellaneous Non-Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424910 – Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
    • 424990 – Other Miscellaneous Non-Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
  • SIC Codes
    • 5149 – Groceries and Related Products – Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC)
    • 5159 – Farm Product Raw Materials – Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC)
    • 5146 – Fish and Seafoods (Fish Fresh – Wholesale)
    • 5142 – Packaged Frozen Foods (Frozen Foods, Packaged – Wholesale)
    • 5182 – Wine and Distilled Alcoholic Beverages (Neutral Spirits – Wholesale)
    • 5143 – Dairy Products, Except Dried or Canned (Ice Cream and Ices – Wholesale)
    • 5181 – Beer and Ale (Ale – Wholesale)
    • 5145 – Confectionery (Nuts, Salted or Roasted – Wholesale)
    • 5141 – Groceries – General Line Wholesale
    • 5148 – Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Wholesale
    • 2099 – Food Preparations, Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC) (Sandwiches, Assembled and Packaged – Wholesale)
    • 5147 – Meats and Meat Products Wholesale
    • 2095 – Roasted Coffee (Coffee roasting, except by wholesale grocers)

Contact Us Today To Sell Your Wholesaling Business

If you’re thinking about selling your wholesaling business, we can help. We offer a free consultation to answer any questions and point you in the right direction regarding next steps. There is no further obligation on your part unless you decide to choose us to handle your sale. Understanding your niche means we can guide you to a profitable closing. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to know more.