Industry News

Foodservice Distribution Is a Key Player in U.S. Economy, Local Communities

International Foodservice Distributors Association releases study on industry’s economic and physical footprint

September 11, 2023 – (McLean, VA) The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) today released a comprehensive study of the U.S. foodservice distribution industry, including its impact on the U.S. economy and its physical footprint. Industry sales topped $382 billion in 17,100 distribution locations, employing 431,000 people.

“This study illustrates the vital role foodservice distribution plays in the American economy and way of life,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “Foodservice distributors source, warehouse, sell and deliver ingredients and supplies to professional kitchens in every corner of the country, with operations in all 50 states. Foodservice distributors offer stable and rewarding career opportunities for 431,000 individuals, from entry-level to executive, with family owned businesses to large corporations.”

Of the industry’s 431,000 employees, 31 percent are delivery drivers (135,000), 42 percent are warehouse team members (181,000), 11 percent are sales professionals (48,000), and the remaining 16 percent comprise? other positions, including human resources, administrative, culinary and executive (67,000). Foodservice distribution employees make up about 7 percent of all wholesale jobs in the U.S.

Food donated to charitable organizations and disaster relief by foodservice distributors have an annual estimated value of $331 million, which is equivalent to feeding 27,000 families for a year.

In addition, the study found that foodservice distributors operate a combined fleet of 168,300 vehicles, traveling 4.3 billion miles annually to deliver 12 billion cases of food, beverage, and other products to professional kitchens in all 50 states – that’s 33 million cases delivered per day.

The study included data from an IFDA-conducted primary survey of foodservice distributors, previous IFDA research, IMPLAN economic modeling, government sources and other public sources for the 2022 operating year. The study includes national and state-by-state data. To read the full survey and its methodology, visit

Contact:  Meghan Cieslak, [email protected], 703-962-9950.

About the International Foodservice Distributors Association
The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) is the premier trade organization representing the $382 billion foodservice distribution industry. This industry ensures a safe and efficient supply of food and products to more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S. daily. For more information, visit