FES Magazine - Industry Data

Every year, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine publishes data on the top 100 distributors in the U.S. You can review the data here (their site sometimes breaks but one refresh usually does the trick): FES Magazine Industry Data

While there is a lot of data on this site, there is no excel export, the column and company names aren't consistent and the data itself isn't super clean.  As a result, it's challenging to extract this data and analyze it via manual, excel processes.

Luckily, there are software frameworks that exist that make it easy to scrape data from websites and manipulate it so it's easier to analyze.  In only 119 lines of code, I wrote a software application that does the following:

  • Accesses every link on the site going back to 2013
  • Scrapes all the data from ever year and dumps it into a table
  • Removes non-alphanumeric characters, leading "The" & empty spaces to ensure company names match across years (i.e. Johnson & Lancaster = Johnston Lancaster, The Boelter Companies = Boelter Companies)
  • Merges annual data into one master table with data from 2013 - 2020

If you are interested in this dataset, please respond to this post or direct message me.

Dealer Revenue Growth

Based off this data, the industry has grown revenue at a 5.1% annual rate from 2013 - 2020.  Incredibly, half of that growth is from just two companies, Clark Associates and Katom Restaurant Supply.  Their e-commerce sites are #1 and #2 in revenue and are both effective lead generators for large project work.  Like most industries, the companies that are embracing technology will continue to take share from their competitors who aren't.

In 2013, Clark was the 4th largest dealer.  Since then, they've grown sales at 27% per year and are now the largest dealer in the U.S. at $1.8 billion in sales.  Katom was the 24th largest dealer in 2013 but has grown sales at a 25% annual rate and is now the 6th largest dealer.

Some other larger dealers with solid performance include Stafford Smith (11% annual growth), Johnston Lancaster (13%) and L&M Foodservice, whose sales increased by almost 5x in 2020 due to PPE sales.

Some smaller standout dealers include Douglas Equipment (16%), Kamran & Co (11%) and Culinary Depot (10%).

Buying Groups

The two dominant buying groups continue to be Nexgen and ABC.  Their members generated ~$7bn of revenue in 2020 ($9.5 billion in 2019).  CPG is gaining on both of them due to the success of Clark & Associates. SEFA and IFED continue to grow at nice clips.   After the top 5, there is a big drop off with no other buying group generating $500 million of revenue.

The noticeable decline has been NAFED, which has seen member sales plummet from $780 million in 2013 to just $180 million in 2020.  This has been driven by the departures of Stafford Smith, Mission Restaurant, Katom, Mobile Fixture and other smaller dealers.

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