You have likely seen their trucks on interstates all across the country, but do you know what Dot Foods does? We had the pleasure of connecting with Rodd Willis, Director of Natural and Specialty at Dot Foods, to learn a bit more about the unique and important role that this redistribution business plays in the North American food supply chain. This article is of particular relevance to suppliers and product manufactures looking to get their items more largely distributed.
by Rodd Willis
Who Is Dot?
Dot Foods is the largest food redistribution company in North America. The company was founded by Robert and Dorothy Tracy in 1960. It is still family owned, and several family members serve in various roles throughout the company.
Every week, Dot trucks deliver food and non-food products to thousands of distributors across the US and Canada. In addition, Dot sells products to distributors in over 40 countries outside the United States. The company owns and operates 12 U.S. distribution centers and 2 Canadian distribution centers. In addition, Dot has an affiliate trucking company, Dot Transportation, Inc., with a national truck fleet and company drivers.
What We Do
Dot Foods purchases products from brands, and then re-sells these products to distributors and self-distributing retailers across all channels, including grocery, foodservice, vending, convenience store, drug, and industrial. Dot Foods has multi-temp capability, meaning ambient, refrigerated, and frozen items and can all be delivered on the same truck. Distributors that buy from Dot get weekly deliveries within 2-4 days of their order, anywhere within the United States.
Top 4 Problems Dot Can Solve
- Channel Access: Many brands would like to branch out and reach customers in other channels. Maybe your products started in Natural stores and now you want to be able to offer your products to restaurants. Dot can help you get into foodservice.
- Shipping Woes: Your current customers ask you to deliver them products, on time and with 100% fill rates. The cost and complexity of shipping can be magnified when the orders are small or infrequent. Dot can ship one case (along with many other products) to the same customers you are selling to today.
- Speed To Market: Maybe you are located on the West coast and need your products delivered to the big East coast cities? Depending on the order size, these deliveries can take 2-3 weeks to arrive. The Dot model allows for customers to get their orders within the same week.
- Customer Reach: You need more customers, plain and simple. Brands who work with Dot have access to our sales team that can introduce you to new points of distribution, expanding your sales much faster than could be done otherwise. Without the barrier of long lead time, high order minimums or access to products, your business will grow much faster.
How Dot Solves Problems
Dot Foods is a turnkey solution that combines the speed of delivery across North America, with the multi-temp capability and access to distributors across all channels that is simply unmatched in the industry. Distributors and Self-Distributing retail chains can order as little as one case of your product, and it will ship with the rest of their Dot order and arrive the same week. This capability resolves the common supply chain issues that create chaos in your business and unlock your brand’s potential in the marketplace.
Rodd Willis is the Director of Business Development – Natural and Specialty at Dot Foods. He has been with Dot since 1997 and has held various roles in sales and business development during his tenure. He is also a member of the Plant Based World Expo Buyer’s Council. He is based in St. Louis, MO.