Distributing giantU.S. Foodservice, Rosemont, Ill., said it changed its name and brand marketing toUS Foods to reflect "its strategic focus on creating a better food offering and an easier service experience for customers."

Separately, the company has recognized food processor winners of its third annual vendor recognition awards.

Officials saidNational BeefandPepsiCo Foodservicerespectively took top honors as U.S. Foodservice's 2011 Exclusive Brands (EB) Vendor of the Year and Manufacturer's Brand (MB) Vendor of the Year. The companies were chosen out of more than 200 vendors. National Beef also won the 2011 Center of the Plate award, and PepsiCo earned the 2011 Beverage Award, officials said.

"These vendors are critical to our mission of providing the highest quality products and services to more than 250,000 customers around the country," said Pietro Satriano, chief merchandising officer, US Foods. "Congratulations to National Beef, PepsiCo and the other winning companies, who excel in all the qualities that are important to us and ultimately, our customers."

More than 60 U.S. Foodservice divisions and support offices participate in the selection process. Vendors were evaluated on seven important criteria: sales growth, gross margin improvement, divisional sales and merchandising support, food safety and product quality, logistics, national account support and business friendliness.

Nine companies were recognized for their superior performance in the following product categories:

Center of the Plate- National Beef

Beverage- PepsiCo Foodservice

Fruits and Vegetables- C&F Foods

•Non-Foods - GenPak

Grocery- Dakota Growers Pasta

Frozen- Maple Leaf Bakery

Produce - Taylor Farms (third consecutive win)

Dairy- Dannon Company

Seafood- Aqua Star

Additionally, US Foods recognized the following companies for "functional excellence."

Logistics- Schwan Food Co.

Food Safety and Quality Assurance- Mariner Seafood

National Accounts- Red Gold

Business Friendliness- Trident Seafood

Exclusive Brands Partnership, Vendor of the Year- National Beef

Manufacturers Brands Partnership, Vendor of the Year- PepsiCo Foodservice

One of America's leading foodservice distributors, US Foods offers more than 350,000 national brand products and its own private label items, ranging from meats to produce to frozen foods. The company employs approximately 25,000 associates in more than 60 locations nationwide.

US Foods supplies  food and related products to more than 250,000 customers, including independent restaurants, government operations, health care and hospitality entities, educational institutions and prominent multi-unit restaurant companies.