The foodservice distribution industry’s vast economic footprint contributes significantly to local, state and federal economies and delivers the goods to sustain America’s appetite for dining out, according to a report by the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), McLean, Va.

With annual foodservice distribution industry sales at $280 billion in 2017—about the size of Louisiana’s total state GDP—the foodservice distribution industry operates 153,000 total vehicles and employs 131,000 drivers. In fact, the industry’s total employment impact is more than 1 million jobs nationwide, more than the number of people who live in the state of Delaware. 

“Americans love to dine out, and the foodservice distribution industry makes trips to our favorite restaurants possible, while also contributing to local and state economies and providing high-quality jobs,” says Mark Allen, president and CEO.

Key findings show that annually, U.S. foodservice distributors:    

  • Employ a workforce of 350,000 people and support an additional 700,000 jobs in the nation’s economy, for a total employment impact of more than 1 million jobs.
  • Generate industry sales of $280 billion and support an additional $51 billion in economic output throughout the economy, for a total economic impact of more than $331 billion.
  • Donate 2.9 million cases of food and beverage products to charity and volunteer 368,000 hours, adding up to an estimated value of charitable contributions at more than $550 million.
  • Operate 15,000 distribution center locations and deliver 8.7 billion cases – nearly 24 million cases per day.
  • Operate a vehicular fleet of 153,000 power units, trailers and trucks that are driven 3.2 billion miles by 131,000 drivers.

IFDA engaged FTI Consulting, Washington, D.C., to produce the study by conducting primary research, include multiple public sources and apply industry-leading economic modeling.