Amazon recognized as leading online source for operators' foodservice purchases

Recent study findings from Technomic indicate that foodservice purchases online will continue to grow over the next several years

Recent study findings from Technomic indicate that foodservice purchases online will continue to grow over the next several years

CHICAGO, Nov. 29, 2018—The percentage of street operators purchasing goods online has dramatically increased since 2014, with over 40% saying they use third-party e-sourcing (3ES) at least once a month. According to Technomic’s 2018 E-Sourcing Impact Study, supplies, disposables, specialty foods and shelf-stable foods represent much of what is purchased.

The 2018 E-Sourcing Impact Study is available for purchase here:

“Our research suggests that street restaurant operators are bullish on the future of third-party e-sourcing,” said Joe Pawlak, managing principal. “Today, operators are most inclined to purchase products in the nonfoods and shelf-stable space but are reluctant to source frozen and perishables from 3ES. However, they can envision a giant like Amazon developing a solution to make operators comfortable purchasing these products online.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Unless 3ES can compete beyond price and many of the unique benefits that distributors provide, they will never become the primary source for operators
  • As a result of new purchasing expectations from the younger tech-savvy generation, distributors are evolving and investing in developing user-friendly online ordering platforms and apps to mirror Amazon’s interface
  • Some distributors report that operators are using 3ES for price checking, sometimes finding lower prices on Amazon and trying to negotiate price on this basis

Compiling findings from interviews with restaurant operators, noncommercial establishments and broadline distributors, the 2018 E-Sourcing Impact Study serves as a guide for foodservice professionals to uncover the evolution of operator purchasing behavior as well as the opportunities and threats these channels pose to the foodservice market.

Purchasing details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852,
Press inquiries and report details: Joe Pawlak, (312) 506-3940,

About Technomic
Technomic Inc., a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. It impacts growth and profitability for clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Its services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Its clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit Technomic at

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant BusinessFoodService DirectorConvenience Store Products, and Winsight Grocery Business. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership ConferenceOutlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTECMenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. In 2015, Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to

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