Technomic: GPOs' foodservice influence increasing

Operators made $19.7 billion worth of purchases through GPOs last year.

May 31—A new report from Technomic shows that the scope, size and influence of group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in foodservice has continued to grow.

The report states that from 2009 to 2012, GPO foodservice purchases “significantly outpaced the broader industry growth rate,” according to a Technomic press release. Last year, foodservice operators made $19.7 billion worth of food, beverage and related purchases through GPOs.

Technomic defined GPOs as third-party organizations that negotiate discounts and aggregate purchases for operators in various foodservice segments. GPOs have historically worked with operators in healthcare foodservice but, in the past few years, have quickly gained favor with other segments of the industry. I Technomic predicts that GPO purchases' growth should continue to outpace overall industry growth and could reach 23% to 25% percent of relevant purchases within three years.

"While operators are definitely satisfied, we see mixed opinions among manufacturers and distributors serving the foodservice industry," David Henkes, vice president at Technomic and one of the study authors, said in the press release. "For foodservice operators, compliance remains the biggest challenge, especially among independents where the preference is to make their own supplier and brand choices. While we clearly identified manufacturers and distributors that have been successful in growing with GPOs, other companies note that GPOs present challenges that require strategic solutions.”