MT. STERLING, Ill. – When Dot Foods Inc. ships its first case of fresh meat to the West Coast on April 6, it will become the first food redistributor to offer both refrigerated and frozen meat nationwide. Dot started redistributing protein products to customers in the Midwest in August 2008, rolling them out to the eastern half of the United States in December.
According to Rodd Willis, director of protein sales and purchasing, there were several systems Dot had to put in place to make sure the meat was delivered to customers with adequate shelf life remaining. “This category is tricky because of the shelf life. We could offer frozen meat with our current systems, but the fresh meat presented unique challenges. We developed a new IT system to manage inventory based on days past production and established relationships with suppliers on the West Coast to ensure the product would not have to travel across the country.”
Dot’s current protein offerings include boneless boxed beef, bone-in boxed beef, refrigerated and frozen ground beef, fresh and frozen pork, and frozen lamb. Dot warehouses the meat at its flagship distribution center in Mt. Sterling, Ill., to serve the Midwest and East Coast and at its Burley, Idaho, distribution center to serve the West Coast. Visit www.dotfoods.com/products.html for a complete list of products.
“Our customers have been very enthusiastic about our protein offerings, and we are actively looking to expand our inventory with new suppliers as our customers seek out additional offerings from us,” said Willis. “As with any of our products, the benefit to our customers is that our significant buying power and nationwide distribution mean they can purchase a smaller volume than if they bought the meat directly from the manufacturer.”
Dot Foods Inc. carries 83,000 products from 500 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods and Dot Transportation sell and deliver foodservice, convenience, retail, vending, equipment and supplies to leading distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates nine distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Joliet, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla. For information, visit www.dotfoods.com.