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2021 Category Captain for Nonedible Grocery: McLane Co. Inc.

The distributor sourced new suppliers and earned its customers' respect by holding each new entrant to the same quality standards.

Consumer behavior changed dramatically as the pandemic swept the country. All trade classes saw huge increases in paper and cleaning/sanitizing products as consumers began to stockpile dry goods. Sanitizing products became scarce. Retailers had to be open to new options such as non-branded products and unfamiliar brands. Companies quickly shifted their business models to produce high-demand options, causing many new suppliers to enter the marketplace.

As the nation’s largest c-store distributor, McLane helped to source new suppliers and earned its customers' respect by holding each new entrant to the same quality standards as expected by retailers. McLane has increased its inventories and offerings in these areas and worked diligently at managing allocations, filling basic needs, and keeping options on the shelves.

McLane expects longstanding impacts from the pandemic through 2021. As it maintains relationships with its new suppliers, McLane is enthusiastic that it will help increase stock levels and bring in items that will add incremental value as c-stores find the new norm.

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