WESTLAKE, Texas — Core-Mark International signed an exclusive distribution deal with Fresh & Ready Foods.
Through the agreement with the provider of on-the-go meals Core-Mark will offer its customers products from Fresh & Ready's large selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps, snacks and more.
Items provided by Fresh & Ready are prepared at its commercial production kitchens and processing facilities in California, Texas and Illinois. Core-Mark will leverage the newly installed chilled infrastructure at its regional distribution facilities to optimize the freshness and shelf life of the Fresh & Ready products.
"Core-Mark is committed to being the clear industry leader in providing modern and relevant fresh food solutions to the convenience retail channel. We know that two-thirds of U.S. consumers would shop their favorite convenience store more often if it provided quality fresh food – and our customers recognize this as well," said Chris Murray, executive vice president, marketing. "Our partnership with Fresh & Ready Foods — a best-in-class supplier — allows Core-Mark customers exclusive access to a premier U.S. fresh food manufacturer."
The distribution deal will roll out in phases through 2021, starting with the western United States. Activations are planned for the eastern and southern U.S. shortly thereafter, the company said. All Core-Mark regions expect to offer Fresh & Ready products by the end of the year.
The partnership will provide both companies with significant growth opportunities within the convenience retailing marketplace, which has seen an increase in consumer demand for high-quality fresh foods in recent years, according to Fresh & Ready CEO Scott Jacobson.
"As interest in fresh products for convenience has increased, we have been eager to forge an alliance with a like-minded organization in that industry," Jacobson said. "We have found such a partner in Core-Mark and look forward to a long and mutually productive relationship bringing fresh, high-quality foods to this market."
Core-Mark is one of the largest marketers of food, fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. Founded in 1888, it offers a full range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions to 40,000-plus customers in the United States and Canada through 32 distribution centers (excluding two distribution facilities the company operates as a third-party logistics provider).