Furthering its strategy to provide more fresh and accessible food options to its network of more than 41,000 retailers in North America, Core-Mark International has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Fresh & Ready Foods, a leading provider of delicious and convenient on-the-go meals.
Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Core-Mark will offer its customers products from Fresh & Ready’s wide-ranging selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps, snacking items and more. Items are prepared at Fresh & Ready’s state-of-the-art commercial production kitchens and processing facilities in California, Texas and Illinois.
Core-Mark will leverage the newly installed chilled infrastructure in its regional redistribution 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,” said Core-Mark Executive Vice President of Marketing Chris Murray. “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.”
Murray hailed Fresh & Ready Foods as a best-in-class supplier. The partnership, he added, allows Core-Mark customers exclusive access to a premier U.S. fresh food manufacturer.
All Core-Mark regions expect to be offering Fresh & Ready products by the end of 2021. The partnership will roll-out in phases throughout 2021, beginning with the western U.S. and followed shortly thereafter by activations in the eastern U.S. and the southern U.S.
Fresh & Ready CEO Scott Jacobson said the Core-Mark partnership will provide both companies with significant opportunities for growth within the burgeoning convenience retailing marketplace, which in recent years has seen an increase in consumer demand for high-quality fresh foods.
“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,” said Jacobson. “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.”
For more than 25 years, Fresh & Ready has prepared and distributed a full line of fresh food products. The company buys its meats direct from the packers, produce straight from the farm, and Artisan breads from several local gourmet bakeries daily. Its production crew is instructed to follow strict guidelines and specifications ensuring a consistent, high-quality product.
Core-Mark is one of the largest marketers of fresh, food and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America, and offers a full range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions through 32 distribution centers. Core-Mark services traditional convenience stores, grocers, drug stores, mass merchants, liquor and specialty stores, and other stores that carry convenience products.