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Grocery Wholesale

Grocery Wholesale

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Executive summary

The Grocery Wholesaling industry acts as the middleman between food producers and retailers. As the economy continues to recover, improving per capita disposable income has enabled consumers to trade up to more expensive options at grocery stores or switch to dining out. Grocery wholesalers benefit either way as they distribute products to both markets. As a result, industry revenue is anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of 1.9% to $258.4 billion over the five years to 2022. However, the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic are expected to limit industry performance. The pandemic resulted in revenue decreasing 0.3% in 2020 alone as restaurants and schools were required to temporarily close or reduce capacity. Furthermore, elevated inflation and increasing fears of an upcoming recession are expected to result in industry revenue decreasing 1.0% in 2022 alone.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

Colloquial Terminology

A jointly owned, vertically integrated organization, also referred to as a co-op, that produces and distributes goods for the benefit of the owners.

The transmission of electronic documents between businesses from one computer system to another.

A superstore that combines a supermarket and a department store.

A wholesaling divisions of large manufacturers, facilitating sales directly to retailers and bypass of third-party wholesalers.


Although the industry has a moderate level of market share concentration, operators vary markedly in size depending on target market and geographical scope. The disproportionate size of industry players has contributed to industry consolidation over the past decade as large industry operators constantly seek new inorganic growth opportunities. Industry profit is also susceptible to change depending on the size of an organization and relevant industry prices such as produce and fuel. During the five-year period, the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have affected both the supply chain and the prices of gas and energy, increasing transportation costs and reducing profit.

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