Eden Green: Retail / Distribution

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Retail / Distribution: Job Titles

The typical job title held by someone responsible for growing or buying food to sell to consumers at larger retailers and food distribution companies is typically is positioned at the Vice President or Director level, and is described as a Sourcing and/or Procurement role.

Vice President, Sourcing

  • Index Fresh, a California-based sourcer and global distributor of avocados, currently uses the title "Vice President, Sourcing" for the leadership role that sources the companies products and manages food growers.
  • Specifically, the Vice President, Sourcing at Index Fresh is responsible for grower selection, recruitment, retention and coordination in the sourcing of fresh fruit products.

VP Procurement and Sourcing

  • Similarly, Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market, a national retailer of fresh produce and other grocery items, is currently using the title "VP Procurement and Sourcing" for the management position that oversees fresh produce procurement, among other retail goods.
  • Although this role has purview over sourcing functions for a wide range of products, the position is anchored in the procurement of produce goods from growers, given that produce is "front and center" for the retailer and comprises 25% of the chain's annual revenue.

Director of Procurement

  • Meanwhile, California-based Curation Foods, "one of the largest" distributors of fresh vegetables in North America, leverages the title "Director of Procurement" to identify the leadership position in charge of produce purchasing.
  • The responsibilities under this title include the planning, strategic sourcing, harvesting and purchase of "over 155 million pounds" of fresh produce from international growers.

Director of Procurement

  • In a similar fashion, Colorado-based Lucky's Market, an American supermarket chain that specializes in organic food retail, also uses the title "Director of Procurement" to describe the oversight of grower sourcing.
  • Specifically, this position is responsible for grower sourcing, negotiations and management, in addition to larger merchandising and retail execution performance across 39 store locations.

Director of Growing and Grower Relations

  • Finally, California-based Boskovich Farms uses a slightly different title ("Director of Growing and Grower Relations") for the individual responsible for food grower management, give that this organization manages the production of fresh produce for later distribution.
  • Specifically, Boskovich Farms oversees the production of 30 different vegetable crops on over 15,000 acres of land in the US and Mexico.
  • As such, this senior procurement role focuses on the recruitment and interface with individual food growers to support the production of Boskovich Farms' wide range of fresh produce.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Retail / Distribution: Demographics

A total of 16 profiles of those responsible for growing or buying food (food sourcing and procurement) for the top U.S. food retail and distribution companies were analyzed, yielding a demographic analysis demonstrating a population that is overwhelming male with some degree of higher education. Nearly half of the people analyzed are in their 50s. The statistics detailed below are composite calculations, and the profiles of each person is linked below in the sources.

Age

  • Out of the profiles analyzed, 3 people are estimated to be in their 30s, 3 are estimated to be in their 40s, 7 are estimated to be in their 50s, 2 are estimated to be in their 60s, and 1 was unknown.
  • People who are in their 50s make up 43.7% of those holding positions as a director or VP of procurement, sourcing, or purchasing. Therefore, a majority of these positions are occupied by people in their 50s.

Gender

  • 14 out of the 16 profiles belong to men, with only 2 belonging to women, making the population holding this type of position in large U.S. companies overwhelmingly male.

Income Level

  • According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for people holding the position of vice president of sourcing and procurement is $152,267, though this is not focused solely on the food distribution industry.

Location

  • Location data was collected for each profile, demonstrating that people in food sourcing and procurement are typically located in the same city as their company's headquarters.

Education Level

  • Of the 16 profiles surveyed, 9 people were educated at the level of a bachelor's degree, 4 held a master's degree, and 3 did not mention their education level. Therefore, the majority of people (56%) are estimated to have only a bachelor's degree.

Research Strategy

First a search was carried out to understand the largest U.S. food distribution and retail companies. From this we determined that the top U.S. food retail companies are Walmart, Kroger, Albertson's, Ahold Delhaize, Publix, Aldi, H-E-B, Wakefern Food, Meijer, and Southeastern Grocers. The top U.S. food distribution companies are Sysco, U.S. Foodservice, Performance Food Group, Gordon Food Service, Food Services of America, Reinhart Foodservice Inc, Shamrock Foods Co, Maines Paper & Food Service Inc, Ben E. Keith Foods, and the IJ Company. From there, we searched multiple types of sources to discover who was responsible for growing or buying food for each company. This was determined based off of previous research that identified job titles for this position such as vice president/director of sourcing and procurement. After identifying the person responsible in each company, we carried out a demographic analysis to determine the demographic data detailed above. Information concerning who held this position was not readily available for Ahold Delhaize, Publix., U.S. Foodservices, Gordon Food Service, or the IJ company.

The information for each person's age is estimated because an exact age is not open source information. Age was calculated with the assumption that each person was in their early 20s upon graduation with their bachelor's degree. If the graduation year was not available, then the same calculation was made from the year they began working, according to their published work experiences.


Sources
Sources