At Alder Foods we pride ourselves on making life easier in the military food market channel for our suppliers. Ever wonder what a Commissary Food Broker really is and what value can one bring to your business? Let us break it all down for you in the simplest possible way!
Commissary the word is recorded in English since 1362, for “one whom special duty is entrusted by a higher power.” This Anglo-French word derives from Medieval Latin commissaries, from Latin commissus (pp. of committere) “entrusted”. The modern era of sales commissaries actually began in 1867, when enlisted men received the same at-cost purchasing privileges officers had already enjoyed for four decades. From the start, commissaries were meant to take on-post retail functions out of the hands of civilian vendors and post traders and allow the Army to “care for its own.” The stores provided wholesome food beyond what was supplied in the official rations, and the savings they provided supplemented military pay. The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), headquartered at Fort Lee Virginia, operates the worldwide chain of commissary grocery stores. The modern concept of commissary sales stores, which were established to benefit military personnel of all ranks by providing healthful foods “at cost,” reached its 150th anniversary on July 1, 2017.
When researching Food Brokers you will find this group is defined as an independent sales agent that works in negotiating sales for food producers and manufacturers. In the food industry Food Brokers work for both producers and buyers of food as they help sell food products to chain wholesalers, retail stores, independent wholesalers and more. A Commissary Food Broker services the military food market channel and our goal is to get your product on the shelf at the Commissary and help you market your product to Commissary Patrons.
Seems simple enough until you dive into the military channels uniquely divisive way of getting business done. This model involves complicated rebill processes and the use of third-party distributors to get product from food produces and manufactures to store fronts. A Commissary Food Broker stays micro-focused on the military channel so they can help food businesses grow!
Commissary Food Brokers allow their customers to focus on other aspects of their business. In general the military channel is a smaller segment of business when stacked against giants like Wal-Mart. Working with a Commissary Food Broker frees up a significant amount of time for food businesses. Allowing a partner like Alder Foods to act as a business advisor and knowledge leader can help you fine-tune aspects of your business that might not be working, and expand the elements that are.
Another value of a Commissary Food Broker is that we do much more than sell! While our main goal is to get your products on shelf, we help to grow your business through other methods. Commissary Food Brokers establish your presence in the store, increase your overall marketing and make it easier for Commissary Patrons to become familiar with your brand. We make sure products stay on shelf, work to expand shelf presence and also provide information on sales and store feedback.
One of the best values a Commissary Food Broker provides to businesses is an established connection at DeCA. We work with closely, daily, with DeCA buyers- not just during category reviews. A Commissary Food Broker, especially Alder Foods, knows who to talk to about getting your products into the Commissary!
Alder Foods is proud to be a military only Commissary Food Broker. Alder Foods invented the buy/sell model 40+ years ago and has a combined 300+ years of experience in the military channel. We are a Commissary Food Broker dedicated to delivering results.