US Foods acquired Smart & Final's 70 Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores earlier this year and more recently launched a ghost kitchen initiative to help independent operators grow off premise sales.
Longtime Target supply chain executive Bill Hankcock has joined US Foods Holdings Corp. as EVP and chief supply chain officer to help the foodservice distributor execute its “Great Food. Made Easy,” strategy.
Hancock joins the $26 billion company at a time when its core foodservice customers have been hit hard by the pandemic and ceded market share to food retailers, who the company is now also looking to serve through an initiative launched in April. Hancock will oversee all warehousing, transportation, supply chain strategy and operations, safety, labor relations and continuous improvement at US Foods and report to chairman and CEO Pietro Satriano.
“(Bill Hancock’s) proven track record of driving customer service, improving productivity, and supporting safety will be instrumental as we continue to build a best-in-class supply chain and deliver on our ‘Great Food. Made Easy.’ strategy,” Satriano said.
Hancock spent the past three years with American Tire Distributors, most recently as SVP of supply chain operations, with oversight of 115 distribution centers. Prior to that, Hancock spend nearly 15 years with Target, last serving as vp of global supply chain operations. He was with Target during a period in which the discount retailer executed a major strategic initiative to expand its assortment of fresh food, dry grocery and consumables.
Hancock’s retail background should prove useful at US Foods following its major retail acquisition earlier this year. In April, US Foods paid $970 million to acquire 70 small format cash and carry stores that Smart & Final operated under the banner of Smart Foodservice Warehouse. The stores, located in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Montana, serve small and mid-sized restaurants and other food business customers and offer about 8,000 items.
More recently, US Foods launched US Foods Ghost Kitchens to help its customers establish and operate facilities dedicated to off-premise dining. A recent National Restaurant Association survey found that 75% of restaurant operators consider off-premise dining their best growth opportunity.
“The Ghost Kitchens program was developed in response to growing interest among our customers, but we’ve also been tracking the trend, and ghost kitchens are projected to reach a $1 trillion global market by 2030, making them an attractive concept for operators even after dine-in restrictions are lifted,” Jim Osborne, US Foods SVP of customer strategy and innovation said when the program was launched in August.
The moves could help US Foods rebound from the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on the foodservice industry. Those effects were evident when the company reported second quarter results which saw sales decline 29.2% to $4.6 billion.