Sales Agency Consolidation: What’s Ahead

This week’s Big Thoughts features a guest post by Rick Abraham, President and CEO of the Foodservice Sales and Marketing Association. Rick provides valuable insight into the next phases of sales agency consolidation.

The first phase of foodservice sales agency/broker consolidation is about 95% complete. The major national players have filled in their footprints, and the major regionals and independents are identified. We will see more mergers, but these will be mostly minor in scope and impact. This first phase started in 2008, and it’s been a long six years!

Phase two, just beginning, will be much shorter, about 6-12 months. This phase will involve potential major line representation shifts as manufacturers and agencies jockey for competitive position in the largest volume product categories. Expect some violent shake-ups to the status quo.

Once phase two is complete, the final phase will last about 24 months. This is where sales agencies digest what they have consumed and begin to actualize and leverage the efficiencies of scale, technology, and sales effectiveness. Manufacturers can look forward to partnering with agency companies that are world class sales and marketing organizations offering services in traditional and non-traditions areas. The best is yet to come!

Blueberry Business Group is an advocate for the FSMA as the voice of the sales agency community. For more information on the FSMA, visit


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