US Foods Holding Corp. (formerly known as U.S. Food service) is an American food service distributor founded in 1989. With approximately $24 billion in annual revenue,[4] US Foods was the 10th largest private company in the US up until its IPO. Many of the entities that make up US Foods were founded in the 19th century, including one that sold provisions to travelers heading west during the 1850s gold rush. US Foods offers more than 350,000 national brand products and its own "exclusive brand" items, ranging from fresh meats and produce to prepackaged and frozen foods. The company employs approximately 25,200 people in more than 60 locations nationwide and provides food and related products to more than 250,000 customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. The company is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, and is a publicly traded company trading under the ticker symbol USFD on the New York Stock Exchange.[5]

US Foods Holding Corp.
Company typePublic company
IndustryFood industry
FoundedAugust 1, 1989; 34 years ago (1989-08-01)
Number of locations
Area served
Continental US[1]
Key people
Dave Flitman (CEO)
ProductsPrepackaged and frozen foods, fresh produce
ServicesFoodservice distribution
RevenueUS$29.487 billion (2021)
US$424 million (2021)
US$164 million (2021)
Total assetsUS$12.521 billion (2021)
Total equityUS$3.735 billion (2021)
Number of employees
28,000 (January 1, 2022) Edit this at Wikidata
Footnotes / references



Early history


John Sexton & Company began as a retail tea and coffee merchant in Chicago, Illinois, in 1883. John Sexton soon discovered hotels and restaurants were his biggest customers. By 1887, Sexton closed his four Chicago retail locations to focus on his institutional customers. By 1891, Sexton began manufacturing private label pickles, salad dressings, preserves, and jellies as well as roasting coffee in downtown Chicago. In addition, Sexton established a food testing laboratory to guarantee that his products had a uniform high level of quality. He also developed an extensive national institutional sales force in all major metropolitan areas, and a catalog mail order grocery business. All national orders were shipped via rail or parcel post from Sexton's Chicago warehouse. Chicago deliveries were by Sexton horse and wagon fleet, and after 1924, Sexton electric and diesel truck fleets. By 1930, Sexton dropped the catalog mail order business and concentrated on the institutional customers throughout the United States. In 1933, Sexton opened a warehouse and truck fleet in Brooklyn, New York, to support the New York Sexton sales force. By 1949, John Sexton & Co. was operating branch warehouses and truck fleets in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Long Island City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to support the Sexton national salesforce. In 1962, John Sexton & Co. was listed as a public company on the Over the Counter Stock Market with $79 million in sales and $2 million in profits. In 1968, John Sexton & Co. had $90 million in sales, which represented 5% of the total institutional foodservice industry. In 1968, Sexton warehouses and truck fleets were located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco with a regional salesforce covering the majority of the United States. This gave Sexton a coast-to-coast distribution and sales network to service their 79,000 customers. In late 1968, John Sexton & Co. was purchased by Beatrice Foods for $37.5 million in Beatrice preferred shares and assumption of Sexton debt.[6] Beatrice Foods operated Sexton as an independent division until 1983, when Beatrice sold Sexton to S.E. Rykoff & Co of Los Angeles, CA for $84.5 million.[7][8]

The 1960s


In 1965, Americans spent just 20 cents of every food dollar for food away from home. Total distributor sales that year were an estimated $9 billion, and the average institutional distributor had an annual volume of $1.5-$2 billion. Institutional Distributor, in its first survey of the foodservice distribution industry, found that the average order size of respondents was $80.40, and the average number of customers was 572. The survey also found that nearly half of the respondents sold to both grocery and institutional customers. In 1962, John Sexton & Company went public and its shares traded on the Over the Counter Stock Market (NASDAQ) with $79 million in sales and $2 million in profits. A second major Monarch purchase in 1962 was L. H. Parke Company who had five east coast locations. Donald Irwin,Jr., President of Parke became president on Monarch Foods.

The 1970s


The decade of the 1970s saw the move to broadline, multi-branch organizations. Consolidated Foods bought the old Pearce-Young-Angel distribution network in 1971 and merged it with its Monarch Foods subsidiary to form PYA/Monarch. Sysco was established in 1970 by combining five independent wholesale grocery companies. Sysco went public in 1970 with $115 million in annual sales and shares were traded on the NYSE. Continental Coffee Company established in 1915 by the Cohn family (CFS Continental) went public in 1970. S.E. Rykoff & Co. was generating $1.9 million in profits with revenue of $75.9 million and went public in 1972.[9] In 1973, Continental Coffee Company changed their name to CFS Continental, Inc. to reflect the growing importance of foodservice to their traditional coffee business.[10] By the end of 1979, Sysco of Houston, TX has sales of $895 million. CFS Continental of Chicago, IL had sales of $775 million. PYA/Monarch of Greenville, SC had sales of $614 million, John Sexton & Company of Chicago, IL had sales of $350 million. S.E. Rykoff & Co. of Los Angeles, CA was generating $320 million strictly on the west coast.[11]

The 1990s


In November 1994, the company adopted the name JP Foodservice, Inc. and went public in November, listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol JPFS. Sara Lee Corporation now held 37 percent of JP common stock. The public offering raised $86 million, and JP restructured and paid off much of its debt.

Toward the end of 1995, the company and its former parent, Sara Lee Corporation, began talks about exchanging PYA/Monarch, Sara Lee's southeastern foodservice subsidiary, for JP stock worth about $946 million. Yet, the two companies failed to reach agreement on several factors, including valuation (JP's stock price had gone up in expectation of the merger), structure, and dilution of earnings to existing shareholders, and the deal fell through in February 1996. The experience left both sides bitter, and JP was expected to find a way to reduce Sara Lee's presence or end its investment in the company all together.

That separation occurred before the end of 1996, when JP held a public offering involving the sale of all the common stock held by Sara Lee. On December 31, 1996, JP Foodservice moved to the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol JPF.

U.S. Foodservice


The name U.S. Foodservice" comes from United Signature Foods, Inc.,[12] a broad-line distributor based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. U.S. Foodservice, Inc., was formed in March 1992 by Unifax, Inc.,[citation needed] specifically to acquire the White Swan, Inc., a Dallas-based distributor.[13]

The 2000s


March 20, 2000, U.S. Foodservice were acquired by Dutch multinational Royal Ahold for $26 per share or $3.6 billion.[citation needed]

The 2010s


On August 13, 2010, U.S. Foodservice announced that John A. Lederer was appointed president and chief executive officer effective September 8, 2010.[14]

On December 9, 2013, Sysco Corp announced it would acquire US Foods for $8.2 billion ($3.5 billion plus $4.7 billion of debt),[15] but on June 24, 2015, U.S. federal judge Amit Mehta ruled that the combined Sysco-US Foods would control 75% of the U.S. foodservice industry and that would stifle competition. On June 29, 2015, Sysco terminated its merger with US Foods.[16][17]



Under Lederer, the company made several acquisitions in 2010 and 2011 including Nino's Wholesale,[18] Midway Produce,[19] WVO Industries,[20] Ritter Food Service,[21] Cerniglia Products,[22] Great Western Meats, Inc.,[23] and Vesuvio Foods.[24] US Foods also acquired the local restaurant distribution business of White Apron.[25]

In 2012, US Foods acquired New City Packing Co., Bears Distribution, and Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution.[26]

In 2013, Quant's Foodservice Distributors.[27]

In 2015, Dierks Waukesha.[28]

In 2016, Save On Seafood,[29] Jeraci Foods,[30] Freshway Foods,[31] Cara Donna Provision Co.[32]

In 2017, Toba Inc. Distribution Companies,[33] F. Christiana,[34] First Class Foods,[35] SRA Foods and All American Foods.[36]

In 2019, US Foods acquired SGA Food Group for $1.8 billion[37] and in April 24, 2020 acquired Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores for $972 million.[38]

In 2023, Renzi Foodservice,[39] Saladino's Foodservice.[40]

U.S. Foodservice becomes US Foods


In September 26, 2011, U.S. Foodservice announced its name change to US Foods, Inc. (styled as "US. Foods" in the new logo unveiled at the same time).[41]

Specialty divisions and companies


North Star Foodservice


As part of its rebranding in October 2011, the company changed the name of its North Star Foodservice divisions to US Foods.

Next Day Gourmet


As part of the company's rebranding effort in October 2011, US Foods changed the name of its equipment and supply division from Next Day Gourmet to US Foods Culinary Equipment & Supplies.

Stock Yards


In February 2000, Stock Yards Packing was sold to U.S. Foodservice.[42] U.S. Foodservice owned seven other custom meat cutters at the time and wanted to add a company with a solid reputation to its mix. Other pluses in acquiring Stock Yards were that company's strong management and labor force, their excellent customer service;[citation needed] reputation for high-quality products,[citation needed] and the fact that Stock Yards was a certified Angus beef distributor. Dan Pollack stated at the time of the acquisition that he hoped to use Stock Yards' expertise to streamline and standardize the meat cutting operations of US Foods.


  1. ^ US Foods — Continental US
  2. ^ "About Us". US Foods.
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  6. ^ "Beatrice: From Buildup to Breakup, Gazel, Neil (1990)
  7. ^ "Beatrice to Sell John Sexton Unit", The New York Times, September 28, 1983. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
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  9. ^ S.E. Rykoff & Co. Display Ad The Los Angeles Times, Oct 6, 1972. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  10. ^ Name Change Is Approved, CFS Continental New York Times; pg. 56, Feb 13, 1973 Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  11. ^ $1 Billion Dollar Company, Practically Invisible SYSCO pg. d4 The New York Times, Jan 12, 1981. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
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  13. ^ [1][dead link]
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  17. ^ "Sysco Terminates Merger Agreement with US Foods" (Press release). June 29, 2015.
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  30. ^ "US Foods to acquire Jeraci Foods". Meat Poultry. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
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  32. ^ Schouten, Rebekah (29 February 2016). "US Foods to acquire Cara Donna Provision Co". Food Business News. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
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