(HOUSTON, TX.) – Independent Marketing Alliance (IMA), an exclusive network of independent market share leaders in foodservice distribution, hosted its annual Executive Conference in New Orleans this past month. The 18th annual conference provided a venue for IMA member distributors to meet with top tier manufacturers from across the country to discuss current and future business strategies and plans, key successes and opportunities for future growth. Additionally, the attendees addressed evolving trends and new developments with consumers and operators in the food service industry.
Representatives from IMA also shared important updates on the performance of their sixteen exclusive brands. Over the last few years, 80 percent of IMA exclusive brands were updated, leading sales to increase double digits in 2019 with top tier manufacturers. In addition, a survey of 950 DSRs revealed that 80 percent or more of DSRs feel the Exclusive Brand Portfolio is equal to or better than the competition and gives them a strong competitive position in the marketplace.
During Business Partner Update Meetings, IMA member distributors shared their 2019 performance and strategies for the upcoming year, many of which included a greater emphasis on exclusive brand sales and training. Each member successfully executed the 2019 sales plan and launched a number of strategic new products.
The select distributor membership alliance discussed expanding into additional open markets across the US with select new food service distributor members. IMA’s newest members, Russell Hata of Y. Hata and Justin Erickson of Harbor Foods Group shared that a desire for growth and strength of the exclusive brands portfolio and marketing were major contributors in their recent decisions to join the alliance. The differentiation the IMA program offered was cited as a key driver in both distributors move to IMA.
“This year’s Executive Conference marked the eighteenth anniversary of the conference and welcomed two new members, Harbor Foods Group and Y. Hata, to our Distributor Alliance,” said IMA CEO Rob Mould. “With IMA’s excellent performance this year across our four pillars: our corporate team, our members, our suppliers and our brands, we are experiencing strong growth and heading into 2020 stronger than ever.”
IMA is comprised of an exclusive group of independent market share, foodservice distribution leaders across the US, including Shamrock Foods, Reinhart Foodservice, Nicholas and Company, Maines Paper & Foodservice, Merchants Foodservice, Y. Hata & Co. and Harbor Foods Group. The IMA buying and marketing group manages sixteen exclusive brands and combines volume to achieve more competitive pricing, while outpacing the industry through a commitment to providing its members the most innovative foodservice marketing and product solutions for their restaurant and foodservice customers nationwide.
About Independent Marketing Alliance
For more than 18 years, Independent Marketing Alliance (IMA) has provided innovative food service solutions nationally through the largest network of independently operated food service distributors. The company provides full service, differentiated, exclusive branded products, volume buying power, superior customer service, local expertise and consultation for food service clients across America. To learn more about IMA visit www.IMAFoodService.com or call 281-531-0007.