WESTLAKE, Texas — In a move to improve its reach to its more than 41,000 retailers in North America, Core-Mark International is partnering with on-the-go meal provider Fresh & Ready Foods.
Under terms of the exclusive agreement, Core-Mark, which supplies fresh, frozen and chilled merchandise to convenience stores, will offer its customers Fresh & Ready’s sandwiches, salads, wraps, snacks and more.
Items will be prepared at Fresh & Ready’s commercial kitchens and processing facilities in California, Illinois and Texas. Core-Mark will use newly installed chilled infrastructure in its regional redistribution facilities to optimize the freshness and shelf life of Fresh & Ready products.
“Core-Mark is committed to being the clear industry leader in providing modern and relevant fresh food solutions to the convenience retail channel,” said Chris Murray, executive vice president of marketing. “We know that two-thirds of U.S. consumers would shop their favorite convenience store more often if it provided quality fresh food—and our customers recognize this as well. Our partnership with Fresh & Ready Foods—a best-in-class supplier—allows Core-Mark customers exclusive access to a premier U.S. fresh food manufacturer.”
The partnership will roll out in phases throughout 2021, beginning with the western United States. All Core-Mark regions expect to be offering Fresh & Ready products by the end of the year.
The partnership will provide both companies significant opportunities for growth in the c-store marketplace, which in recent years has experienced an increase in consumer demand for high-quality fresh foods, said Scott Jacobson, Fresh & Ready’s CEO.
“As interest in fresh products for convenience has increased, we have been eager to forge an alliance with a like-minded organization in that industry,” Jacobson said. “We have found such a partner in Core-Mark and look forward to a long and mutually productive relationship bringing fresh, high-quality foods to this market.”
Core-Mark also recently entered into a five-year supply agreement to continue serving as the primary wholesale distributor to El Dorado, Ark.-based Murphy USA, delivering more than 75% of the merchandise sold in its c-stores.
For more than 25 years, San Fernando, Calif.-based Fresh & Ready has prepared and distributed a full line of fresh food products. It has operation facilities in San Francisco, San Fernando, Las Vegas, Dallas, Franklin Park, Ill., and Schiller Park, Ill.
Core-Mark, based in Westlake, Texas, is a major marketer of fresh food and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. Founded in 1888, it offers a range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions to about 41,000 customer sites in the United States and Canada through 32 distribution centers. Core-Mark services traditional c-store retailers, grocers, drug, liquor and specialty stores and other stores that carry convenience products.