Wholesale Meat and Seafood: Complete Guide for Businesses

July 16, 2023
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Restaurants oftentimes take advantage of buying wholesale. That's why understanding the wholesale definition, how to run a wholesale business, and how to run a wholesale distribution business is crucial. They do this in order to purchase their food products at a cheaper rate and to have a greater profit margin in the end. Buyers can often wonder where to buy wholesale meat from, especially when they seek it on a regular basis. 

The same goes for buying and selling wholesale seafood online. The process of purchasing seafood can be quite simple, especially when it’s wholesale. Regardless of whether you’re interested in how to focus on selling wholesale seafood or where to buy it, this guide can help. 

Wholesale meat and seafood products will suit your taste, budget wholesale price, diet, and schedule. You’ll be able to minimize the number of trips you take to the grocery store, too. Purchasing wholesale will get you the products you need on-demand and also ensure the quality of both fresh and frozen products. 

Download link to wholesale meat and seafood eBook

What Does Wholesale Mean?

People use the term wholesale when they refer to two business models. Businesses tend to purchase goods in large or bulk quantities right from manufacturers. They later warehouse the goods and resell them. Companies tend to look into how to find vendors and wholesalers that they can work with long-term.

Wholesale can also refer to businesses that produce their own goods and sell them directly to retailers. The retailers will later sell those goods to the end-user. 

Benefits of Buying Wholesale

When you purchase and sell wholesale goods, there can be quite a few benefits. Here are a few:

Saves Money

Purchasing goods in bulk can save you money. Wholesalers typically offer discounts for bulk orders since they’re getting a lot of their products out quickly. You can get your products for less and sell them for more. This will help you get ahead of the competition. 

You Can Gain a Network of Suppliers

If you’re planning on getting involved in wholesale purchasing, it’s ideal to establish a good and reliable network of manufacturers and suppliers. You should have on-time deliveries, high-quality products, and honorable relationships. To have a smoothly-run business, it’s ideal to have a network. It’s crucial to maintain supplier relationships in order to maintain an established and sustainable brand.

The Chance to Be an Expert

You can turn into an expert in the field when you research and sell your products. No matter what kind of wholesale products you’re selling, you’ll have the opportunity to gain knowledge and establish trust with your customers. This is what can draw more people into trusting and shopping from you.

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After you’ve made a foothold in your industry as a wholesaler, you’ll start seeing the connections that you’ve made with other markets. These can provide opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. This is what can lead to business gain and success. 

What Does Wholesale Meat Mean?

When it comes to the food industry, wholesale meat is quite popular. Animals are oftentimes processed into primal and wholesale cuts. Wholesale cuts are typically divided into retail and/or sub-primal cuts. 

Wholesale meat is sold to buyers who are looking to purchase their goods in bulk. The meat will typically be sold at a cheaper rate than it would if it were purchased in smaller quantities. 

Selling a Meat Subscription Box

Meat subscription boxes are a great way for businesses to earn extra revenue. They provide a steady and recurring income by having clients pay on a regular basis to receive weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meat options.

Within the meat subscription, clients may choose the kind of meat they receive. It's customized to their preferences and they also have the opportunity to skip deliveries or postpone them as they please.

About the Meat Packing Industry

The meat packing industry is the process of turning livestock into fresh meat. This process includes slaughtering, processing, packaging, as well as distribution. Many meatpacking companies will also raise the animals before they slaughter them. 

In the meat industry supply chain, there are different ownership parts. This can also be called vertical integration. It’s what allows companies to regulate the price and quality of their products. Vertical integration is often caused by high consolidation in the meat industry, and it’s now controlled by a specific few companies. However, there are still small players within the meat industry. 

Wholesale Meat Delivery

Where there are bulk meat suppliers, there will have to be companies that can also deliver meat to those that purchase it. The buyers are typically restaurants and/or individuals. After the buyers place their orders and choose their delivery days, they’ll likely save money on their orders and receive quality products. 

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Where Do Restaurants Purchase Their Meat? 

Many restaurants work with local farmers as well as food manufacturers to purchase their wholesale meat. Farms oftentimes supply restaurants with fresh products on a regular basis. When it comes to wholesale meat distribution, there are quite a few companies online. Large directories of suppliers can be found on websites like North American Meat Institute and Manta.com.

Restaurants commonly buy their food suppliers from various wholesale distributors that will deliver them right to the establishment. The distributors might focus on local meat supply and more. There are select supplies that can also be purchased at local farmer’s markets.

Meat Distribution Platforms

In most cases, restaurants want to simplify their inventory ordering process. To do that, restaurants will search for a reliable meat distribution platform. BlueCart is a platform that makes it easy to update wholesale meat product pricing and more, as often as needed. Prices in the meat industry can often fluctuate which is why this is a key feature for most wholesale meat and seafood distributors. BlueCart also provides custom catalogs for various restaurants in order for them to have different pricing levels. 

Shipping Frozen Meat: The Top Meat Distribution Companies

The meat industry is a valuable player in people’s lives. With that being said, there are just a few top meat producers in the United States. Both meat distributors and producers refer to companies that specialize in pork, beef, and poultry production. Here are some of the top meat distribution companies in the United States.

Tyson Foods - Springdale, AR

In 2020, Tyson Foods made $42 billion in sales. Tyson Foods is known for its many kinds of poultry products like chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and buffalo wings. They’re considered to be the largest meat producer in the US. They’re also infamous for producing fresh ham, pork, ground beef, and more. The brand name also consists of smaller brands like Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright Brand, and more. 

Sysco - Houston, TX

Sysco is another meat distribution company in the US that is known for its various food services and more specifically, meat production. In 2020, they made $17 billion in sales. Most of the Sysco products go to schools, restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities, and more. Some of their top products include fresh pork, ham, beef, sausages, deli meat, lamb, and more. Sysco also has various private label meat products. 

Perdue Farms - Salisbury, MD

Perdue Farms made about $7 billion in sales in 2020. As a direct-to-consumer company, they’re known for their raw and pre-made poultry products. However, they also make pork and turkey. The company was founded in 1920 as a family business and grew to numerous locations within the US. 

What Does Wholesale Seafood Mean?

Just like with wholesale meat, purchasing wholesale seafood will likely save you money. Wholesale seafood is quality seafood at a lower cost. This is what allows restaurants to profit from the food that they sell. 

Buying retail and buying wholesale is very different. When you purchase products from a wholesaler, you’re likely to be shopping from a middleman. Wholesale purchases are made in bulk. Because of this, you’ll get a discounted price for the products. Once you purchase your wholesale seafood, you can sell them at a higher rate and make a profit. 

Margin is the term used to refer to the difference in price between retail and wholesale. It’s also used to describe the profit the retailer gets from selling the products. Most retail prices can vary between businesses. 

Bulk Fish Distributors

You can find the ideal wholesale seafood distributor in many ways. You can get in touch with different business owners, crowdsourcing options, or contact your local chamber of commerce. Through crowdsourcing, you can find wholesalers that you can take a chance on and others that you might want to stay away from. 

Finding the best wholesale seafood distributor for your business is ideal. There are many out there, and they can vary based on the different kinds of seafood they offer. This can include fresh and frozen seafood. Some wholesale seafood distributors offer subscriptions while others stick to one-time ordering options. 

Keep in mind that there are specific ways to go about shipping frozen meat and seafood. There are packaging requirements and more.

Wholesale Seafood Distributing Platforms

Many restaurants refer to wholesale seafood distributing platforms to order their seafood in bulk. BlueCart is a marketing and sales platform that makes this process simple. Here are some of the things that BlueCart pays attention to when it comes to selling wholesale: 

Catch Weights

The price of seafood can vary on a daily basis. Aside from this, every catch can also vary in weight. BlueCart allows clients to change the prices of their seafood catches or cuts on the final invoice based on the day's catch or cut.

For example, say a customer places an order for 10 pounds of Salmon that is priced at $20/pound. The buyer will pay $200. However, the final catch of the salmon might not be exactly 10 pounds. It might end up weighing 10.2 pounds. The supplier will then have the ability to update the final weight of the salmon and the price for the buyer. 

BlueCart understands how valuable weight and pricing updates can be when purchasing and selling wholesale. 

Pricing Updates

BlueCart also allows for price updates on a daily or weekly basis. With price fluctuations in the seafood industry, it’s crucial to have this ability on whatever platform you use. 

Custom Catalogs

There are numerous clusters of restaurants and buyers that have custom catalogs. These also accommodate different pricing levels. 

Seasonal Catches

You can turn off and on seasonal catches on your wholesale seafood catalog with BlueCart. This is crucial since there are some catches that are only available during specific times of the year. 

What Does Market Pricing Mean for Meat and Fish?

It’s common for restaurants to omit the prices on their menus and instead, include the market price. The market price refers to the cost of the dish depending on the market price of the ingredients. It’s often used for seafood such as lobster, scallops, crab, oysters, and bulk fish. 

Restaurants will also use market prices for their seasonal items like fruits and meat. It’s common for restaurants to not charge a flat rate market price for their seafood or fish. Instead, they’ll add the cost to prepare the meal on top of the bulk seafood sale price in order to get a profit margin. 

Download link to wholesale meat and seafood eBook

What Determines Market Pricing? 

It’s normal to not have menu prices for seafood or meals that include seafood. This is because the cost of fish can vary on a regular basis. The cost can depend on where the seafood was sourced, the species, and more. Essentially, it all comes down to supply and demand. If a fisherman catches an excess amount of mussels this week, the price for mussels will most likely go down. However, if there are fewer catches than usual, the price will increase. 

Most fish markets depend on both the quality and quantity of the haul on a weekly basis. They feel the change of supply and demand. It’s also common for market pricing specific to vary based on the location. If a marketplace has various fish vendors, they’ll likely compete for the best price and catch. 

The Sea-Ex Commercial Fish Market is where you can go for a list of prices for different fish markets around the world. These include fish markets in New England, Australia, and Asia. These prices allow restaurants to change their menus and also create more offerings based on the week’s market prices. 

Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
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