Sysco Canada Debuts Online Grocery Platform

For the first time ever, the restaurant supplier is selling groceries direct to consumers online.

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Need to Know

  • Sysco Canada has launched an online store to sell direct to consumers for the first time ever.
  • With the click-and-collect program, shoppers can place their grocery order online and drive to the nearest location to pick it up.
  • Grocery shoppers looking to stock up during social distancing will find bulk products for everything from meat to produce to household supplies.
  • Demand for online grocery options is skyrocketing as businesses across the world pivot to offer more access to produce, meant, and other staples.

Analysis

Sysco Canada has joined the world of online ordering, announcing a new “click-and-collect” program called Sysco@HOME that will launch in major cities across Canada. 

Sysco Canada, the country’s largest supplier for restaurants and food-service businesses, is now selling directly to consumers via its new e-commerce platform. Because the company normally sells to restaurants, the online platform offers grocery items in bulk quantities. 

After heading to Sysco’s site and entering your postal code to find the store nearest you, shoppers can order large quantities of items, such as a case of 24 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or a five-kilogram bag of frozen ravioli. Customers can then drive to the location they selected and pick up their orders, which will be loaded into their vehicle by Sysco staff. 

Sysco is also currently offering delivery in the Greater Toronto Area, with plans to expand the service to other major Canadian cities in the coming weeks. 

“We’ve stepped out from behind the curtain of a business-to-business food supply chain organization,” Sysco Canada president Randy White told the Globe and Mail

As many retailers and restaurants struggle to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 crisis, Sysco is able to meet a consumer demand—especially when shoppers are urged to stock up on groceries and stay home as much as possible. 

And the wholesale giants may even continue to sell direct to consumers once life returns back to normal. 

“We’re very eager and interested to expand our offering beyond our current customer base, so we do see this continuing as we learn more about it,” said White. “There’s an enormous industry out there – that I don’t think we’ve seen yet – that’s going to come out of this. Given the opportunity, we’re now in it, and we’re moving forward with it.”

Sysco’s timing couldn’t have been better: demand for groceries continues to skyrocket. 

According to the Globe and Mail, “Sobeys parent company Empire Co. Ltd. reported a 37-per-cent increase in sales in the four weeks starting March 8.”

And Instacart, an app that allows you to order groceries online to be delivered to your home, has seen a 150% increase in demand.

“With Sysco@HOME, consumers can purchase high-quality grocery items – providing both a convenient source for grocery staples that may currently be hard to find and a great opportunity to elevate your at-home food experience,” said White.

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