Sysco Corporation has temporarily suspended the sale of fresh meat and fresh produce, instead focusing on frozen goods, according to a memo seen by the New York Post.
Food distributors and producers are struggling to come to terms with a radically altered economic landscape as a result of the COVID 19 crisis, and Sysco has responded by focusing on frozen chicken, beef, seafood, and vegetables ‘for the interim period’, according to the memo.
The memo was passed around to some of Sysco’s clients in recent weeks, including some of the largest hotel and restaurant chains in the US, as well as schools and other institutions. The company is also working to offload its inventory to supermarkets and other retail outlets that it doesn’t normally do business with.
The memo also states that the company is suspending Saturday deliveries, as well as product returns, and warned that delivery times cannot be guaranteed as it is consolidating shipping routes in a cost-cutting measure.
In a statement sent to the Post, a Sysco spokesperson rebuffed the memo, saying it was ‘not an approved communication’.
“Importantly,” the spokesperson continued, “we are and will continue to sell fresh meat and produce as part of the comprehensive foodservice offering you expect from Sysco.”
Sysco has embarked on a number of cost-cutting measures in recent weeks, including laying off and furloughing sales, warehouse, transportation and functional support staff.
Sysco isn’t the only foodservice distributor looking at new avenues for its products. According to the Post, Bronx-based Baldor Specialty Foods has launched a home delivery service and has inked a deal to supply 100 Acme stores in the New York metro region with pantry staples.