Direct Store Delivery: How Buffalo Market Employs DSD to Serve Brands


The retail industry is under immense pressure. A labor shortage has spread nationwide, where major supermarket chains are battling to hire from the ever-decreasing pool of blue-collar workers. 

A lack of skilled workers within supply chains has caused major disruption. Everyday items are regularly found to be ‘out of stock’ — affecting every stakeholder from the consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands to the stores and retailers, all the way to the frustrated consumers. 

A report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute found that 77% of manufacturers are having ‘ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers, with the expectation that the problem will prevail. As a result of their unfilled job vacancies, 82% of manufacturers report that they’re unable to grow revenue, while 81% are unable to maintain production levels to satisfy demand. 

It can be really stressful for a startup or ambitious CPG brand trying to break into the market when it isn’t stable. They may be manufacturing ground-breaking products that could truly change the world, but if they’re unable to make it onto supermarket shelves, their customers may not have the opportunity to enjoy them. 

But is this issue entirely out of a CPG’s hands, or is there something that they can do to withstand this plight?

Thankfully, there is. 

CPG food and beverage brands can look into more innovative supply chain models, such as Direct Store Delivery (DSD). 

The DSD model ensures that deliveries, fulfillment, and merchandising are taken care of on behalf of stores and supermarkets — so that no matter what problems these retailers face, your products will always make it safely and consistently onto shelves and eventually into the hands and mouths of your loyal customers. 

Buffalo Market specializes in direct store delivery, with added technological advances to the traditional warehouse method, thus creating more efficiency and transparency in the supply chain. CPGs of all sizes are turning to distributors like Buffalo Market to maintain inventory turnover and save those all-important profit margins from the impact of this unceasing labor shortage. 

Let’s take a close look at what direct store delivery actually is and how it could help your CPG. 

Overview of direct store delivery (DSD)

Direct store delivery is a streamlined distribution model which bypasses the retailer’s own warehouses. 

CPG brands outsource the distribution of their products to specialized DSD organizations, which take these products from the manufacturers directly to the retailers. This saves retailers quite a bit on warehousing costs. 

The top DSD distributors will go further than just the transportation of goods. They’ll enter the store to stock the shelves themselves — ensuring that they’re merchandised as per the criteria of the CPGs. 

Have you ever wondered how some of the biggest brands stay in stock during major supply chain crises? They’re most likely using a reputable DSD distributor. 

To gain a more in-depth understanding of direct store delivery, check out our handy series of articles as well as our insights into the recent surge of this business model. 

How Buffalo Market is shifting the industry — their role in changing the industry to adapt to the shifting retail landscape

Buffalo Market is the leading distributor of good-for-people and good-for-the-earth food and beverage products. They use an innovative direct store delivery model to distribute purpose-driven brands into stores along the west coast and are starting to expand into more territories.

But how has Buffalo Market helped food and beverage CPGs to weather the supply chain storm in the United States? 

Less labor-intensive supply chains

Brands and supermarkets have had some of the biggest hits from the blue-collar labor shortage, because they rely on a huge workforce to maintain their stock.

The traditional centralized distribution model utilized by the majority of supermarkets has multiple steps before it even reaches the store. Hence several job roles are needed to:

  • Transport products back and forth
  • Store and manage the products in warehouses
  • Eventually deliver the products to stores
  • Complete the handover to supermarket staff

The supermarket staff will then need to store the products ‘in the back’, before stocking them on supermarket shelves. 

Whereas, the direct store delivery model simplifies this process. 

The well-oiled machine that is Buffalo Market handles all of the above. Whether the products are stored with the manufacturer or at Buffalo Market’s own distribution centers, as soon as the retailer requires a restock, our drivers are ready to go. 

Our highly trained team delivers products straight to the shelves, lifting the burden from the retailer and giving our CPG partners complete peace of mind over the whereabouts and handling of their products. 

Keeping brands stocked

With the old distribution model, when supermarkets have empty shelves, it could be a while before they’re restocked. As a retailer, you have hundreds, if not thousands of brands to think about. Sending a driver to pick up specific sold-out products from their warehouses is not cost-effective. So, these shelves stay empty until the regular delivery slots come back around. 

Buffalo Market is an agile distributor that can deliver specific products to retailers as and when they need them. An empty shelf is a missed opportunity, a reduced profit margin, and a frustrated customer — so we ensure out-of-stocks doesn’t happen. 

We deliver to stores and retailers throughout California and our growing territories 7 days a week. 

Better in-store presence

You’ve spent endless hours of hard work and sleepless nights building your CPG brand. Everything about it has been crafted, from the carefully sourced organic ingredients, to the beautiful packaging design. If you could set up the supermarket displays yourself, you probably would. 

Supermarket employees have to stock many brands, meaning that it’s unlikely they’ll have the time to carry out the exact vision you have in mind when it comes to merchandising. 

Buffalo Market works closely with CPG brands to display products in the best way to customers in store. As a partner organization, you can think of us as an extension of your team, working meticulously to implement your vision as you see it. 

What retailer wouldn’t want this kind of service? They’ll be far more likely to stock your products if they know that it would make their jobs easier

Cutting down on waste

As we mentioned above, the traditional warehousing model has many unnecessary steps. Going through this process takes time — which is a precious resource for every business. 

As your products make their way through this lengthy and inefficient supply chain, they’re losing precious shelf-life — meaning less time on the shelves before they expire. 

If they don’t end up being sold in time, they have to be thrown away due to health and safety regulations. This creates excess food waste, which could have been avoided. 

A not-so-fun fact is that 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from our food waste. 

Then there are the food miles that are generated from the extra transportation, which again is bad for the planet and can deter the all-important customer demographic of conscious consumers. 

Buffalo Market’s streamlined DSD model saves time. With our services, products will no longer have to sit in distant warehouses for weeks or even months at a time, giving them more time on the shelf and thus cutting down on food waste. We even cut down on food miles by delivering food locally without transporting it to distant warehouses. 

Another important point to mention is that as a specialized distributor, our carefully trained teams are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to handle your CPG products. By storing, handling, and transporting your goods with expert care, they’ll stay in prime condition to make that sale and avoid being thrown out. 


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DSD Distribution with Buffalo Market

At Buffalo Market, we utilize direct store delivery to offer a super fast and effective food distribution service.

By operating a direct store delivery model, we can shorten delivery times, always meet demand, and help you to avoid experiencing the disappointment of running out of stock.

Ultimately, we can make sure that you always have the highest quality products whenever and wherever your customers need them. Our full-service distribution includes collecting, stocking, storing, and merchandising dry, refrigerated, and frozen food and beverage products.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support your business.

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