Career Development

What Does a Food Broker Do?

Find out what a food broker does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a food broker.

Food brokers are the middlemen of the food industry. They buy and sell a wide variety of foods on behalf of clients, including restaurants, grocery stores, institutional kitchens, and other businesses that need to source their ingredients from multiple suppliers.

Food brokers may specialize in certain types of products or services, such as seafood, dairy products, baked goods, etc. They commonly work with many different suppliers at once, each supplying a different type of product or service.

Food Broker Job Duties

A food broker typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Negotiating prices with vendors on behalf of restaurants or other buyers
  • Communicating with suppliers to ensure that they can meet the buyer’s requirements
  • Coordinating the transportation of food products from supplier to buyer location
  • Tracking inventory levels of food products to ensure that there is enough product available at all times
  • Negotiating contracts with clients and vendors to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the terms
  • Analyzing data to identify trends in pricing, supply, and demand of food products
  • Scheduling deliveries to restaurants or stores when needed
  • Helping clients find new suppliers or negotiating contracts with existing suppliers
  • Negotiating contracts with suppliers and distributors to provide meals to schools, hospitals, hotels, or other institutions

Food Broker Salary & Outlook

Food brokers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the type of food they are brokering, and the company they work for. They may also earn additional income through commissions or bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $72,500 ($34.86/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $162,000 ($77.88/hour)

The employment of food brokers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Food brokers will be needed to help food manufacturers and distributors find new markets for their products. In addition, demand for specialty foods, such as gluten-free foods, is expected to increase, leading to more demand for food brokers.

Related: Food Broker Interview Questions and Answers

Food Broker Job Requirements

A food broker typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most food brokers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, marketing or food science. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). An MBA is a useful degree for a food broker to have, as it can provide them with a deeper understanding of business principles and practices.

Training & Experience: Food brokers typically receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training may include learning the company’s specific software and systems. It may also include shadowing an experienced food broker to learn the basics of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: Food brokers are not required to have any certifications to operate. However, some industry organizations offer memberships to individuals in the food brokerage industry. These memberships offer industry professionals the opportunity to network with other food brokers and industry professionals, attend educational seminars and expand their knowledge of the industry.

Food Broker Skills

Food brokers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Product knowledge: Food brokers should have a strong understanding of the food industry and the products they sell. This can help them determine which products are in high demand and which products they should focus on. Brokers should also have a thorough understanding of the food production process so they can find suppliers who can meet their clients’ needs.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for brokering food because you need to communicate with clients, suppliers and other professionals. You need to be able to communicate effectively in order to make deals and maintain relationships with others.

Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills are also important for food brokers. They use negotiation skills to help them get the best prices for their clients’ food products. They also use negotiation skills to help them get the best deals on the food products they purchase for their clients.

Time management: Brokers often have multiple clients and projects they’re working on at the same time. Having strong time management skills can help them prioritize their work and meet deadlines. They may also need to manage multiple phone calls and meetings at the same time.

Organization: A food broker needs to be organized to ensure they have all the information they need to complete a transaction. They may need to keep track of multiple client files, contracts and other documents. Being able to organize these files and information can help a food broker complete their work efficiently.

Food Broker Work Environment

Food brokers work in an office environment, but they also travel frequently to meet with clients and potential clients. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines. Food brokers may also be under a great deal of pressure to find new clients and to keep existing clients happy.

Food Broker Trends

Here are three trends influencing how food brokers work. Food brokers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Food Trucks

The food truck industry is growing rapidly, with more and more trucks popping up all over the country. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the popularity of street food and the ease of starting a food truck business.

Food brokers can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with the food truck scene in their area and connecting vendors with potential customers. They can also help to promote food trucks through social media and other channels.

More Focus on Local Ingredients

As consumers become more interested in eating locally-sourced foods, food brokers will need to focus on sourcing ingredients from local farms and producers.

This trend is already having a major impact on the restaurant industry, as chefs are looking for ways to source ingredients that are fresh and in season. As a food broker, you can capitalize on this trend by developing relationships with local farmers and producers and helping them to sell their products to restaurants and grocery stores.

A Growing Demand for Organic Products

Organic products are becoming increasingly popular among consumers, who are looking for healthier options. This trend is leading to an increased demand for organic products, which food brokers can capitalize on by finding new suppliers and connecting them with retailers.

In order to be successful in this market, food brokers will need to be able to identify trends and understand what products consumers want. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with both suppliers and retailers in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

How to Become a Food Broker

A career as a food broker can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of products and companies, and to help connect buyers and sellers. Food brokers also have the chance to learn about new trends in the food industry and stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

To become a food broker, you need to have a strong understanding of the food industry and its players. You should also be able to effectively communicate with people from all walks of life. And finally, you need to be able to manage your time effectively so that you can meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Advancement Prospects

Food brokers typically advance in their careers by developing a strong network of contacts and clients. As they build their business, they may be able to take on larger and more prestigious accounts. In addition, food brokers may eventually move into management roles, overseeing a team of salespeople. Some food brokers may also choose to start their own brokerage firm.

Food Broker Job Description Example

As a food broker, you will be responsible for the sale of food products and ingredients to customers in the food industry. You will work with a team of salespeople to identify and contact potential customers, negotiate contracts, and close deals. You will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with existing customers and developing new business opportunities. The ideal candidate will have experience in the food industry, sales, and customer service. He or she will be a self-starter with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain relationships with food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers
  • Understand the needs of your clients and identify potential new business opportunities
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sale on behalf of your clients
  • Prepare sales proposals and presentations to win new business
  • Manage and monitor existing accounts to ensure continued satisfaction
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
  • Attend trade shows and other events to network with potential clients
  • Research the competition to find new ways to differentiate your clients’ products
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop innovative marketing strategies
  • Help your clients resolve any issues that arise
  • Keep accurate records of all sales activities
  • Meet or exceed quarterly and annual sales targets

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in food sales, with a proven track record of success
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in food sales
  • Experience working with major grocery store chains
  • Familiarity with natural and organic foods
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)


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