Arthur Flores: Revolutionizing the Food and Beverage Distribution Network

Arthur Flores

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A supply chain consists of various elements starting with receiving the order to meeting the customer’s request. The key functions also include product development, marketing, operations, finance, customer service, and distribution networks. For the companies of the food and beverage industry, selecting an appropriate distribution channel is highly important.

 Successful logistics management ensures timely delivery of the products to meet the market needs which in turn, reduces lags and increases consumer’s trust in the company. Moreover, the selection of third-party distribution plans largely depends on the financial status and the goals of the company, however, today, many foods and beverage manufacturers depend on third-party distribution channels that allow them to focus on their production and quality of the goods.

The southern California-based Los Angeles Distributing Company is a trusted food and beverage distribution company that specializes in the supply of the latest healthy snack and ready-to-drink beverage brands. The company uses its distribution networks to supply its unique selection of products to various marketplaces within California and beyond. 

“We supply healthier snacks and beverages to thousands of Southern California businesses―consider us demand seekers who comply with the industry trends,” says Arthur Flores, President at Los Angeles Distributing Company.

A Reliable Skipper

As a leader, Arthur has always been ambitious. He and his partner Richard Medina established the company in 2012, with a mission to supply healthier snacks and beverages to the businesses in Southern California. 

Post completing his business degree from The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, in 2007, Arthur started to work in the mortgage industry as an analyst. Later, he joined a small food distribution startup company during the time of the ‘great depression of 2008.’ However, the company failed, Arthur and Richard took the learning from that experience and started Los Angeles Distributing Company (LAD).

Arthur has established a unique distribution channel that focuses on supplying exclusive food and beverage products to small-scale businesses like grocery and liquor stores. Presently, Arthur manages the finance and operations of the LAD internally. On the external front, he is responsible for building strong relationships with the customers and suppliers. 

Under Arthur’s leadership, LAD has maintained an exceptional reputation within the food and beverages industry. It has now become the ‘go-to distributor’ for the rising brands in LA. The company’s customer brands have grown to become completely reliant and have continued to work with the LAD to target a larger consumer base.

“Over the years, we have built an amazing reputation that is rooted in simplicity, quality, and customer service,” mentioned Arthur.

Hand-Picked Products

LAD has a wide product portfolio consisting of over a thousand items to offer. However, Arthur is extremely selective when adding new brands to the list of products. He focuses on ensuring the maintenance of the point of differentiation―this buying strategy helps LAD follow up with the trends and deal with vendors that care about its customers.

A few years ago, the company implemented cold chain infrastructure to support its then growing and now dominant segment of cold ready-to-drink beverages. LAD enhanced its storage and delivery facilities for refrigeration, which has allowed it to continuously expand into new categories of refrigerated snacks and ready-to-drink beverages. Presently, its unique collection of snack and beverages rely on three pillars – refrigeration, plant-based, and better-for-you

LAD supplies various snacks and beverages from different brands―some of its popular products include kombucha, cold brew coffee, cold-pressed juice, probiotics, salty snacks, alkaline water, yogurts, oats, elixirs, chips, sweets, alcoholic drinks, and more. Top brands include Health Ade Kombucha, Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, Vive Organic Shots, Deep River Chips, and Mountain Valley Spring Water.  Additionally, the company also offers free delivery to local stores in the greater Los Angeles area.

Words of Appreciation

For LAD, reputation is everything. The company has worked constantly towards delivering unique and trending food and beverages. Its consumers often appreciate the level of dedication and service that it offers. “Buying in bulk is easy especially during the pandemic. I have worked with many distributors but these guys always make it right. They offer healthy snack and beverage alternatives alongside providing the best customer service. the place has a nice barista-quality selection of milk and alternative milk―A coffee shop owner’s dream,” says Jordan an LA-based customer of LAD.

The Challenges of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the food service and specialty customers including delis, coffee shops, gyms, and schools had slowed to a trickle or shut down completely. Convenience and liquor stores became LAD’s main source of business. The company supplied groceries, snacks, and beverages to various local vendors within and beyond Los Angeles County. Gradually as the panic calmed, the demand for healthy foods and nutritional drinks continued to grow.  

Arthur mentioned that LAD reacted quickly. The company shifted its focus to grocery and convenience meanwhile, offloading its unique products on discounts before expiry to reduce wastage. Additionally, the company made pay cuts across the board to ensure employee retention. “The pandemic has been a test for everyone in the food & beverage supply chain,” said Arthur.

Expansions Underway

Over the years, LAD has expanded into new territories and product categories with many additions on the horizon. Presently, the company is building a new segment of products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on immunity, nutrition, and hygiene. 

Arthur believes that small start-up food brands will continue to gain popularity regardless of the state of the economy as they deliver to the consumer’s cravings with more authenticity. However, these brands often don’t get the attention or focus they need from the large broad-line distributors.  Therefore by next year, Arthur expects LAD to be able to cover most grocery chains in the Greater Los Angeles area including Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Safeway, and more, and fill a major void in the market.  

COVID Lesson:

Arthur Flores quote

Also read: The 10 Revolutionary Business Leaders, 2023

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