Pratt Center Research

Growing a More Equitable Economy

Distribution Challenges and Opportunities for NYC’s Small, Specialty Food & Beverage Manufacturers

Report  |  August 9, 2013

The Pratt Center for Community Development was commissioned by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to assess the major distribution challenges facing food and beverage manufacturers and identify strategic interventions the City could implement to better position the sector collectively for growth. This report includes the findings of interviews of 25 stakeholders in the specialty food industry. The study concludes that NYC’s specialty food and beverage manufacturing sector is growing, but many small companies still struggle making the critical transition to third party distribution. It is important that these early stage firms adopt a third-party distribution model in order to gain access to larger retail outlets as well as to enable manufacturers to more fully focus on production.  As a way to support this growing sector and accelerate its development, the City can provide targeted assistance for the sector to connect manufacturers, distributors and retailers and ensure more successful partnerships.