Sodexo | USA

Entry into the US convenience and vending market

Sodexo Board Chair Sophie Bellon is leading the group on an interim basis until a successor to longtime CEO Denis Machuel is found.
IMAGO / IP3press
Sodexo Board Chair Sophie Bellon is leading the group on an interim basis until a successor to longtime CEO Denis Machuel is found.

French global catering group Sodexo has announced the acquisition agreement with Frontline Food Services. The company is a major player in the fast-growing convenience market in North America and a long-time business partner of Sodexo. Completion of the acquisition is still subject to regulatory procedures. Approval is expected in the coming months.

After acquiring food-tech start-up Foodee and commissary kitchen model Nourish.Inc in the US in 2021, and the continued expansion of The Good Eating Company, Sodexo has taken another major step in its food transformation strategy.

With the acquisition of Frontline, Sodexo will broaden its multi-channel offerings, including click n' collect, take-out, delivery, convenience store concepts, micro markets, self-service pantries, office refreshments and smart vending. This latest move for Sodexo reflects the acceleration of its "any food, anytime, anywhere" strategy. This B2B2C strategy goes beyond the traditional onsite model and offers multi-channel food offerings meant to directly address the varied needs of consumers.
“With the acquisition of Frontline, we can better adjust our offerings quickly – for instance, converting from vending to coffee service to micro markets seamlessly as the needs of our clients and their customers change with the times. Sodexo’s ability to be agile is paramount; this acquisition further enables us to deliver on that need.” said Sodexo’s North America Region Chair, Sarosh Mistry.
Sodexo’s acquisition of Frontline not only furthers Sodexo’s food offer structuring in the U.S. but also, expands its geographic footprint in North America. Already well-positioned on the East and West coast hubs, this acquisition expands Sodexo’s reach into the Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and more.
Frontline started as a family-owned vending business in central Texas. Through the years the business has grown to become one of the largest independent convenience services operators in the US with an operating footprint in the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest and West Coast. Frontline provides a complete menu of refreshment solutions including vending, self-check-out markets, office coffee, pantry and catering to thousands of customers, providing superior customer service and innovation.
Ken Sullivan, President & CEO of Frontline Food Services, said:” Frontline has been servicing Sodexo accounts for more than a decade and through those years a strong partnership has been built. Today we are proud to join the Sodexo family, a group with the ambitious vision to reinvent food services throughout North America. Sodexo’s and Frontline’s shared passion for creating excellent consumer experiences through great food, great service and great technology make this acquisition a real win for the employees and customers of our organization”.
About Sodexo
Founded by Pierre Bellon in 1966, Sodexo provides daily services to 100 million people in 56 countries and has total global sales of 17.4 billion euros (as of 08/2021, -9.8% yoy). Worldwide, 412,000 employees work for the multi-service provider. Its offerings include reception, security, maintenance and cleaning services, catering, facility management, restaurant and gift vouchers as well as fuel passes for employees, home support services and concierge services. In Germany, Sodexo now employs about 8,500 people who it says serve more than 1 million consumers daily in about 550 establishments, including commercial enterprises, government agencies, schools, kindergartens, clinics and senior care facilities . In the gvpraxis ranking of contract caterers in Germany Sodexo Germany ranks 5th with estimated 2020 sales of 193.4 million euros (-32.5% yoy)