Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 44

s

SERVICES &
SUPPLIERS

Orion Food Systems

Smooth Operators
Orion Food Systems brings solid solutions to its foodservice clients.
By Alan Dorich

company profile
Orion Food Systems
www.orionfoods.com
Headquarters: Sioux Falls, S.D.
Employees: Approximately 350
Specialties: Foodservice products,
training, marketing and support
Steve Watkins, CEO: "It's imperative
that we're putting out products people
want to eat more than once."

>> Orion distributes and supplies food products for the convenience store, military, healthcare, education and grocery sectors.

O

rion Food Systems makes

sure that its products have
consumers coming back
for seconds. "Our motto
we go by is 'Quality products through
quality people,'" CEO Steve Watkins
says. "It's imperative that we're putting out products people want to eat
more than once."

44

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Orion is
a multiple-branded distributor and
supplier of food products for the convenience store, military, healthcare,
education, transportation, grocery,
and sports and entertainment sectors.
The company also provides training,
marketing and operational support
for foodservice operations.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Orion started operations in 1986 in
Webster, S.D., with its Hot Stuff Pizza concept, which is celebrating its
30th anniversary. "Our thesis was that
we could sell pizza through what we
would call 'non-traditional markets,'"
Watkins says.
The company saw a unique niche
and established its foundation by
selling pizza at convenience stores,
which was considered non-traditional in 1986. "Back then, foodservice
wasn't a big option in convenience
stores," he explains, noting that most
purchases were related to impulse
buys with items such as nachos and
popcorn. "There wasn't really anyone
else in the game."
The bet paid off, and Orion has enjoyed solid growth ever since. Today,
"Foodservice is the No. 1 platform for
profitability in the convenience store,"
he says. "It allowed us to grow from
that first store to over 1,000 locations
in the United States, including Alaska."
Orion's reach also has expanded
into Canada and military bases in seven different countries, Watkins adds.
The company recently entered into
a franchisee agreement with Enoch,
based in Dubai, for its Paavo's Pizza


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover1
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Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover3
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