Sometimes it pays to shut up

Our most recent US Foods order.

I am so glad I kept my big mouth shut.

When the nation’s largest food service distributor, Sysco, announced it was purchasing its rival, US Foods, almost a year and a half ago, boy, did I have opinions. None of them good. I have documented my frustration of being a Sysco customer and my fondness for the job US Foods has done for our camp in my nearly six years here.

Sysco has said customers will benefit from increased product selections and lower prices. I say Sysco is full of bologna, and its merger will continue the trend of fewer choices being available in a market that already lost one of its distributor when US Foods bought Quandt’s a month before the bigger merger was announced.

I’m not fond of government overreaching, but I was elated the Federal Trade Commission took a close look at the merger plan, then filed for an injunction that would block the merger.

I thought about fleshing out my concerns, turning them a polished document that would tell the FTC how the Albany area would be impacted. And then, I decided to leave it alone.

If I’d done that, I’d likely have wound up on Sysco and US Foods’ naughty list.

A federal judge has ruled the FTC has to disclose the identities of the 90 customers, distributors and competitors who offered comment  Sysco and US Foods.

I don’t know if that specifically would have meant me. It’s nice to think that a customer as small of ours has an opinion that matters to the federal government. But I shudder when I imagine the fallout from US Foods or, eventually, Sysco, when I try to place and order and find my password no longer working.


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