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Culitrade has emerged as a food-service equipment marketplace for 130 suppliers selling to a buying group of more than 50 dealers.

Culitrade has emerged as a young but growing food-service equipment marketplace.

Launched in 2023 by SEFA, consortium of food-service equipment and supply distributors, Culitrade.com’s strategy is “to redefine e-commerce in the food-service industry by establishing a central site that benefits SEFA’s dealer and aupplier networks and its customers,” SEFA says. “Culitrade makes it affordable, fast, and easy for dealers to be online and selling with minor upfront work and no incremental cost until the sale occurs.”

What does Culitrade sell?

Culitrade’s suppliers provide products ranging from kitchen equipment, food processing and refrigeration to front-of-the-restaurant items such as glassware. Its dealers include offline cash-and-carry locations and those that specialize in equipping schools or hospitals.

“At SEFA, we have a business service offering that includes technology— technology development is, financially and expertise-wise, out of reach for most small to mid-size businesses whether it’s for ecommerce, ERP implementations or to simply interact digitally,” SEFA says. “It’s really important that technology and digital commerce are part of our members’ strategies for the future.”

Culitrade works with digital agency Aspirant Digital to help smooth out its digital commerce development, the core of which runs on the NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced software platform.

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“Culitrade’s SuiteCommerce Advanced is a flagship ecommerce marketplace solution that is pre-integrated, such that the order management, payments, and inventory run seamlessly together,” SEFA says. “Culitrade’s expansive technology footprint supports end to end transaction flow, leveraging best practices for customer engagement, customer retention, and customer experience…all while managing the complexities inherent to marketplaces such as seller management, and dynamic shipping and sales tax impacts.”

Who Culitrade works with

While not all SEFA dealers are directly involved yet with ecommerce transactions — some may still handle orders through phone or email, for example — the Culitrade team will help them transition to digital commerce, when appropriate, says Maris Hauck, Culitrade’s director of ecommerce.

“We’re going to meet our dealers where they’re at,” Hauck says.

She adds that the Culitrade marketplace was developed to help SEFA members more quickly participate in ecommerce and receive help with such operations as setting up online SKUs and pricing, running web advertising campaigns, and generating online traffic.

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Going forward, Culitrade expects to expand the number of suppliers on the marketplace beyond SEFA’s supplier base. In addition, it’s also developing additional ways to help its Members.

“The vision for Culitrade is to have a technology platform that does more than just e-commerce and marketplace functionality,” says Rachel Weaver, SEFA’s chief business development officer. “We have a long roadmap with big ideas on how to integrate this platform into the food-service industry, into SEFA’s business, and our partners’ businesses well into the future.”

Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].

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