Sodexo has announced an agreement, subject to customary regulatory processes, to acquire Frontline Food Services (dba Accent Food Services), a major player in the fast-growing convenience market in North America. With deal, Sodexo plans to broaden its multi-channel offerings in areas such as click n' collect, take-out, delivery, convenience store concepts, micro markets, self-service pantries, office refreshments and smart vending and reflects the acceleration of its "any food, anytime, anywhere" strategy that is designed to extend beyond the traditional onsite foodservice model into multi-channel food offerings meant to directly address the varied needs of consumers.
The company characterized the move as the latest in its ongoing effort to adapt to the evolving onsite dining environment, following up moves last year to acquire food-tech start-up Foodee and commissary kitchen model Nourish Inc., along with the continued expansion of The Good Eating Company.
The acquisition of Frontline not only furthers Sodexo’s food offer structuring in the U.S. but also expands its geographic footprint in North America from its established hubs on the East and West coasts into markets like the Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
“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,” said Sarosh Mistry, Sodexo’s North America Region Chair, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Sodexo’s ability to be agile is paramount; this acquisition further enables us to deliver on that need.”
Frontline started as a family-owned vending business in central Texas but 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. It provides a complete menu of refreshment solutions, including vending, self-check-out markets, office coffee, pantry and catering to thousands of customers.
“Frontline has been servicing Sodexo accounts for more than a decade and through those years a strong partnership has been built,” noted Frontline President/CEO Ken Sullivan, in a statement included in the announcement. “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.”