Certified Public Accountants
& Business Consultants

Food & Beverage Overview

The food industry is known for its slim profit margins and intense competition. Recognizing the complexities surrounding the industry are unique, RubinBrown has established a group of experts to serve food companies.

As one of the top public accounting firms in the nation, our team is experienced in providing a comprehensive range of services and close personal attention to our clients, which span across the nation.

The RubinBrown Food Industry Services Group includes professionals with high levels of industry experience, as well as the tools essential to serve all types of organizations within the industry.

We work closely with our clients to provide new ideas, approaches, analyses and best practice recommendations to add value to clients’ operations. In addition to our deep strength in assurance and tax services, our team includes individuals with hands-on sales, operations and IT experience at both large and small food companies. We provide expertise to companies all along the food industry supply chain.


RubinBrown’s Assurance Services Group is comprised of experienced individuals with clients throughout the food industry supply chain. We have assisted clients in such grocery-specific realms as vendor allowances and LIFO Inventory accounting.

Federal & State Taxation

RubinBrown has provided tax guidance and counsel to clients for more than 40 years. We work with our clients to provide tax planning opportunities integrated with business operations to contain or reduce tax function costs, and integrate bottom line results through tax savings and added value. Long-term strategic solutions for tax savings and compliance are identified along with shortterm improvement to the bottom line.

Business Advisory Services

RubinBrown provides a range of consulting services to our clients. Our team of experts is knowledgeable of all facets of the food industry including:

  • Information technology expertise with food manufacturers, distributors and retailers including EDI transactions, IT strategy and efficiencies in the IT process
  • Sales and marketing strategies in areas such as SKU rationalization, new product introductions, market penetration and competitor analysis
  • Inventory management and control strategies to reduce stock-outs while at the same time reducing inventory levels
  • Lean management techniques to ensure you are operating as efficiently as possible

Capacity Analysis

A food manufacturer asked for assistance to evaluate their product lines and plant capacity. This company had two manufacturing locations that produced similar products. We were asked to analyze capacity to determine if the plants could be consolidated. Using Six Sigma and Lean methodologies, we evaluated the current product mix and capacity along with long-term strategic plans and objectives. In addition, we evaluated their distribution structure to ensure savings from the consolidated operations would not result in increased transportation costs. With our assistance, the company was able to consolidate all production and distribution activities into one location with greatly increased profitability.

Customer Deduction Process Review

A large food distribution company asked us to perform an internal audit of their customer deductions. The objective of this internal audit was to identify the root cause of customer deductions and how our client could re-design their invoice and collection process to minimize write-offs and improve cash flows. We used a process improvement methodology to standardize their customer deduction process identifying areas for improvement. As a result, our client was able to reduce write-offs while maintaining good customer relations.

SKU Analysis & Route Restructuring

A partner in our Business Advisory Services group was an executive at a large food manufacturer in St. Louis that struggled to maintain acceptable gross margins. Our partner had significant involvement in two profit improvement initiatives. The first initiative was to evaluate the profitability of various product lines and determine which SKU’s could be discontinued without losing any customer goodwill. The other initiative was to restructure the nationwide route delivery system to streamline distribution costs. Both initiatives contributed to short term and long term profitability.

Inventory Management

RubinBrown assisted a $1 billion retail food manufacturer with an inventory issue at a contract manufacturing and packaging facility. The Company contracted with a packaging company to produce various dry mixes for cakes and brownies as well as a portion of its frosting line. The contracted facility had a negotiated accepted production loss percentage, specified in the contract at 2%. Any production loss, spoilage, damaged product, etc. is a loss that is borne by the contractor and credited to the Company. The contractor’s revenue was derived from the tolling fee for the production of the dry mixes.

The inventory used in the production process was owned by the Company. The contractor completed a monthly inventory roll forward of the raw materials, WIP, and finished goods, which was used to research variances. Since the Company owned the inventory and bore the cost of carrying it, this was an important area for the Company to monitor. However, over time the inventory levels did not align with the finished goods orders and shipments for the contract facility, which alerted the management team of potential inventory issues.

As such, RubinBrown assisted the Company in determining the root causes of the problems, conducting a physical inventory count, re-calculating usage based on receipt/shipment records at the contract facility and reconciling those to the Company’s records, and assessing the dollar value impact of our results.

Process Loss

RubinBrown was engaged by a food manufacturer to investigate why their process loss increased unexpectedly by 10%. We evaluated the receiving and warehousing operations including quality control procedures for stored raw materials. We also assessed the production process to determine the data being gathered and how the results were being analyzed. Finally, we worked with one of the client’s customers to determine if delivery methods had changed. The resulting report recommended increased measurement and monitoring over both raw materials and the production process. Management was able to use our report and internally change procedures to better manage their operations.


Focus on Food & Beverage: St. Louis State of the Brew’nion

The Jefferson Ballroom on Chouteau was buzzing with beer talk on February 13, 2017, as brewers from across the city joined together for the St. Louis Brewers Guild’s inaugural State of the Brew’nion event.

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2016-Food-Beverage-Review.jpgMiddle Market Food & Beverage Sector 2016 Update

This publication examines the middle market food and beverage industries by looking at both M&A transaction activity during 2016 as well as the performance of U.S. public companies in the space.

Click here to view the Middle Market Food & Beverage Sector 2016 Update