January 2005 Edition
Quality Source: Strike Up the Brand



That Arrezzio® pizza you’re about to prepare may look unassuming, but before reaching its final destination as a tasty lunch for table four, that self-rising showstopper has endured a tough-as-nails quality assurance (QA) process that combines precision with perfection - and allows only the best-performing products to boast a Sysco Brand name.


From Classic to Block & Barrel® to Jade Mountain,® each line of Sysco Brand products has its own measures of quality and excellence. These distinctive criteria are determined by the brand's pre-established standards and specifications, which must be met by any product hoping to become a member of a Sysco Brand family.


The Sysco Brand approval process begins when a supplier submits a product sample for Sysco Merchandisers and Sysco QA to review - a step in which a supplier must include everything from the ingredient list to the way the product is packaged. From there, Sysco QA evaluates up to 25 product particulars, including:

·        Nutritional information

·        Product description

·        Storage requirements

·        Processing procedures

·        Flavour, colour and odour

·        Preparation instructions

·        Handling instructions

·        Packaging and labeling requirements

·        Raw materials specifications


During this stage, Sysco QA also compares the sample with similar Sysco Brand products, ensuring that the new item meets the quality levels already in place - and that it complements the line's existing style.


Once Sysco QA has completed its evaluation, the results are communicated directly to the supplier, and passing products are allowed to submit packaging artwork for approval. Then, and only then, are new products welcomed into a Sysco Brand family of products - and finally ready to go from our trucks to your tables. ¨


Q & A on Q.A.


Q: Once a product is approved as a Sysco Brand, what does Sysco QA do to ensure the product maintains the same quality?


A: It’s our job to make sure that all products continue to uphold Sysco Brand standards and specifications. We do this by establishing a detailed written specification for each product and conducting routine evaluations. Depending upon product categories, we also have Sysco QA Specialists at the supplier locations while the Sysco Brand product is being produced, allowing us to oversee the conditions under which our items are manufactured. Finally, we compare Sysco Brand products to those of our closest competitors, making sure that we meet and surpass industry-standard quality levels. And since independent foodservice operators are the people who use our products every day, we pay close attention to customer feedback.


As published in Sysco Today Magazine (U.S.), October 2004, Custom Publishing Division of the Adcetera Group.