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The key words we use at Pod Foods

Case Pack - wholesale unit distributed to retailers by Pod Foods.

Case Stack - display strategy used by retailers in which cases are stacked on one another; consumers are meant to take cases from the top of the stack.

Case Stack Deal - a promotion offered by vendors to retailers; retailers must purchase a specified number of cases of product to receive a particular promotion.

Discontinued - refers to a product that is no longer available for distribution (if discontinued by the vendor) or retail sale (if discontinued by a retailer). Discontinued products are set to ‘Inactive’ on the Pod Foods platform.

Distribution Center (DC) - a term used to describe a warehouse space utilized to pick, pack, and transport orders. DCs also receive inbound shipments and slot inventory for order fulfillment.

Eaches – see Units

End Cap - a merchandising space, normally reserved for promotions, located at the end of retail store aisles.

End Cap Promotion - a discount or deal applied to an end cap display.

Everyday Low Price (EDLP) - a term used to describe a consistently-priced product without a promotion applied

Expired - a term used to describe a product that has reached or exceeded its set expiration date. All products have an expiration.

Free Fill - a term used to describe a product sold at no cost to a retailer as an incentive to sell and continue to purchase a vendor’s product. Free fills allow retailers to test out a new product and offer the product at a discount to encourage consumers to try the item.

Freight on Board (FOB) - refers to the set of terms that determines who owns and pays for a shipment of products

GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) - a number used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items; GTIN can be used to identify products at any packaging level, e.g. unit or case. GTINs are normally encoded in a scannable barcode (GS1, 2022).

Guaranteed Sale - refers to a contractual agreement through which a vendor agrees to take back unsold products at the end of a specified period. The vendor will be billed backed to ensure the retailer does not pay for unsold products.

In Stock - a term used to describe products that have sufficient inventory to fulfill outbound orders.

Item Code - a unique identifier for SKUs that helps retailers search products and order with ease. Item Code number is listed under each individual Published SKU in the Vendor Dashboard.

Launching Soon - a term used to describe a new product or SKU that shall become available to order in the near future. Previously referred to as “Coming Soon.”

Lead Time (Manufacturing Time) - days required to produce and initiate shipment of the requested amount of inventory from the date of request (not including transportation time).

Less Than Truckload (LTL) - refers to a freight service that allows multiple shippers to share a single truck given each load is not large enough to require the space of a full truck.

Lot Code - a unique identification number assigned to a specific and defined production period. Lot codes are used to identify manufactured goods and the chain of custody of their components t in the event of a quality or safety issue, such as a food recall.

Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) - a term used to describe the price at which a manufacturer/vendor recommends a retailer charge for the sale of the product.

Market Withdrawal - a firm's removal or correction of a distributed product that involves a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA or which involves no violation (FDA,2020).

Master Carton - Outermost box containing Case Packs; goods at its largest quantity other than a pallet.

Merchandising - refers to the practice of presenting retail products in a visually appealing manner to entice customers and encourage sales.

Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) - refers to the lowest number of units a retailer must purchase atone time; also refers to the lowest total order value required for a retailer to be exempt from a small order surcharge.

Minimum Order Value (MOV) - refers to the lowest order value a retailer must meet at one time; also refers to the lowest total order value required for a retailer to be exempt from a small order surcharge.

Out of Stock (OOS) - a term used to describe a product as temporarily unavailable to fulfill out bound orders due to insufficient inventory.

POD (Proof of Delivery) - refers to the physical document that shows an order has been successfully delivered. Normally in the form of an invoice or BOL. PODs must be signed by the receiving customer tobe a valid proof of completed delivery.

Pod Direct - Pod Foods’ Direct Ship Distribution program wherein vendors list their products on the Pod catalog to capture sales. Vendors are responsible for packing and shipping orders directly to the buyer's address.

Pod Express - Pod Foods’ wholesale and distribution program. Vendors store inventory on consignment at partnering Distribution Centers; DCs are responsible for picking, packing, and delivering orders to retailers.

Pod Foods Service Fee - the percentage of sales deducted from the price the retailer pays for the product. Pod foods does not markup. The Pod Foods service fee is calculated like a margin off the wholesale price.

Product/Inventory Withdrawal - refers to a vendor’s act of removing inventory from a Distribution Center. Withdrawals require an approved request and an appointment.

Promotion - a discount-based sales strategy used to promote larger reorders of a product by retailers.

Pull Date - the date on which a lot of inventory is pulled, or made unavailable to fulfill orders. The pull date is based on a product’s pull date threshold (see below).

Pull Date Threshold - refers to a set amount of time that, when reached, triggers a product to be pulled from active inventory. Once pulled, the inventory cannot be used to fulfill orders.

Recall/Product Recall - a method of removing or correcting products that are in violation of laws administered by the FDA (FDA, 2020).

  • Voluntary Recall - Recall is a voluntary action that takes place because manufacturers and distributors carry out their responsibility to protect the public health and well-being from products that present a risk of injury or gross deception or are otherwise defective (FDA,2020)

  • Mandatory Recall - refers to an FDA-mandated removal or correction of products that are in violation of laws administered by the FDA (FDA, 2020)

Replenishment MOQ - refers to the minimum amount of product (in cases) that a vendor must ship toa Distribution Center.

Sampling - refers to the process through which a retailer submits a request to try a new product. Sampling requests are fulfilled with individual retail units, not full cases.

Shelf Life - a term used to describe the length of time for which a product can be stored and consumed or used by a consumer before its quality and safety begin to deteriorate. All products have a shelf life.

Short Dated - a term used to describe a product that has less than 40% of its shelf life remaining. Short-dated product is usually refused by retailers at delivery.

Slotting/Slotting Fee - refers to the fee paid by a vendor to a retailer in order to stock the product on the retailer’s shelf.

Sorting/Sorting Fee - warehouse process occasionally required for inbounds that arrive with damages. Damaged cases are sorted and segregated from sellable cases. Sorting fees normally apply; fees vary by warehouse.

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) - refers to a unique identifier for an item manufactured by a vendor and sold by a retailer. The term is commonly used to refer to a particular variation of a product.

Temporary Price Reduction (TPR) - a temporary decrease in price (promotion) for a predetermined period of time.

Traceability - a term used to describe the ability to track the origin and course of a lot, product, or ingredient.

Units - also referred to as eaches; units are singular pieces of product, normally the form in which consumers purchase an item. Pod Foods and its Distribution Centers do not handle products in units; retailers receive multiple units as case packs and normally break down cases for merchandising.

Introducing New & Current Retailers To Pod Foods

Making it easy to transition your current and future accounts to Pod.

Transition Current Accounts To Pod

To transition your current accounts to Pod Foods, simply email your buyer and [email protected], saying something like:

  • We are so excited to introduce you to our new partner, Pod Foods, a national distribution service offering tremendous support to both brands and buyers alike.

  • We will be delivering your next order of [SKUs + case quantities at price] on [DATE] and all following orders will be fulfilled by Pod Foods. The Pod team will get you to the next step!

Transition New Accounts To Pod (Retailers Must Be Able Hit MOQ $500 For Express Delivery)

Got a yes from a buyer and want Pod to deliver? Great! Simply send an email [email protected], cc’ing your buyer, saying something like:

We’re working with Pod Foods and they already service your stores! Our [SKU LIST] is under review with you and we can have Pod Foods be your distributor! The benefits of using Pod Foods for our products are Easy logistics, Lower costs, and Quick turnaround time. Looking forward to hearing from you on working with you and Pod Foods.

More Info To Share With Retailers About Pod Foods

  • Pod Foods is a rapidly-growing national distributor that makes it so easy to discover and quickly start selling the best emerging and local brands.

  • Pod Foods is a rapidly-growing national distributor that makes it so easy to discover and quickly start selling the best emerging and local brands.

  • A great partner to both brands and buyers alike, Pod Foods Express items are delivered from a local distribution center and Direct items ship from the manufacturer.

  • View the full Pod Foods catalog here.

  • To initiate your account, sign up at or connect with [email protected].

Pod Direct Policies

Policies to ensure your direct shipments run smoothly.


  • You must select Confirm on your order notification email to initiate and complete fulfillment in your dashboard. You must confirm Pod Direct orders within 48 hours

  • Pod Direct orders require the Pod Foods Invoice packed in your shipment as well as Proof of Delivery (POD) for payout

  • You must deliver product that has at least 75% of its shelf life remaining

You will not be paid out for your order if:

  • The Pod Foods invoice is not included in your parcel

  • You ship your order and do not enter the tracking number as the POD

  • You self-deliver and do not upload the signed packing slip as the POD

Order Fulfillment

Pod Direct orders are marked fulfilled approximately 10 business days after delivery

Pod Express Policies

Policies to ensure your Express business is successful.

Inventory Ownership

  • The vendor retains full ownership of their inventory until the product is signed by a store’s receiver upon delivery.

Pod Planned Inventory Requests

  • The vendor will receive a Pod Planned Inventory Request via the Vendor Dashboard.

  • The vendor must confirm the Inventory Request within 5 business days of receiving the request.

  • Inventory Requests not confirmed within 10 business days will be deleted. Any inventory received in reference to the request will be refused by the corresponding DC.

  • All inventory must be delivered to the DC within 21 days of receiving the request.

  • The vendor must add all required information to the confirmed Inventory Request (see Shipping for details)

  • The inbound information provided on the inbound request must match the inbound information at receiving.

    • Any changes must be communicated to [email protected] at least 24 business hours prior to the shipment landing at the DC.

Inventory Processing

  • Inbound inventory will be processed within 5-7 business days from the date the shipment is received at the DC. Processing is subject to delays.

  • Inbound inventory will be processed as either Master Cartons or Case Packs depending on the information specified on your Pod Inventory Request.

  • Expiration Dates

    • Pod Foods refers to printed expiration dates only. Vendor-suggested shelf life, alternative expiration dates, or other product dating-related information that differs from printed dates will not be taken into consideration.

  • Shelf Life

    • Inventory must arrive at the DC with at least 75 percent of its total shelf-life remaining. Inventory arriving with less than 75 percent will be rejected by the DC at receiving.

  • Expiration Date Accuracy

    • Inbound inventory expiration dates must match the expiration dates submitted on the vendor’s original Pod Inventory Request.

    • The vendor must notify [email protected] at least 24 business hours prior to inbound delivery if the expiration dates are expected to differ from the original request submission.

    • Inbounds that arrive with different expiration dates from the original request submission without prior notification from the vendor are subject to non-compliance fees.

  • Date Coding

    • Date coding must be clear and readable on both cases and units.

    • Cases and units must not be re-dated using stickers to conceal old or incorrect dates.

    • Date coding must be presented in human-readable format (e.g. YYYY-MM-DD).

  • Lot Coding and Traceability

    • All ingredients and finished products must be traceable for identification in the event of a recall.

    • The vendor must use a lot code or batch number system per each production lot.

Inventory Handling

  • Inventory will not be handled as individual units or eaches – no exceptions. Inventory is handled as Case Packs and Master Cartons only.

  • Master Cartons will be broken down by DCs only if indicated as such on the Master Carton label.

  • Our DCs offer repalletizing of inventory as an additional service to vendors. Fees apply and are subject to change (see below):





Order Fulfillment

Pod Express orders are marked Fulfilled once delivery has been confirmed with a Proof of Delivery (POD) document.

Pull Date Thresholds

  • Pod Foods does not accommodate requests for pull date threshold changes outside of our specified thresholds. Thresholds are based on standard shelf life minimums required at store receiving:

30 days

50 days

Chill Meat

Hemp Baby & Child Snacks Household Wellness Grocery Frozen Confections

  • Your product’s pull date is calculated based on the expiration date you entered on your approved Pod Planned Inventory Request.


  • Neither Pod Foods nor its warehouse partners will serve as the Importer of Record or the Consignee for any shipment entering the US. No exceptions.

Temperature Requirements

  • Products requiring temperature control (refrigerated, frozen, and deep-frozen) will be temperature-checked upon receiving.

  • Vendor’s Bill of Lading (BOL) must include shipping temperature requirements.

  • Products requiring temperature control must be clearly labeled with temperature requirements on the outermost case pack.

  • Inbound shipments received at temperatures outside of the following ranges will be rejected:

    • Frozen – 20°F or less

    • Deep-Frozen (Ice Cream) – 0°F or less

    • Refrigerated – 33°F - 40°F

    • Dry (Ambient) – No temperature requirement

    • Chocolate vendors: Pod Foods can not be held responsible for heat damage of chocolate stored in ambient temperatures during warmer months

Maintain the cold chain! We recommend shipping your refrigerated & frozen products with an attached temperature recorder

Inbound Appointments

  • All DC inbounds require an inbound appointment (with the exception of parcel shipments).

  • Using freight? Your freight carrier is required to set up an inbound appointment with the DC prior to delivery. [email protected] must be CC’d on the appointment request email.

  • Self-delivering? You are required to set up an inbound appointment with the DC prior to delivering your product.

Inbound Paperwork

  • All inbounds delivered to a DC via freight carrier must be accompanied by the following materials:

    • Bill of Lading (BOL) with the Pod Foods Inbound Reference Number listed

    • Pod Inbound Label

    • Detailed packing list of shipment contents

Reference Numbers & Inbound Labels

  • Your Pod Inbound Reference Number and Inbound Label are required at delivery.

    • When and where should you include your Pod Inbound Reference Number? This number must be provided when scheduling an inbound appointment, on your BOL (Bill of Lading), and on your Pod Inbound Label.

Don't risk a rejected inbound! Include your Pod Inbound Reference # on all shipping documents & appointment requests

Missing Inbounds

  • Pallet Shipments

    • Missing pallet shipments are rare yet not impossible. Missing shipments are handle don a case-by-case basis; responsible party liability may vary.

  • Parcel Shipments

    • Parcel shipments to our DCs are at higher risk of being lost, misplaced, or not received. Pod Foods is not liable for missing inbounds shipped via parcel.

Inbound Rejections

  • Inbound loads are subject to rejection by the DC if one or more of the following apply at the time of receiving:

    • Cases are missing case pack labels

    • Case pack labels are present but are missing one or more of the following:

      • UPC and scannable barcode

      • Lot code,

      • Expiration date

      • Number of units per case

      • Temperature requirements and other precautionary labeling (e.g. “Keep Frozen”, “Fragile”, etc.)

    • Product arrives out-of-temperature as per FSMA guidelines (inbound temperatures are measured and recorded at the receiving dock)

    • Pallet does not contain a Pod Information Label

    • Damages to cases and/or pallet exist

    • Cases are unsealed

    • Pallet is not shrink-wrapped

    • Pallet itself is out-of-spec (see pallet requirements below)

Inbound shipments delivered via freight carrier must be palletized according to Pod’s Shipping Requirements. Inbounds that do not meet these requirements are subject to rejection at receiving.

Product Change Notification

  • Vendor must provide a minimum 90 days’ written notice prior to changing one or more characteristics of a product (labeling, formulation, packaging, or organic certification qualification, and all other relevant changes).

Inventory Withdrawals

  • Withdrawals are by appointment only. You must first submit a withdrawal request through your Vendor Dashboard.

  • Pod Foods requires a 5-7 business day lead time to address your form submission and initiate an appointment request with the DC.

  • You will be notified when your withdrawal appointment is confirmed. You and/or your carrier are not allowed to pick up inventory from a DC outside of a confirmed appointment.

  • Withdrawal requests are limited to 2 withdrawals per year. Added fees will apply to additional withdrawals.

  • Withdrawal appointment cancelations must be communicated to [email protected] least 24 hours prior to the appointment.

    • Inventory will be disposed of if the appointment is missed without prior communication to Pod.

  • You will be emailed a 5-day notice for past pull-date inventory to submit a withdrawal, disposal, or donation request.

    • If you do not respond by the provided deadline, the inventory will be disposed of at the discretion of the respective warehouse.

Inventory Donations & Disposals

  • Pod Foods requires a 5-7 business day lead time to address your form submission and initiate donation or disposal of your specified inventory with the DC.

  • Certificates of disposal will be provided for product disposals upon request.

  • Donation receipts will be provided for product disposals upon request.

Withdrawal, Donation, & Disposals




$0.50/case (minimum charge of $70)


$0.50/case (minimum charge of $50)


$0.50/case (minimum charge of $50)

*Withdrawals are subject to loading/unloading fees, at the discretion of the DC, when applicable.


  • Vendor noncompliance includes the following scenarios:

    • Late or unscheduled inbounds

    • Appointment no shows

    • Damages (concealed and open)

    • Mixed pallets

    • Short-dated inventory (new inbound)

    • Expiration date discrepancies

    • Detention

  • Late or unscheduled loads

    • Late or unscheduled shipments are subject to fees (if the load is accepted) or maybe rejected entirely at receiving.

  • Appointment no-shows

    • Carrier no-shows are handled on a case-by-case basis. Fees may apply in certain situations and the appointment must be rescheduled.

  • Sort and segregate

    • Sort and segregate fees may apply to inbounds that arrive with significant damages or arrive as mixed pallets.

  • Short-dated inventory

    • Inventory sent with less than 75% shelf life requires prompt withdrawal from DC.

    • Inventory sent with less than 45 days until expiration requires prompt withdrawal from DC.

    • Vendor must initiate the withdrawal within 5 days of notification.

  • Expiration date discrepancies

    • Inbounds that arrive with different expiration dates from the original request submission without prior notification from the vendor are subject to non-compliance fees.

  • Detention

    • Pod Foods is not responsible for detention fees incurred during inbound. The vendor and their carrier must settle detention fees with the warehouse directly.

  • Noncompliance Fees*



Late or unscheduled inbound


Inbound appointment no-show


Processing damages or discrepancies

$1.50 per case

*Non-compliance fees may vary by DC. The exact fees incurred will be communicated to the vendor by Pod Foods Co. if non-compliance occurs.

Consignment Termination

  • Pod Foods requires at least 60-days prior notice to terminate the partnership.

  • Notification of termination must be presented to Pod Foods in written format (email).

  • Pod Foods reserves the right to retain inventory on consignment to provide uninterrupted service to its retail partners.

Food Safety Compliance

  • To onboard with Pod Foods, the vendor must have the following in place to ensure compliance with food safety laws and regulations (as amended by FSMA) and to ensure the distribution of safe food:

    • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs)

    • Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs)

    • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Plan (HACCP)

    • Foreign material control policy

    • Written programs, including:

      •  Food recall plan

      • Environmental monitoring program

      • Pest control program

      • Supply chain program

      • Personnel hygiene and food safety training programs

    • Full traceability of raw materials and ingredients

    • Testing of and COA review for incoming ingredients and materials

    • Proposition 65 warning labeling

The vendor must be able to provide written proof of the above upon Pod Foods’s request.

  • In the event of a recall, vendors must notify Pod Foods in writing immediately.

  • Vendors must provide notice by emailing [email protected].

  • Vendors whose products are warehoused under Pod Foods must provide a written recall notice immediately following their initial email recall notification. Written notice requirements are found here.

  • Recall Fees

    • $250 Admin Fee + $1/case charge per recall event per DC.

  • See our Recall Policies for more information.

Filing A Claim

  • If you wish to file a claim for an inventory-related issue, please submit your claim through our vendor claims form. Our Claims Team will reach out to you promptly to address the next steps.

  • Vendor claims are typically resolved within 14 days.

Recall Policies

Be prepared if a recall occurs.

Statement Of Purpose

Pod Foods strives to ensure only safe, high-quality products reach consumers. The following recall and withdrawal policies and procedures have been established to ensure prompt, organized, and thorough actions are taken in the event of a food recall.

Centralized, streamlined communication is required from the vendor in all recall situations.

Recall Notification Contact

Initial recall notification should be sent to the following:

Pod Foods Recall Main Contact

Pod Foods Claims Department

[email protected]

Recall & Withdrawal Procedures

  • Vendors retain the primary responsibility to initiate a voluntary recall and are considered the recalling firm in this instance.

  • Vendors are responsible for classifying the recall class and providing all relevant information about the affected product.

  • If the vendor is inaccessible or non-responsive in the event of a mandatory recall called by the FDA, Pod Foods reserves the right to enact recall procedures without vendor approval.

Vendor Communication Requirements

Vendors must notify Pod Foods of a product recall(s) immediately. Vendors are to provide notice by emailing [email protected].

Vendors whose products are warehoused under Pod Foods are required to provide a written recall notice immediately following their initial email recall notification.

The following information must be provided in the written recall notice:

  • Product description

    • SKU(s)

    • Lot code(s)

    • Expiration date(s)

  • Date and quantities shipped to warehouse(s)

  • Recall classification (Class I, II, or III)

  • Does the reason for the recall pose a hazard to the public? Explain in detail.

    • If a health-related hazard is posed, address the following:

      • Number of hospitalizations, if any

      • Number of deaths, if any

      • Number of injuries not requiring hospitalization, if any

      • Pathogen(s) involved

      •  Source of contamination

  • Media communication efforts

  • Regulatory agency communication efforts

Disclaimer: Pod Foods reserves the right to place all product believed to be affected on hold in all applicable regions while awaiting the vendor’s written notice containing further details.

Recalled Inventory Auditing Policies

The vendor must either (1) withdraw the affected product from applicable warehouses, or (2)authorize product disposal.

Once the product is removed from circulation, vendors are responsible for ensuring the recalled product is appropriately subject to testing, corrective actions, or destruction, depending on the nature of the problem.

Disclaimer: Pod Foods does not audit or assess inventory pertaining to potential food safety issues.

Disposal And Withdrawal Fees & Procedures

Recall Charges

Pod Foods passes through to the Vendor any recall penalties that retailers charge Pod Foods for a Vendor’s product recall as well as any costs incurred to execute the product recall at our DCs and retailers.

  • There is a $250 Admin Fee + $1/case charge per recall event per DC



  • The repair, modification, adjustment, relabeling, destruction, or inspection of a product without its physical removal to some other location.

Stock Recovery

  • Supplier’s removal or correction of a product that has not been marketed or left direct control of the supplier.

Market Withdrawal

  • Supplier removal or correction of a distributed product that involves a minor violation that is not subject to legal action by the FDA.

DC Withdrawal

  • Supplier removal or correction of product held at a distribution center (DC) that involves no violation or a minor violation that is not subject to legal action by the FDA.


  • A recall is a process of removing or correcting products in the marketplace that are in violation of FDA laws and regulations. A recall does not include a market withdrawal or a stock recovery.

  • Under a recall, the product presents a threat or potential threat to consumer health or safety, involves adulteration, or is materially misleading in its claims or nature.

Brokers & Turnover Form

Your sales team and/or brokers may use our Turnover Form to send orders to Pod Foods. For an order to be accepted, you must cc the authorizing buyer when you submit to [email protected]. If the authorizing buyer is not cc’d the order will not be processed.

Still have questions or feedback?

Get in touch with a Pod Foods rep