The drop was due in part to the distributorship's departure from certain businesses, Ahold was quoted as saying by news agencies.
Forbes quoted analysts as being disappointed with U.S. Foodservice's performance. The sales were "slightly disappointing, especially the decline at US Foodservice," said analyst Jan Wirken of Dutch investment bank Van Lanschot, the business magazine reported.
Overall, Ahold said third-quarter net sales rose to 10.2 billion euros ($12.31 billion), the first rise in sales this year, though tough pricing continued in some of its markets.
Ahold, the world's fourth-largest food retailer and a leading foodservices group, was expected to report third-quarter sales of 10.3 billion euros, according to the average of a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
Excluding currency impact, net sales rose 0.3%.
The Dutch company generates 70% of its sales in the United States, where it owns the Stop & Shop and Giant and Tops stores as well as U.S. Foodservice, for which it will unveil a new strategy on Nov. 29.