Most food retailers start their businesses small. In fact, some begin selling from the comfort of their own home, before expanding into farmer’s markets and online stores. But what about the companies that want to go bigger than that? How do those companies get space on their local supermarket shelves to sell their wares to the local, international, and global markets?
It’s no secret that getting your product out in front of more buyers is good for your business. The better exposure you have, the more likely you are to make incredible profits. That’s why the goal of many food businesses is to make their way into the retail space.
With that in mind, here are a few ingredients to retail success that should help you get your product on the shelf – and onto your consumer’s plate.
Ingredient #1: Sustainability
It’s not enough to simply get onto your customer’s shelves – you need to stay there too. This translates into a lot of work in terms of maintaining retailer relationships. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is that they focus all their energy on working with new retailers, then forget about the importance of keeping their old shelf-space.
Ingredient #2: Hard Work
While brokers can do a lot for your business, you shouldn’t expect them to do 100% of the selling on your behalf. Remember that brokers work with more than just one product to keep pricing down, and it’s still up to you to get out there into your chosen market and make sure you make the right impression. Think about things like international buyer showcases, exporting services, and even private label development.
Ingredient #3: Perseverance
Simply dropping your food samples off at a local grocery store or supermarket isn’t going to give you the shelf success that you’ve been looking for. You need to make sure that you follow up as regularly as possible. Even if you feel as though you’re being a pest or annoying your potential buyers, it’s important to remember that these people are busy – and probably forget about you very quickly.
Don’t call every hour, but ask your broker to get in touch, and make sure that you follow up with your new potential buyers every couple of days.
Ingredient #4: Demos
Demonstrations are beneficial to any company – but they’re incredible for businesses in the food industry. The right demo can get you in front of new customers, and may even help you find loyal fans who are happy to market your product for free with their social media accounts. What’s more, demonstrations show your commitment to the retailer, and your desire to push more sales.
Remember that Everyone Starts Small
One thing that food brokers and distributors often notice about their clients – is that they have an incredible desire to get wins on the board…quickly! A lot of food companies feel as though they need to do whatever they can to grow their company at lightning speed from the very first step. While this is obviously a positive mindset to have – considering perseverance and determination are important to food businesses – it’s also crucial to be realistic.
At the end of the day, most food businesses start off small and work on organising their business needs before they try to jump in at the deep end. Remember that going from shelf space in five stores, to a presence in 500 stores is going to take money, time, maintenance, and a lot of effort. Figure things out slowly, start small, and allow your business to grow naturally with the right help.
Remember, retail isn’t meant to be as frustrating as most businesses think it is – it just takes time to get your product moving. Be patient, and be diligent.
If you have any questions, jump onto LiveChat today and strike up a conversation with me! I’d love to chat with you.