Selling your Food or Drink Products in Supermarkets

If you want your food or drink product to reach a wider market then selling your products to a supermarket can significantly increase sales. In some cases, supermarkets are not the answer but for many businesses, they can propel them from small scale to a scale that is almost global.

Selling your Products – Preparation

When it comes to preparing to sell your products to a supermarket, it is crucial that you understand your product. This includes the unique selling point as well as the market you are entering before you even approach a supermarket.

When the time comes to supply your products to a supermarket you need to understand whether you want to make your product yours which means it will be labelled with your brand. This will mean that it will need to be unique from other products.

The other option available to you is to provide your products unbranded. This will allow the supermarkets to sell your product using their own brand, which will be the name of the supermarket and their specific branding. These are known as white label goods and choosing this option could mean that you sell more although it is likely that the price they pay is lower.

Research and Further Preparation

It is important that you carry out research before you approach any supermarket. You can do this by visiting stores and looking at other products in the same market as yours. Supermarkets will expect you to know your product inside and out as well as the market.

Therefore, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your product finished or is still in the development phase? Most supermarkets are going to want you to be ready to go to market and so you need to be prepared to make a move almost immediately.
  • Does my product have a place in the market? Understand where your product should be located within the supermarket by building an understanding of the layout of the store.
  • Is my product different to others in the market? Is there room for your product on the shelves? Why is it different to your competitors? Supermarkets want products that are unique.
  • Is the product good to look at? Your product needs to stand above the all the others. This means that the branding and colours have to be different but eye-catching.
  • Is the price and quality where I want them to be? Is the quality just as good as or if not, better than your competitors? Is it priced fairly and more importantly, competitively?

If you are unsure of anything at all, then you could seek advice buy speaking with brands that are already positioned in supermarkets. Surprisingly, many businesses are willing to offer advice.

Becoming a Supplier

If you have carried out sufficient preparation and research then you are ready to begin dealing with the supermarkets.

This is where you will have to pitch your product and your business.

A solid marketing plan will need to be drawn up in preparation for your presentation to the supermarkets. This will need to explain just how you will deal with the current demand as well as any increases.

There is every possibility that the supermarket will carry out due diligence on your business. If you have already been selling your product elsewhere, then be expected to provide sales figures and any feedback received from customers. You will also need to bring samples of your product for them to test and view.

Supermarkets will also have their own jargon that they use, so understand what net profit, operating profit and gross profit is. They will want to discuss units which is the amount that you may be able to supply or the amount they require. Learning this jargon will enable you to converse with them while providing them with the answers they want.

Finally, it is important that you speak to the right people. Supermarkets often employ buyers for different areas so, regardless of the size of your business, do not be put off by their power. At first they may turn your product down but do not be afraid to be persistent because they may offer you a face-to-face meeting that could really be the difference.

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