How You Can Use Wholesale Grocers to Get Your Product into Grocery Stores
In today’s scenario of large chain stores selling a wide range of items used in homes from grocery items to fruits, vegetables and household cleaning stuff, it is difficult for small grocery stores to sustain themselves. Under such circumstances, every manufacturer who wants to get his products into grocery stores has to work in partnership with wholesale grocery distributors or chain stores to sell his products to buyers. If you have a product which can be supplied to local C store chains then make a detailed list about similar products available in stores in your neighborhood and then decide how to market your products to make them different from competitors. To sell your products at leading grocery stores, you have to work with wholesale grocers who have a variety of products from different manufacturers in their portfolio.
Steps to get a wholesale grocer to sell your products to grocery stores
1) Product insurance – The first step before getting your products into a grocery store would be to purchase a product liability insurance which protects you from any danger or injury that may befall a customer using your product. Any wholesale grocer will inquire about insurance validity of your product before they agree to distribute your product/s to grocery chains.
2) Procurement of Uniform Product Code – To have a unique code for your product registering with the Uniform Code Council is essential. This will ensure that all your products have a bar code on labels which will help to track your sales and inventory in the supply chain.
3) USDA certification – To have your product graded and certified by USDA schedule an inspection of your production facilities. After your premises are certified for hygiene and safety have your product testing by their labs so it gets necessary grading making it safe to be sold through grocery stores.
4) Advertising your product – Create fliers and brochures for your products which can be inserted in local newspapers around the stores where your products will be stocked. Build a website for your products and carry out an effective online campaign with videos about product usage, advantages and how it can add value to users’ lives. Encourage wholesale buyers to purchase from your website with order forms and contact details so they can get in touch with you directly for their requirements.
In your brochures and website , remember to write down details of your products’ ingredients. Most shoppers read through ingredients and its nutritional qualities before trying out any new products and this information will make your products stand out from competitors. Try to include testimonials about your products as soon as you get some positive feedback about them as it can help convince new customers to try out your products.
Product demonstration – Meet the decision making authority of the wholesale grocer who can market your products and ask for time to demonstrate your product and build an effective value proposition. Leave samples and order forms with these decision makers as they can suggest which markets and stores would be best suited for your products. They can also make suggestions about how to present your products within a store to gain attention of customers.
Registering with trade organizations – To get your product recognized among small and large wholesalers you can register yourself as a vendor with trade organizations. National bodies like Natural Grocers Association, National Products Association or local traders associations in your area to network with wholesale grocers and sell your product. You can also showcase your products at sponsored trade shows of these associations and get orders from wholesalers and retailers directly.
Identifying your target customer – While pricing your product make sure that it meets the expectations of your customer base and is within their budget by comparing it with other similar products in the market. Price should also meet the profit margins of grocery store, wholesale grocer and along with providing you a decent margin after covering your manufacturing costs. Conduct your market research by selling your product at local farmers’ market and collect feedback by giving out forms for them to fill up during their next visit.
Identifying a wholesale grocer – Within the United States there are several wholesale grocers who sell daily use groceries under their own brand to chain of convenience stores and grocers who are their customers. Before approaching a wholesale grocer to sell your products into stores make sure they do not have any products remotely closer to yours as only then they can be convinced to push your product into small grocers. Get a vendor procurement form from wholesale grocer who can effectively sell your products and fill in details which will show that your company can meet their demands.
Follow up steps to make sure that your product is successful at the grocery stores – Now that you have found a suitable wholesale grocer to distribute your products and the distribution part is taken care of, you have to take steps to see that it reaches consumer homes too.
- Make a personal visit to grocery stores where your products are being sold to gather first hand customer feedback. You can also work with the local grocer to give your products a better vantage point to catch customers’ interest.
- Give product samples to the grocer too so they are convinced about your products and can promote them.
- Be on the road for the first few months and meet individual grocers and customers on a regular basis to collect feedback and improve distribution channels to establish a market.
As a manufacturer you should remember that the wholesaler can help distribute your product to customers through grocery stores but cannot sell them for you. This last step has to be taken by the manufacturer to make sure that customers buy his product from existing options available. Effective product promotion and advertisement has to be carried out to improve sales and establish reputation in a competitive market. Build a strong marketing campaign highlighting the value proposition of your product and its properties without comparing it with existing products available in the market.