So, you’ve put all this time and energy into manufacturing quality food products and are ready to start selling them in stores. Congratulations! It’s an exciting next step, but it’s also a big one. You’re going to have to figure out which stores may be willing to carry your product, how much you’re willing to sell it for, and how you’re going to market it to customers, all while keeping up the manufacturing process to make sure you can fulfill any orders.
Unless you already have connections with certain stores and people, this marketing and selling of your product can be a lot of work on top of the manufacturing process. Therefore, a lot of food manufacturing companies, big and small, hire some outside help when it comes to getting their products into stores: a food broker.
What is a Food Broker?
Essentially, a food broker uses their network and relationships with buyers to help you market and sell your food products in all kinds of food stores, from co-ops to chain wholesalers to retail stores. They’ll work hard to get you the best marketing and price for your products, as they often charge a commission based on how much your product sells at the stores.
Why Do You Need a Food Broker?
Though some food stores allow food manufacturers to submit their products for consideration themselves, there is often a lot of competition, making it difficult for them to really stand out in a crowd. The previous relationships that many food brokers have with these stores are extremely valuable here, as they will know who to talk to and what to say to help your company get its foot in the door.
While this is probably one of the most important reasons why you need a food broker, there are also some other benefits.
They Know the Market
When you’re first starting out, you’re probably happy to get your products in any kind of store, but this may not always work out in your favour. For example, if you have a brand-new product with no name recognition and get into a big food store too soon, it may get lost among the other more well-known brands, leading to poor sales and a waste of time and money.
Once they get to know your product, a food broker can help make sure your food gets into the right stores at the right times. This may mean selling things in a specialty shop that doesn’t carry a lot of the major brands until you have enough of a following to attempt a move into more conventional stores.
They Know How to Promote Your Product
After you’ve found the right market, you still need to promote it to customers. Food brokers work with you and the store to increase customer knowledge about your product and try to get it into their hands. One way of doing this is through organizing special promotions like sales. You do typically need to have some extra marketing money to pull something like this off, and a food broker can help you understand those costs and how they’ll work down the line.
As always we are here to help! Contact us today with all your food questions!