Top Tips For Successfully Pitching Your Food Product to Buyers

Know your buyer

Larger stores usually have separate buyers for each category (grocery, specialty foods, prepared foods, etc.), while smaller stores may only have one buyer overall. Additionally, buyers may work for just one store (usually the case for co-ops or local markets), or for multiple store locations — Whole Foods has regional buyers for a large area of stores.

Be concise

Having a professional, well organized presentation will grab and keep the buyer’s attention

Know your product

You may be an expert on your goods, but when presenting to a buyer, it’s a good idea to prepare for any questions they might ask. Depending on the store’s clientele, each buyer may focus on different aspects of the product.

Know the store

Familiarizing youself with the store beforehand will help prepare you for the buyer meeting

Have an angle

If you have a new, innovative product, that alone will be a massive plus for the buyer to bring it into the store. But if your product already has competition, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your product onto the shelf! Before presenting your product to the buyer, research the closest competitors. Do you use a different ingredient that makes your item unique, like a different type of oil for frying potato chips? Or does your cooking process stand out, like small batch vs. large batch? Buyers are not only looking for products that will sell, but they also want products that are unique.

Have marketing and production plans in place

Buyers want to know that you will be able to market your product once it is on the shelf

Offer in-store support

While offering in-store support is not a requirement for presenting to a buyer, it can show them that you are serious about helping your product sell. Whether it’s demos, coupons, or passive samples (if they make sense for your product and is within your budget), offering support once the product is on the shelf can give you an advantage with the buyer over the competition. This support provides buyers a favorable impression of your brand, and help them to remember you when presenting items in the future.

Build hype at Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s markets are a great place to build a following for your product.

Use a broker

Sometimes talking to buyers yourself may not be the best option. Working with a broker not only frees up your time, they often have pre-existing relationships with buyers. The primary job of food brokers is to negotiate sales between producers/manufacturers and stores. Most brokers present your product to buyers and provide follow up support to ensure the product stays on the shelf.



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