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There are quite a few hoops you will need to jump through when it comes to marketing your product line and successfully getting it into retail grocery locations. This doesn’t have to be a difficult process, though, if you are first able to understand the process in its entirety.

When you are ready to get your product out into the market, you are going to need to understand the best way to approach a wholesale grocery distributor with your product line. In this article, I will discuss five steps to help you be successful in your approach.


1. Determine your profit margins.

Wholesale grocery distributors care a great deal about profit margins, so you really need to determine your profit margins and what you are willing to adjust while still turning a profit. Put forth some research on what some similar product line margins are in order to figure out if a similar profit margin will, in turn, work out for your personal product.

Take the time to analyze your local area wholesale grocery distributors and their profit margins in terms of products that are similar to yours and compare them to what your own might be. You are going to want to make sure this is something you are willing to negotiate and adjust accordingly, not only without breaking the bank but also while successfully turning a profit.

2. Plot out a marketing strategy.

You will also need to chart a successful path in marketing through the wholesale grocery distributor’s existing customers. When you are able to plan a direct course of action, you can more successfully market your product to customers already shopping in their stores. Customers grow familiar with the products that are on the shelves of the stores that they frequent, and when you offer them a brand new product, they may or may not opt to buy it at first.

You need to make sure that your product line stands out to the existing customer. Plan to make the packaging of your product line engaging and as vibrant as needed for the product to catch your potential customer’s attention and inspire curiosity about what your product is, how it works and why they may want or need it.

3. Manage your expectations.

You need to also put some serious consideration into the fact that not everyone is able to find wealth or success overnight. Successful product sales take hard work, patience and a tremendous amount of faith and dedication in your product line.

Keeping that in mind, you also need to understand the possible need to pay onboarding fees or other costs. It takes money to make money, which is why you need to be a little willing to make some investment if you want to successfully launch your product line and get it into retail stores via wholesale grocery distributors.

4. Balance confidence with flexibility.

When you approach a potential wholesale grocery distributor, you need to make sure that you are clear and concise in terms of what you are looking for and what your profit margin is compared to what they are used to working with. Be ready also to negotiate those terms. The more flexible you are when it comes to working with a distributor to get your product into grocery stores, the more likely they are to pick your product up and work with you.

When approaching potential distributors, ensure you show you are passionate about your product. Be enthusiastic and demonstrate your true confidence in your product line. This will better assure them that they should work with you and that this venture will generate success for both parties. The more confident you are—while maintaining flexibility—the more successful you will communicate to the wholesale grocery distributor the appeal of your product line.

5. Investigate your distributor’s processes.

Finally, when it comes to finding the perfect wholesale grocery distributor whose partnership is going to work in your own personal best interest, you need to make sure that you investigate how the company runs and whether it will be a good fit for your product.

Ask other product developers who have worked with the wholesale grocery distributors you are considering and see their opinions about the distributor and their process. Interview wholesale grocery distributors about what you are curious about, figure out their profit margin and if it is something you are willing to work with and research your competition to determine what made them successful and how you can generate your own success.

A better understanding of the entire process will help you see it through to the end.

Working with wholesale grocery distributors does not need to be a complicated process. But you need to make sure that you understand the process in its entirety in order to figure out what hoops you need to jump through and which ones you can avoid completely.

If getting your product line into grocery retail stores is going to be your best bet in generating successful sales, these are some of the best strategies for you to consider in order to first thoroughly understand the process.

This is a guest post from Mr. Checkout. Mr. Checkout is a national group of Independent DSD Distributors, Full-Line Grocery Distributors and Wagon-Jobbers. They represent products in over 60 major retailers and manage 13 industry associations with over 150,000 independent retail members. Distributors, Wholesalers and Retailers turn to Mr. Checkout to find the best selling products, learn which categories are trending and discover what is the next hot new product.

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