Five Ways to Get Your New Products on the Shelf

Selling food and beverages in the United States or Canada is an expensive endeavor. Here is a comprehensive list of your “costs of doing business” to consider before you make the first appointments with importers, brokers, wholesalers or retailers:

  1. Competitive analyis. Don’t waste your retail buyer’s time. Before you send your standard sales brochure, pause and think.  You better know what products are needed, how much they will cost the retailers once delivered, how they will be delivered, how they fit into the shelves and category, why the shoppers of the respective chain might be interested in trying your products and what your competitors offer.
  2. Well connected Broker or Sales Manager. Just picking up the phone and dialing a retail buyer will get you nowhere. You need someone to get appointments and prepare customized sales presentations for your brand and products.
  3. Listing fees. New products are risky for all parties involved and the costs of failure are completely on the shoulders of manufacturers.
  4. Listing Fee Alternatives: Retailers love cold cash to limit their risk of putting new products on the shelves. Mit many smaller companies or specialty food producers from abroad don’t have or want to spend the cash. Here are some alternatives to persuade the buyer to add your product to his category assortment:
    • Exclusivity
    • Pay Fee Over Time
    • Free Gods
    • Non-Slotting Retailers
    • Promotions (Displays, Feature Ads, Price Reductions)
    • Reduced listing fees for multiple items
    • Store Manager Contest
    • Higher Every Day Margins
    • Distributor Contribution
    • Small Brand Bonus
    • Extended Payment Terms