How To Get Into Busch’s Fresh Food Market
Founded in 1975 by Joe Busch and Charlie Mattis, Busch’s Fresh Food Market is a family venture started by acquiring two stores in Clinton and Saline from Vescio’s Foods and naming J&C Family Foods.
Busch’s is the hometown local food market that blends the best of today’s freshness and style with the traditional values, personal service and wholesomeness you expect from the neighborhood grocer, but seldom find at other supermarkets.
Just like many other retailers in the food market, Busch’s also started relatively small. Over time, there had been dramatic changes in the way the food retailing business has been for the company. The company has learned the importance of variety and this is king at Busch’s. The stores have been able to grow from 10,000 items to a selection of over 40,000 items. The stores also range in size from 26,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet. This allows them to offer a wide range of products. A customer noted on yelp.com about the large variety that: “I love Busch’s for the fact that they have the largest ice cream selection I have seen on the North side alone.”
Despite the large number, Busch’s doesn’t focus strictly on national brands. They are well known for their specialty items. It’s not the amount of a particular item but the depth of the brands offered. The focus has switched from the dry and canned goods to prepared foods and produce. Local, organic, and natural foods have also gained a spot on their shelves.
To increase customer satisfaction and make shopping an awesome experience, there is the place of the complimentary coffee and donut upon entry and complimentary lollipops at check out. This is a smart move that can bring people in. Instead of spending more cash on coffee and donuts, you have a place you are sure to get these for free. There are wonderful reviews from customers about how worthwhile it can be to shop there. The sushi has been complimented by almost everyone who has tried it. Some people only started to go there for the sushi and nothing else and they fell in love completely with the store. According to a customer who gave his comment about the food market on foursquare.com “something good is always on sale.”
For a distributor, this is an established store that can get your products to move as fast as possible. With the awesome varieties they offer and the established customer base, it can be easily deduced that there are customers already dedicated to what they sell. However, this is a big retailer and there is a high standard for the products they take and thus, it may not be that easy to push your products in there. This is why networking can be very useful.
On the local sourcing of food products, Busch’s has been on the forefront of selling locally sourced food products and this has given their customers a sense of connection to the products.
How to get your product into Busch’s Fresh Food Market
- Understand you client: Before you spend a lot of time and money creating a product, you should know if anyone will want to buy it. Learn more about Market Research
- Learn if it’s protectable: Know if you can defend your product against cheap copies if it gets knocked off. Learn more about Copyright and Patent your product
- Test your product: Make sure that there’s a demand for your product and the customer understands what you are selling when it’s on the shelf and nobody is there to explain it. Learn more about Product Testing
- Perfect your pitch: Before you speak to decision makers, know your numbers, know your retailer and know your logistics in and out. Learn more about Pitching Your Product
- Don’t do it alone: If you haven’t been successful in retail before, a secret of success is that you can’t do it alone. Having great sales staff, customer support and marketing partners can take you from zero to success faster than if you tried on your own. Learn more about Retail Partnerships
Contact Busch’s Fresh Food Market Buyer
Do not trust any “list” of buyers.
Typically retail buyers change either companies or positions every few years. This strategy helps retailers know that their buyers are not taking “kick-backs” and are selecting the very best product for the very best position each time.
Buyers are typically held to a very rigorous standard of sell-through volume that they must hit and because of this they are risk averse. Your job as a supplier or vendor is to convince them that the buyers going into the stores not only know about what you’re selling but are actively seeking the product in the store currently.
Sometimes easier said than done, however you must get on Busch’s Fresh Food Market radar.
Call the Busch’s Fresh Food Market corporate phone number and ask for the names of the buyer and assistant buyers in your category.
Always leave voicemail with whomever the dispatch will connect you.
Use that information to connect with them on LinkedIn, RangeMe and any other professional social platform.
Ask your representative at your trade bureau to connect you to the Busch’s Fresh Food Market buyers as they will potentially have a better history.
Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Busch’s Fresh Food Market buyer through 3rd party websites & industry media sources.
Be everywhere that they look, the key is to position your brand as the obvious choice when Busch’s Fresh Food Market is looking to either refill a slot or create a new category.
Latch on to the news of the day and any trend that will make your product fill that niche whether that be Non-GMO or Vegan Leather for example.
Investing in your brand can only benefit your opportunities in the future. As being “top of mind” will have a ripple effect when you physically present your product at a Busch’s Fresh Food Market buyers meeting or trade show in the future.
Busch’s Fresh Food Market buyers typically got to their position by picking “winners” and know how to see through the fluff.
Focus on the numbers, know your bottom dollar during a negotiation and how fees and chargebacks may cut into your position.
Know that long term success may outweigh short term sales, however financing large purchase orders from Busch’s Fresh Food Market when the net result is negative is not sustainable.
Understand the playing field and the other brands that are in your space, what they are offering as promotion and pricing and how you can stand out against them.
By knowing that each buyer at Busch’s Fresh Food Market probably knows more than you do, take an active listening approach to sales and understand that no is a perfectly acceptable answer that may have saved you millions of dollars on the backend.
How to Submit a Product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market
There are several ways to get a product placed in Busch’s Fresh Food Market. However, most entrepreneurs only dream about getting their product distributed to major retailers, few actually do it. We have experienced a significant rise in interest since the show Shark Tank started airing on NBC. Mr. Checkout has had the pleasure of working with a few Shark Tank success stories such as KISStixx and 180 Party Cups which are now currently being distributed around the country to stores like Walmart, Target, Kroger, 7-Eleven and more.
If you envision your product would be a good fit for Busch’s Fresh Food Market, we have a few steps to help you get your product on their shelves.
Here are the 6 steps you need to take to have your product placed in Busch’s Fresh Food Market.
1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Do you need to build demand for your product, or is there already a demand for it? Do you know that Busch’s Fresh Food Market would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Busch’s Fresh Food Market, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Busch’s Fresh Food Market, or do you want to license your product to a manufacturer that will handle distribution?
2. Be prepared to profit.) Does your product offer enough of a profit margin for Busch’s Fresh Food Market? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Busch’s Fresh Food Market guidelines for other fees that you will have to build into the cost of your product in order for you to be able to turn enough of a profit to make the effort worth your while. If you work with a discount retailer, they will try to strip your profits down to zero in order to keep their prices as low as possible.
The typical breakdown of margins are: If a products costs $1 to produce, that product will retail for $4. That product that retails for $4 will wholesale for $2 to distributors and stores that purchase direct. Big box retailers like Busch’s Fresh Food Market may offer to pay $1.25 to the manufacturer if the product costs $1 to produce. That is the typical profit margin.
3. Determine if Busch’s Fresh Food Market is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Busch’s Fresh Food Market starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Busch’s Fresh Food Market already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Busch’s Fresh Food Market to see what kind of products they are selling, speak to the manager and see if he thinks your product will sell well in their store. Picture in which zone your product would best fit on the shelf and keep in mind that the most precious asset that these big box stores value are their shelf space. Keep this information in mind when you are preparing your presentation to Busch’s Fresh Food Market.
If your company is minority or women owned, check Busch’s Fresh Food Market website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.
4. Pitch your product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market. Your presentation depends heavily on your strengths as a businessperson as they will most likely ask financial questions and logistics questions.
It’s common for companies to hire a broker to pitch their product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market, as it will be more likely that your product will make it to the next stage if the individual pitching your product has industry knowledge or a personal relationship with Busch’s Fresh Food Market. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market.
We at Mr. Checkout have experience dealing with brokers and know that there are several retail brokers that have poor business practices that can potentially damage your brand. If you are seeking a legitimate Busch’s Fresh Food Market broker, please give us a call for a recommendation. It could save you a huge headache and a lot of money.
5. Complete the required Busch’s Fresh Food Market paperwork.) Often Busch’s Fresh Food Market will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Busch’s Fresh Food Market, you should contact a buyer at Busch’s Fresh Food Market and let them know your intentions. Having a contact inside of the company will potentially move your application more smoothly through the process.
6. Anticipate the need for increased volume.) Having Busch’s Fresh Food Market agree to stock your product will most likely mean a significant increase in volume. You should be prepared to ramp up your production and informing your manufacturer of this opportunity.
Having production, logistics and distribution to sync is not only difficult, it requires a significant amount of time invested in customer relations. Also, Busch’s Fresh Food Market may have stipulations in the contract that may penalize you for delays in shipping and production. Have an attorney explain all contracts to you if you don’t understand the terms.
If you’re looking to sell your product to Busch’s Fresh Food Market, be sure to thoroughly assess the marketplace, carefully prepare for production growth, and take full advantage of resources available to help you grow your business.
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