Get Your Product into Cub Foods

Mr. Checkout is a network of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to over 35,000 independent stores around the country and have built relationships with hundreds of retail buyers. We are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

How To Get Into Cub Foods

Founded in 1968, which is 51 years ago, the store has grown to a company with 77 retail outlets in Minnesota and Illinois. Just like food stores of its kind, Cub Foods offers so many varieties to its customers. The company is a leader in the sector as it has set a standard which is quite high for other retailers to meet up with.

The most recent prominent news about the retailer is the Cub Food’s first urban styled food and grocery store. This is a 46,000 square feet location that adds some new things not usually part of the Cub Food set up.

The store features an array of foodservice offerings. To keep customers constantly refreshed, a coffee shop and creamery serves up ice cream sandwiches, shakes, sundaes as well as drip coffee and espresso brewed by Caribou coffee. There’s a popcorn stand, panini and sushi bars as well as a burrito bar with custom burritos, bowls, and salads. There is a kombucha bar that features flavors like blueberry mint, coconut lime, and lemon ginger, which are sold in 16-ounce cups or 32- and 64-ounce growlers.

Cub’s new store will feature a large deli where customers can purchase made-to-order meals, its signature Quick & Easy meal solutions as well as a soup and salad bar, fresh meats and specialty cheeses.

The store isn’t just any store. It is hardly a store that can be replaced by online stores because this is a grocery market where people want to see, smell, and feel products. It is about food; people want to draw in the deliciousness. Another mark for this grocery market is the awesome customer service. A visit there would leave you entirely captivated and immersed in the loving atmosphere you get from the attendants.

The supermarket business in the United States is one that tries to connect with the individual customer. This means, the supermarkets try to address the needs and interests of individual customers. This is by offering local, international, and metropolitan products. You can get spices, meat, wine, food, and so many other food products from this type of store.

There is this fascinating Juicery at Cub Foods where you can get several kinds of fruit juice – all natural and carefully packaged. This is one innovation that consumers who pay much attention to their health are looking to get but may be pressed for time to do it or may not know how to go about it.

On the local sourcing of food products, Cub Foods has been on the forefront of selling locally sourced food products and imported food items. Their wine, spice, and produce selection make them a leader in the retail and grocery business niche.

The food business should be the most profitable normally as everyone eats. However, with competition and market forces, retailers are forced to lower prices and this leads to several of them packing up and selling to other businesses. The role of discounters in the sales world has really changed how business is conducted.

If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

How to get your product into Cub Foods

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 Cub Foods 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.

  • Step 1

    Contact Cub Foods Buyer

    Sometimes easier said than done, however you must get on Cub Foods radar.

    Call the Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods buyers as they will potentially have a better history.

  • Step 2

    Get On Cub Foods Radar

    Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods buyers meeting or trade show in the future.

    Step 2

  • Step 3

    Use Hard Facts

    Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods

There are several ways to get a product placed in Cub Foods. 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 Cub Foods, 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 Cub Foods.

1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Cub Foods, 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 Cub Foods would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Cub Foods, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Cub Foods, 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 Cub Foods? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Cub Foods starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Cub Foods already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Cub Foods 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 Costco.

If your company is minority or women owned, check Cub Foods website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.

4. Pitch your product to Cub Foods.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Cub Foods. 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 Cub Foods, 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 Cub Foods. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Cub Foods.

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 Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods paperwork.) Often Cub Foods will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Cub Foods, you should contact a buyer at Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods 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, Cub Foods 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 Cub Foods, 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.

Submit Your Product Now

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