How To Get Into Foodland Supermarket
Foodland has 68 stores in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland. Foodland Supermarkets vary in size accordingly with the communities surrounding them. They are classified with lettering depending on sales volume, which can sometimes be higher in smaller stores than larger ones.
Foodland is one big food retailer that has been in the market for quite some time. Its unique offering to customers in the line of fresh and awesome varieties which could hardly be gotten anywhere else keeps the foot traffic into the doors ever high.
The Foodland Supermarket concept is unique in that the square footage of each store varies and is based on the size of the community each store serves. Internally within the chain, stores are classified as “A” (smaller/medium volume) and “AA” (larger/high volume). However, the classification is based on sales volume of each store so some smaller stores that are high volume are “AA” and some larger stores with lower sales volume can be grouped in “A” As the size of the store is reflective of each community’s needs, store size ranges from 12,000 to 60,000 square feet.
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.
Customers have been giving awesome reviews about this store. There are a lot of strong points that are constantly being highlighted. A customer noted on yelp.com that: “I found some deli items, beverages and toiletries, and went to the counter to pay. Despite being a tourist, they input my cell # into their system, giving me the members discount on my items!
I often saved 25-30% on my purchases every time I shopped.
Every day, my friend and I shopped here, buying snack items, produce, dairy and liquor – always finding whatever we were looking for. Staff is efficient, and friendly – and the hours are amazing – 6 am to midnight.
The liquor selection is better than most ‘liquor stores’ and the selection of cold ales, esp IPA’s was really impressive. Lots of spirits, wines and liquors – again impressive selection with many shelves full of stock. Liquor sales are open till 10:15PM every night.
What warms my heart? My last night, my Samsung phone charger died, rendering me unable to charge my cell phone. In a panic, I ran to Foodland at 11:30 pm, in desperate need of a Samsung phone charger, and lo and behold – found one – for $8.95!
I most definitely recommend Foodland for all your Lahaina needs!”
Their wine, spice, and produce selection make them a leader in the retail and grocery business niche. This store has been in the business for years and has its established sourcing angles. These have helped it offer amazing varieties to the ever-increasing customer base.
How to get your product into Foodland Supermarket
- 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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket radar.
Call the Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket buyers as they will potentially have a better history.
Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket buyers meeting or trade show in the future.
Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket
There are several ways to get a product placed in Foodland Supermarket. 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 Foodland Supermarket, 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 Foodland Supermarket.
1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Foodland Supermarket, 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 Foodland Supermarket would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Foodland Supermarket, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Foodland Supermarket, 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 Foodland Supermarket? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Foodland Supermarket starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Foodland Supermarket already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Spend some time at your local Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket.
If your company is minority or women owned, check Foodland Supermarket website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.
4. Pitch your product to Foodland Supermarket.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Foodland Supermarket. 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 Foodland Supermarket, 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 Foodland Supermarket. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product to Foodland Supermarket.
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 Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket paperwork.) Often Foodland Supermarket will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Foodland Supermarket, you should contact a buyer at Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket 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, Foodland Supermarket 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 Foodland Supermarket, 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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