Get Your Product into Gerland’s Food Fair

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 Gerland’s Food Fair

Founded in 1967 by A.J. Gerland, Gerland’s Food Fair is part of the Gerland Corporation. Gerland Corporation is a retail company headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States; the company operates various grocery stores, gas stations, and check cashing stores within the Greater Houston Area.

In 2002 Gerland’s was Houston’s seventh largest grocer, with 16 locations generating $185.9 million in sales. It had 1,005 Houston area employees. At the time its headquarters was in Pasadena. In 2015, Gerland’s was purchased by Lewis Food Town, another local, independent grocer established in Houston. All Gerland’s were converted to Food Town and the owners retired.

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.

Gerland’s Food Fair has been around for long and has been able to grow a loyal customer base. New customers are gaining interests in the retailer daily because of the awesome varieties stocked. There is hardly a product that is needed that won’t be on stock. The change of ownership can only made things better as Lewis Food Town itself is well established with several brands under it and there are constant suppliers of products to the supermarkets.

Customers are the best judge of a retailer; they have experienced everything at the store and they can give a clear picture of the store. A customer noted on yelp.com that:

“The story itself is not only huge, extremely clean, and very well organized, but they also have tons of sales going on at all times. You can go in on any given day and use there by 5 for $19.99 deal. You can choose from five different meats for $19.99 or switch it up by getting a bag of frozen okra, frozen Sweet Potato Fries (which taste just like THE BEST restaurants when fried), reg French Fries, etc along with 2-3 meats!!! Right down the middle of the store is a huge aisle which contains dollar only products. This ranges from anything of whatever is in season, example Christmas items, to foods, as well as plastic plates cups etc.

The staff is always very pleasant and willing to help with whatever you need. There is never any lines, at least in all the times that I have been I have never had to wait in line, and everyone is always so upbeat!!! There is a courtesy booth where you can cash checks, pay bills, as well as buy scratch off lottery tickets and cash your lottery tickets in. Along with an assortment of other things that can be taken care of at this booth.

If you’re in need of a cell phone, be sure to stop be the Boost Mobile type glass case in the very front of the store!!!”

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 Gerland’s Food Fair

  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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair Buyer

    Sometimes easier said than done, however you must get on Gerland’s Food Fair radar.

    Call the Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair buyers as they will potentially have a better history.

  • Step 2

    Get On Gerland’s Food Fair Radar

    Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair buyers meeting or trade show in the future.

    Step 2

  • Step 3

    Use Hard Facts

    Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair

There are several ways to get a product placed in Gerland’s Food Fair. 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 Gerland’s Food Fair, 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 Gerland’s Food Fair.

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

If your company is minority or women owned, check Gerland’s Food Fair website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.

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

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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair paperwork.) Often Gerland’s Food Fair will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Gerland’s Food Fair, you should contact a buyer at Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair 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, Gerland’s Food Fair 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 Gerland’s Food Fair, 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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