How To Get Into Yoke’s Fresh 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
How To Get Into Yoke’s Fresh Market
There are several dimensions to the ownership of retail chains in the United States. It could be employee-owned, a family business, or owned by a company.
Yoke’s Fresh Market is an employee-owned Spokane, Washington-based chain of grocery stores founded in 1946 by Marshall and Harriet Yoke. The chain was established by their son Chuck in the 1960s and now encompasses 17 stores in Washington and Idaho, primarily in the Spokane area. In 1990, Chuck sold the chain to the employees.
According to the company, “At Yoke’s, being your neighborhood grocer is about more than stocking nature’s best products at a fair price – it’s a promise to create a better experience, in and beyond the store. It’s rounding up the freshest local products from area farms. It’s remaining locally owned, employee owned, and active in our communities. It’s a focus on environment, finding innovative ways to offer a greener shopping experience. But above all, it’s a commitment to help you live the fresh life.”
Understanding what the customers need is one way of being successful in business. Yoke’s understands this and offers what is needed. People are busy with work and engagements that they don’t have the time to cook. However, they can get chef prepared meals from this retailer at amazing prices and swiftly.
The retailer’s offerings at the stores include: dairy, frozen foods, pet foods, general merchandise, health and beauty items, household products, produce, and meat. The company also does the weekly recipe giveaway on its website where recipes are given to customers to try the preparation of new dishes. The time for preparation and everything needed to get it done are clearly stated on the weekly recipe section.
The grocery 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. Thus, as a vendor, you should be looking at getting varieties to the retailer.
There are many vendors in the industry. However, being distinctive stands you out. Take a cursory look at your offerings and see what you can offer differently. If not different, go back to the drawing board and see how you can rebrand or bring out a distinction. Distinctiveness can help you carve a niche for yourself in the marketplace.
You can gain the attention of a top official who can take interest in your products and get it tested by other persons in charge of procurement. As the grocery offerings of this retailer are quite large, there is room for a lot of products to be supplied. If your products are quite popular in the local market, it will be easy for you to easily pitch to this retailer. You have to bring your product to top quality to help you with the pitch of the product.
The company also gets products from local sources as long as it is in full compliance with its quality standards and pricing guidelines.
Contact Yoke’s Fresh Market
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 Yoke’s Fresh Market radar.
Call the Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market buyers as they will potentially have a better history.
Use advertising, public relations and marketing to make your brand known to Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market meeting or trade show in the future.
Yoke’s Fresh Market 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market
There are several ways to get a product placed in Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market.
1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product to Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with Yoke’s Fresh Market, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check Yoke’s Fresh 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. Retailers like Yoke’s Fresh 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 is the right store for your product.) The relationship between you and Yoke’s Fresh Market starts with you browsing their store for competing products. If Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market.
If your company is minority or women owned, check Yoke’s Fresh Market website and see if they offer specific opportunities for those designations.
4. Pitch your product to Yoke’s Fresh Market. Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product too Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh Market, please give us a call for a recommendation. It could save you a huge headache and a lot of money.
5. Complete the required Yoke’s Fresh Market paperwork. Often Yoke’s Fresh Market will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required by Yoke’s Fresh Market, you should contact a buyer at Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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, Yoke’s Fresh 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 Yoke’s Fresh 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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