distribution
Distribution

DO YOU HAVE A PRODUCT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?

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!

Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors

Distributing to Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors is all about satisfying the store’s needs in what type of products their customers demand. Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors want a product that has been established and will sell quickly. Contacting local Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors is a good first step to get a feel for what products do well in that market.

Finding a distributor who already has an established relationship with independent specialty retailers is essential. The distributor and retailer relationship is important in product placement in Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors. If a distributor has a good reputation with an independent specialty retailer the process of getting products into the store is a lot smoother.

Building a relationship and a positive track record is a very important part for the distributor. It is important for the distributor to do some research on what kind of specialty products do well in each specialty store, which can be dependent on where they are located. If a product does well in one independent specialty store the likeliness the distributor will put it in other stores is high. In Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors and independent stores in general it is all about shelf space and what sells well will claim that shelf space. Products that do not, will be given less space or no space in order to move in a new product that sells well.

Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors look for products that are innovative and will set them apart from competitors. So, new products have a better chance of making it into an independent specialty store  vs. a big box retailer. An independent specialty store will have a stronger personal relationship and knowledge with products compared to big box stores as well. This is beneficial to everyone involved because having knowledge about the product in stores will improve sales.

In order to get a product into an independent specialty market contacting the correct distributor is the first step. The next step would be sending samples and other pertinent information to that distributor if requested. They like to see proof of sales and selling points of that product. Communicating about price points and minimum order quantities is very important. If the distributor likes the product and thinks it would be a good fit for their route they will purchase the product.

If the product does well in stores, the distributor will continually order more. Proof of sales will bring more orders and getting in contact with other distributors in other parts of the country is the next step. A product with proven sales in a few Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors will make its way to Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors all across the nation through different distribution channels. Establishing and building relationships with distributors is the best way to get products into Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors.

Top 10 Natural & Organic Grocery Distributors

United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Incorporated, also known as UNFI, is a distributor of natural and organic foods, specialty foods, and related products in the United States and Canada. The company distributes to grocery and natural food stores and is the primary distributor to Whole Foods Market. UNFI offers dry, refrigerated and frozen groceries, personal care products, supplements, fresh produce, perishables, and non-food items such as household cleaning products.

Essential Wholesale & Labs

Essential Wholesale & Labs, located in NW Portland, is a leader in the manufacturing and sale of natural and organic personal care products. The company provides custom formulating and contract packaging for businesses of all sizes and offers a wide range of services from concept to shelf-ready finished products. Its’ customers range from sole proprietors buying their readymade bases and finished goods to fill and label themselves, to custom formulating services, contract filling services, testing services through third-party labs, and business development consulting.

Ace Natural

Ace Natural is a service-focused, customer-driven natural and organic food distribution business located in New York City. Ace has a rich 20-year history providing superb service to the most discerning NYC restaurants, caterers, food retailers and distributors.

VehGro

VehGro is a wholesale for natural and organic food products and a wholesale for natural body care. The distributor is specialized in the import & export and distribution of high-quality natural organic food, nutrition (semi-finished products) and natural cosmetics.

As part of its wholesale activities, the distributor offers more than 2,000 ingredients for your product. Approximately 80% of our assortment is certified organic. We offer ingredients for both food and non-food industries.

Besides the import and wholesaling of organic products in bulk, the distributor is also an exclusive distributor of several quality brands in Europe.

Hummingbird Wholesale

Hummingbird wholesale has collaborated with local mills and farmers to grow and process organic foods previously unavailable in our region, sometimes in response to requests for specific food crops from its customers.

This small family-owned company states that it is “taking large steps to achieve a tiny footprint and zero waste.” For example, a lower carbon footprint is achieved by delivering up to 2,000 pounds per delivery to local Eugene businesses via energy-efficient electric-assist cargo tricycles.

Health Food Distributors

HFD is the oldest wholesale distributor of health and natural food products in the United States, serving retailers since 1939. HFD distributes a wide variety of health and natural food products including vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbal products, natural and organic foods and beverages, specialty foods, gluten free, vegetarian, low carb, healthy snacks, diet and energy products, personal care and books on health topics.

Food From Nature

This is the wholesale division of Food Sourcing Specialists, S.L.  We’re specialized in importing, exporting, distributing and producing natural and organic food, drink & pharmacy products; especially healthy snacks, breakfast foods, superfoods and sports products.

Hana Food Distributors

Hana Food Distributors is one of the largest organic, gourmet and specialty food distributors in the Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina area.

Horizon Grocery + Wellness

Horizon Grocery + Wellness is Western Canada’s leading distributor of organic and natural foods, natural personal care items and nutritional health supplements. Horizon is known for dedication to logistical excellence, personalized account service, a consistent 95% or better fill rate, and commitment to integrity in product selection. Horizon is the supplier of major natural, grocery and independent grocery chains, independent natural health stores, buying clubs, restaurants, cafés and specialty retailers via a fleet of trucks and common carriers.

Nationwide Natural Foods

Nationwide Natural Foods is a Canadian owned & operated family business since 2000. Nationwide specializes in the distribution of various domestic & imported products to retailers across Canada.

Perth Health

Perth Health is the leading independent Wholesale Distributor of natural health, wellness and organic products in Western Australia. Family owned and operated since 1984, the distributor have been providing friendly efficient service to Health Food, Pharmacy, organic/fresh provision outlets and Independent grocery for over 30 years

Here are the 6 steps you need to take to have your product picked up by a distributor.

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

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

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 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 paperwork.) Often a distributor will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required, you should contact them 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 a distributor pick up your line 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, distributors 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 distribute your product through a distributor, 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.

DO YOU HAVE A PRODUCT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?

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!