How to Sell to UNFI
Make sure your product has its certifications and is compliant
When you are selling your product off the shelf, it’s important for the customer to quickly understand that your line is in-line with their cultural and medical requirements. Having a third party vouch that they have seen how the product is made and where the ingredients come from is the reason why there are so many food certifications.
Food certifications go in and out of style. However, some are always going to be in demand. Certifications that reflect the purchaser’s religious views such as Kosher Certified and Halal Certified are going to be needed if you are going to market to that segment of the market.
The certifications that most often fall out of demand are usually attached to a specific fad diet that is making its rounds. Atkins and South Beach Diet are two that come to mind.
Click here to see The Food Certification List
Understanding the different ways that products can be rolled out in retail.
Retail merchandising refers to the way retailers, brands, and other product companies make their merchandise available in stores. Retail merchandising includes both execution and strategy. Product selection, product placement, display design, and other techniques also play a huge role in how you’re viewed in retail. The purpose of retail merchandising is to encourage purchases.
Successful retail merchandising requires careful planning, implementation, management, and analysis. Let’s take a look at the facets of a great retail merchandising strategy and some of the tools that help brands, consumer goods, and consumer packaged goods companies as well as retailers keep a steady course and an ocean of products in order throughout a merchandising expedition.
Knowing how your product will be distributed to the stores and merchandised on the shelves.
1. Direct: With direct distribution, the producer of a product directly sells to a consumer. It is often the simplest distribution method, with no intermediary between the product manufacturer and the consumer, though it can also be costly depending on your location, product, and ability to distribute your goods. Benefits of direct distribution include creating trust with the customer, controlling the consumer experience, and providing excellent customer service.
2. Indirect: Indirect distribution uses other channels besides the direct-to-consumer method. It can be helpful for manufacturers with limited lines of products or financing or when retailers and wholesalers specialize in certain goods and promotional support. Manufacturers can involve one more indirect channel to create a larger distribution network to reach more customers. Indirect distribution can have a variety of paths.
3. Exclusive: Exclusive distribution is the approach of using limited sales outlets only available in specific locations or stores with the mindset of creating the rarity and exclusivity of an item or brand. It is most common for marketing and distributing luxury brands, though a variety of brands and products use exclusive distributors sometimes. For example, a high-end luxury shoe brand may have flagship stores in major metropolitan areas only, and customers make a special trip to purchase. Exclusive distribution deals allow greater control over contract negotiations, rates, and product distribution because fewer entities are involved.
Find the right retail buyer in the right category & prepare your pitch.
Retailers: Retailers sell products and items to consumers online or in brick-and-mortar storefronts, and they buy from manufacturers and distributors with the goal of serving as an outlet to purchase products for resale. Retail outlets are the most commonplace for customers to make a purchase, whether at outlet stores, department stores, or online retailer platforms. Customer service in retail selling is imperative, and retailers often grow their offerings to be competitive, like providing home delivery service.
Distributors: Distributors oversee the sales and marketing of a product and establish strong relationships with manufacturers. They fulfill and deliver orders, though they also sell on behalf of the producer and study market trends and consumer activity to best plan future orders, shipments and sales. Distributors can sell to wholesalers, retailers, and agents.
Wholesalers: Wholesalers fulfill retail orders and purchase items in bulk to sell later, which often costs less initially. They buy from manufacturers and distributors and focus primarily on the storage and delivery of goods for the consumer market. They act as a trader in buying and selling of goods and rarely interact directly with consumers.
Know the numbers that they’ll be asking and what they need.