By Jacqui Rudd
Amazing three days of brilliant talks, panels and discussions at Food Matters Live 2018. Here are some of the Grocery Accelerators favourite actionable takeaways for food and drink brands with tips and advice from entrepreneurs and industry experts.
Chair: Jason Gibb, Founder, Bread and Jam Festival
– Marcus Carter, Founder, Artisan Food Club.
– Joe Benn, Co-Founder, Ugly Drinks.
– Chris Whittaker, Former Buyer for Waitrose, CW Consultancy.
“Shops are the middle-men. Consumers are king” Marcus Carter
Shops buy products that they can see selling, so show “profit over product” you need to make it clear what you make and how it will sell because these shops want to know they’ll make money. Shops have a fear of loss and if you take away their fear of loss and they will buy.
How to contact a buyer? (There is a fine line between being persistent and irritating.)
First approach email, introducing yourself and your product asking if they would like some samples. The email should be 2-3 lines, easy to read, have the most important things at the top and include visuals and proof of concept.
Then only contact again if you have new information. New info such as, a press clipping of changes in the market related to your product, if you have a new listing in a retailer that is live, if your product recently won an award or was featured in the press. After that first approach email go out and make the news happen, use PR agents to create news and a buzz around your product and market related to your product. Buyers get a lot of emails from brands and you need to avoid being remembered as annoying rather than for your amazing product.
When sending samples, they must be presented well and represent your brand. Try to be creative, catch their attention and be remembered! 1-2 days after your samples arrived send a follow-up email about the samples, how they liked them and ask if they’d be open to setting up a meeting.
First, make sure you have a supply chain ready before your pitch. Try to humanise the buyer and remember they want you to do well. Make your pitch short and concise, they don’t have a lot of time and they’ll thank you for a quick pitch. It’s their job to ask the question “But will it sell?”, do not be disheartened, it’s simply your job to convince them. Ask questions such as “what’s ‘retailers name’ biggest problems right now” and be ready to think on your feet, such as how you can help them with their biggest issues.
- Make your price list visually appealing and something they want to read.
- Start local and small. Start by getting your local small businesses involved and grow your distribution chain organically from there and get your proof of concept.
- Use social media to have conversations with your customers.
- Be memorable for the right reasons and stand out.