Distribution Of Beverages To C-Stores: What You Should Know

November 10, 2014

As a manufacturer or distributor of beverages you know that these products have a limited shelf life and packaging as well as storing them go a long way in ensuring that contents stay fresh. A view at the burgeoning market of beverages encourages manufacturers to try out new combinations on a regular basis and market them to buyers by extolling the virtues of their products. Presently there are 152,000 convenience stores across United States which has access to customers across the nation and majority among them are single store operators. Manufacturers have to look for right convenience store distribution channels to ensure that their beverage is aptly presented before consumers on a daily basis.

Beverages are always on demand in convenience stores, grocery outlets and food outlets making them one of the fastest selling items in every food outlet. A large majority of new and existing beverages are sold from convenience stores as they can be purchased in large and single serve packs at a more competitive price. The size and reach of convenience stores brings products before more than 1000 customers on a daily basis in a single location. As the size of food outlets and c-store offerings continue to attract new customers a manufacturer of beverages can also expect growing markets for his products.

Choices of distributors for beverages

To make your beverage a hot seller and create the right kind of excitement in the market so consumers buy your products on a regular basis, you need to get your products in right convenience stores to compete with others in the market. Besides using merchandising strategies within the stores, you also need to use sales promotion discounts during the launch at c-stores and grocers.

Selling to c-store – Reaching out to convenience stores is the best way to sell your beverage product and establish a steady redistribution cycle. You can use a c-store directory to get mailing addresses of their marketing division heads and send details about your beverage. This way you can directly approach both the standalone c-stores and grocery shops along with c-store chains to present your product and get purchase orders.

A common platform to meet these c-store buyers and wholesale distributors is to attend local and national level tradeshows to showcase your beverage and highlight its qualities. This approach can get you several interested customers within a single day if the presentation is done in an excitable manner. Advertising in c-store directory and trade magazines is also an effective way to sell your product to c-store distribution agencies and buyers.

1) Selling your beverage through distributors and wholesalers – To compete against existing beverages in the market you need to get a distributor who has vast experience in distribution of varied types of beverages across city and state boundaries. They know the right c-store chains with large clientele in each neighborhood across the state which can make your product an instant hit. If you cannot hire sales reps to demonstrate your product’s qualities to customers in stores then you can partner with beverage distributors who can present your merchandise in the right manner in partnership with c-store clients. Checkstand Program is an ideal marketing platform to bring your beverage within easy reach of customers and c-store chains. The marketing program also works with rack jobbers and merchandising distributors which work with both small and large stores in remote locations who can help you design the presentations to make them more effective.

2) Selling your beverage through local retailers – Design your display and testing counter at your local retailer and work out the details of promotion materials in partnership with him. Give them advertising support by promoting your beverage in both national and local media. Work an attractive profit sharing agreement with all your single store retailers which will work as an incentive for them to promote your product. Remember that only distributing your product to convenience stores and grocers does not end your responsibility of selling them.

If you are planning to work directly with retailers instead of wholesalers then it is advisable to market your beverage to large retailer chains and warehouse clubs to bring it within reach of customers on national level.

What you need to know about beverage distribution

To grow in a slow and steady manner from local to regional and then on national platform, you need to compete continuously with existing leaders in the beverage market and also on new wannabes in the market which appear every summer. Finding the right wholesaler or distributor is not enough for to establish your foothold in this competitive market. Display, supply and merchandising in the right manner go a long way in protecting your market and customer base.

More than half of new beverages products introduced in the market fade away due to lack of in-store marketing strategy.

Aggressive sales team can work towards ensuring that your beverage is in the right place among other beverages within the cooler and is easily reachable to buyers. To optimize sales in a convenience store you have to concentrate on merchandising and positioning besides packaging and distribution. Through the c-store directory  and c-store distributors directory you can get information about special distributors,wholesalers and convenience store chains that carry beverages and and then follow up with meetings and presentation, samples and detailed product information.

Every sales adviser will tell you to start selling from regional level and establish a steady clientele before expanding into other regions in the state. This technique will keep your distribution costs low and c store distribution networks will take your product to other branches if it is worthy. Once you know your market, the next step is to identify the right distributor or wholesaler who can help launch your product into state and national platform through their distribution networks. Trader associations, trade shows and marketing cum distribution specialists like Checkstand Program with large sales volumes and close contacts with stores across the nation will help guide your beverage’s sales path so it grows at a steady pace to become a national leader.