Marketing And Selling A New Food Product To Convenience Stores

October 02, 2014

Marketing is an ongoing part of any wholesale distribution business. Introducing a new product in today’s competitive marketplace is not easy. But this is the need of every growing business. Wholesale distribution business can’t thrive without new product launches or improving existing stocks or without maintaining quality of existing stock.

This scenario gets even more competitive when it comes to food distribution business. For people in the wholesale distribution trade, there are many options in buying and selling food products. Whether it is dry foods or frozen; meat, poultry, seafood; dairy or fresh fruits and vegetables – the business can be profitable but as it is also competitive, it is not easy to launch a new food product into retail stores. But with the right plan it is doable and with success.

Understand your product

For successful distribution into the the c store channel, it is important to understand the dynamics of a new product launch in the market. A new product in the market first comes via a manufacturer or a vendor. You then sell the new product to wholesale distributors ( But before distributors commit to buying a new product it is imperative that they understand what the product is all about. Is there a need for the product in the market? What is the competition like for this type of product?

For instance, a manufacturer is launching a new range of gourmet packaged food. The product might fulfill all the criteria for a successful launch like quality, pricing and the market need. But is it for them? Is it the right product for their market? A distribution business might consist of supplying dairy products to independent stores. Will they buy this gourmet product? What is the disposable income of the community where their retail clients are located? Or can you find new retail stores to sell these gourmet packaged foods? Asking such questions and more and seeking answers for the same will help you understand if you can market and sell this new product to convenience stores.

Research the market

Do your own research for your new product. Send samples and brochures to retail clients to gain some insight. Convenience stores( are more than happy to stock new products that they can sell with ease if they see or vision the demand. Also reach out to new stores in new locations to get a diverse understanding of what retailers think of your product.

Also, do some online research. Check if this kind of product is in demand. Check out the competition. See what types of stores are selling the product in question. See if convenience stores stock anything similar to your food product.

Also visit the stores. Go and check the aisles and range of gourmet products that are stocked there. Observe the pricing of the competition and do some research on those as well.

Work out the details

So you have a new product that you know you can sell to retail stores. It is a good product and you know you can sell your inventory to wholesalers. To do so, negotiate the largest discount amount from your vendor for the product, unless you are the manufacturer. Right pricing is a very essential for the success of a new product.

Ask retail stores if they would be able to or be willing to promote the product in a big way. This is done by setting up standalone tables inside the stores to introduce the product to the consumers or by the placement of banners or other marketing materials inside the convenience store premises. Most retail stores are more than happy and willing to promote a new product this way as it gives the store a good vibe and makes the store attractive for customers even if they don’t buy the products.

Step up the marketing

If a wholesale distributor is excited to sell your new product and believes that they can turn a profit on your new food items, then it is a good idea to formulate a marketing plan for the new product. To continue with the example of gourmet packaged foods, make a list of all the stores, or distributors you want to include in your marketing plan.