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Frequently Asked Questions

What margins do buyers expect from food producers?

This can vary greatly from category to category, whether it’s premium or a commodity and also depending whether it’s a brand or a retailer brand. As a rule of thumb we advise food producers to include a margin of 35% – 40% when working out their costings.

How do I get my product into supermarkets?

– Getting everything ready (packaging, pricing, research, presentation …) before you approach them

– Proof of sales (however small )

– Do something different

– Create a following for your product/brand

– Persistence!

How do you work out a retailer’s margin?

Here’s a simple formula:

Retailer margin = (Recommend retail price – Sell-in price)/Recommended retail price

What’s the best packaging to use to catch the customer’s eye?

Think of your target consumer and what would appeal to them. Be different in your category and stand out from the crowd – think about different shapes for example. Shoppers love to see food before buying – can you put a window in the pack to show off your product? Think about where your product will be on shelf and which part of your product shoppers will see first – then make sure your key messages are here. Spend time walking around store – see which packaging catches your eye – and work out why.

Is it better to use a distributor or sell direct?

There may come a time when it is y beneficial for your business to look at using a distributor rather than selling direct. When making the decision you need to think about the costs and time you incur supplying directly vs the distributor margin. Plus do check whether your chosen distributor will help with the marketing of your products – as this will be another time and saving cost for you.

What margins will distributors expect?

This will vary so always best to make a few comparisons. It will also depend on the services that the distributors offer – e.g. some will do a lot more marketing and selling of your products than others. As a general rule of thumb expect to pay between 20 – 30%.

How can I make the most of my award wins?

Make sure you blow your own trumpet – post on social media, write a blog, sticker your packaging, include it in your email signature, on your invoices, business cards… get the idea! Don’t forget to tell you stockists too – they will help promote it. Plus make sure you make the most of the organisers PR as well as trying to get coverage yourself.

Do I need BRC or SALSA accreditation?

BRC is quite a complex technical standard often used by larger food companies and those trading internationally. SALSA is a nationally recognised scheme which has been developed specifically for small and micro food producers – this will be sufficient to get your products in front of national buyers.

What’s the best way to increase sales of my food product?

Our 5 top tips to increase sales of your product are

1) Talk and engage with your consumers

2) Nurture your retailer relationships

3) Give reasons to buy

4) Sampling

5) Do something different – stand out from the crowd.


How can I get a buyer to list my product?

Make sure you are fully prepared for the meeting – then make your presentation concise but ensure you are covering everything a buyer needs to hear to make the decision to list including. Key is showing that there is a consumer demand for your product, and that your product will bring incremental sales to the category.

What do I need to include in my marketing plan?

We suggest you look at the following areas to include in your marketing plan: Instore activity; Social Media; Online; PR; Events; Awards; Email marketing.