I often get asked when is the ideal time to start working with a food distributor. Whilst it is different for everyone, the best time is often when you’ve established sales in independent stores locally or regionally and are now looking for the next stage of growth and to expand nationally.
There are many different food distribution companies focussing on different sectors of the market such as health food distributors, fine food distributors, foodservice distributors. So first of all it is important to consider which sector you want to grow in and therefore which distributor will be most aligned to your sales strategy. There are pros and cons for working with food distributors and it is important to understand how they work before you approach them.
Food Distributors know their market inside and out and will have contacts to help you secure more listings and increase your sales volume. They will manage the complete sales process and liaise with customers to sell your products, take orders, invoices and also deal with any after sales issues. They have the delivery systems in place to deliver your products cost effectively to retailers and to be able to store products in their warehouses
What costs do food distributors charge?
It is important to understand the costs for using a distributor that will need to be built into the overall product costing to ensure that they work for your food business as distributors often require commitment to advertising in catalogues as a condition of listing. But do remember the increased volume will bring down all your other costs, plus you are saving costs on small individual deliveries and multiple invoices and all the admin involved with dealing with lots of smaller stores rather than a few larger distributors. So it can save you time and money in the long run and allow you to focus your time on other parts of the business.