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How To Sell A Food Product (Especially to Grocery Stores)


Neville

Wild-Groves-Products_group

This is Dewey, he sells high end olives and olive oil from his brand Wild Groves Olives:

Dewey Wild Groves Olives

Dewey wants to sell even MORE olive oil. But how does he do that?

Well since ME AND YOU are his trusted advisors, together we need to help Dewey sell lots of olives.

Let's take stock of what Dewey currently sells:

Dewey's top sellers are a line of high end olives oils:

These are used by foodies, restaurants, and gourmet chefs. They're on the expensive end, but taste super unique and delicious.

dewey-wild-groves-olive-oil-bottles

 

He also sells a line of high end mustards and olives:

These are awesome (I tasted them all)!

Wild-Groves-Products_mustard

 

He also sells a line of high end vinegars:

My favorite one of these vinegars is the "Sex on the Beach" flavor:

Wild-Groves-Products-Vinegar

The way this is done is by getting his product into grocery store chains.

Let's dig into some stats (and please say "You're Welcome" to Dewey for opening up about this info by visiting him at WildGroves.com).

 

These products sell "OK" online:

Dewey already sells about 20% of his product directly from his website, but the big kahuna of sales is still grocery store chains. 

Checkout this stat:

80% of Dewey's sales come from orders placed by large grocery store chains!

That's because the orders from grocery store chains are FAR LARGER than anything small consumers will ever buy.

 

Single Online Buyers ($16 to $120 orders):

olive-oil-small-orders

Example: Dewey got 5 orders on Tuesday that equaled $150 in gross sales.

Mom & Pop Stores ($100 - $500 Orders):

olive-oil-food-orders-medium

Example: On the same Tuesday Dewey got 2 small mom & pop stores that ordered for a total of $600. We Olive Fresno bought $200 worth of oils, and Olive This Olive That bought $400 worth of olive oils.

Grocery Store Chains ($10,000 - $50,000 Orders)!

lots-of-olive-oil-orders

Example: This week Nugget Market (which is a grocery store chain) bought $10,000 worth of merchandise from Dewey! They bought 1,056 bottles of balsamic vinegar and 1,056 bottles of olive oil (all of them were the large 500 ML bottles).

Naturally you can see how selling to these larger grocery store chains would be very well worth Dewey's time! The small and medium sized orders add up to only a few hundred dollars of gross sales per day, but a single grocery store chain order will be $10,000+ of merchandise!!

This is why trying to get a food product into a large grocery store is one of the most profitable endeavors a food company can do!

 

Getting A Product into Grocery Stores:

The first thing you need to understand is that a grocery store is a business.

They exist to sell products and make money.  So let's work this backwards and see how we can help THEM.

 

Method 1.) Show them how much they can make with your product:

Generally the margin on olive oil is roughly 50%.

Normal olive oil costs $5 per bottle. This means $2.50 of profit per bottle.

Dewey's olive oil is $22 per bottle.  This means $11 of profit per bottle 🤑 !! 🤑 !! 🤑 !!

This means they only need to sell 1 bottle of Dewey's olive oil to make the same profit as 4+ bottles of normal olive oil.

However selling a $22 bottle of olive oil won't work in every grocery store, especially budget stores. However it works well in higher end gourmet stores.

Let's put it in a slide like this:

food-marketing-grocery-store-pitch-10

 

 

Method 2.)  Tell  Show People Different Uses for Your Product:

I have a bunch of Wild Groves product, and I told Dewey I wasn't really using the vinegar that much.  He asked if I'd tried putting his vinegar in my morning smoothies.

I was like, "GROSS!!!!"

He told me to put 1 tablespoon of the Sex On The Beach vinegar in my next smoothie.

Then I was like, "Oh snap this is pretty damn great!"

A few months later I bought 3 more bottles of different flavored vinegars from Wild Groves to put in my smoothies. Every time I put this vinegar in my smoothies I always think:

"Vinegar in smoothies....who would've thought!?"

Most consumers wouldn't know to put these in their smoothies, so that's why it's important for the business owner (Dewey) to SHOW clients that this works.

Showing different and novel uses of a product isn't a brand new idea, it's been around for years. In fact one of my favorite ads is this old Campbell's Soup ad that shows you can drink beef broth directly as a beverage, not just a soup:

Old Campbell's soup drink beverage ad

Ya ya ya, while some people might revolt at the thought of drinking straight beef broth, this campaign effectively changed the consumers mind about what you could do with a simple can of beef broth.

So for our presentation, let's make a little slide showcasing this novel use of Wild Groves vinegars:

food-marketing-grocery-store-pitch-6.png

 

Method 3.) Show off your star customers (chefs):

When I first heard that Dewey's olive oils were $22/bottle I asked who in their right mind would buy such an expensive oil.

He said primarily it was high end chefs who appreciate and understand the value of a damn good olive oil.

So let's make a slide to show that!

food-marketing-grocery-store-pitch-b-8.p

 

Method 4.) Demonstrate all of this in a nice little package:

We made some good points above on how to get a product into a grocery store, HOWEVER, it's all talk unless we actually DEMONSTRATE IT!

The next time Dewey is trying to pitch to a large grocery store chain, instead of going in without a plan, he can go in with this handy "marketing packet" that will showcase to large grocery store chains why they should buy Wild Groves products over the competition.

The Brochure Layout:

  • Intro to Wild Groves
  • Show that Wild Groves is most awarded olive oil in California.
  • Show that Wild Groves is most bought olive oil in California.
  • Show different uses 1
  • Show different uses 2
  • Show different uses 3
  • Show testimonials
  • Show how store makes more money with Wild Groves.
  • How to order and contact info.

Here's what the whole brochure and presentation looks like in order:

Now armed with a deck like Dewey can get his olive oil into more grocery store chains.

It's actually surprising the number of people who try to sell to grocery store chains, but don't have any "reason" for the chain to buy their products.

Sincerely,

Neville Medhora - Olive Oil & Vinegar Buyer

 

P.S. I was putting 2 tablespoons of Dewey's Sex On The Beach Vinegar in my smoothies everyday, and when my bottle ran out, I realized how crappy my smoothies tasted without them :(

So I ordered a bunch more...

wild-groves-olive-oil-neville-order.jpgMuch oil. Many vinegar. Very flavor.

...and now my smoothies taste awesome! My favorites are the Sex On The Beach vinegar and the Peach vinegar.

 

P.P.S. What are some other ways we could get Dewey more giant grocery store chain orders? Have any experience with this?

I'll be sending two free shirts, of any style, to anywhere in the world, FOR FREE, to the top two commenters!

shirts-prizes.png

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Guest Renee

Posted

Great post, I like how the presentation you made is a similar structure to a sales page. I am now considering doing something like this for my side bracelets business. Thank you Neville and Dewey.
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Guest Alex

Posted

My two ideas how to get more orders.

1. Provide them with an infomercial they can use in the store, that showes for example how someone makes the smoothie. Maybe with blind testing of customers. First they test the version without and then with vinegar.

2. Buy a bag of shredded money, for example 1.000.000$. Costs 50 Bucks. Call the grocery store Purchasing Manager and tell him that you have 1.000.000$ here and they can have it. Make an appointment. Show them the shredded money. Then they have two options.

2.1 Try to glue it together .....

2.2 They sell Wild Groves products an make a real 1.000.000$ with this product....

BR

alex

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Guest Bart

Posted

Hire a chef and tell the grocery store your chef will demonstrate the use of the products in store to customers, for free, (like making small smoothies with the vinegar) Customers will like the product an buy. All profit goes to the store. After one or two days, discus with the manager how many sales and profits are made for the store. Do an offer for a first batch of the whole product line to the store manager. You are in!
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Guest Kaptain Mirza

Posted

Design a simple infographic, rather two - 1 shows great benefits of Olive oil in 5 to 7 numbers. The other infographic shows benefits which are more glamorized than the first one - showing benefits of using Dewey's Olive Oil.

So add 2 infographics - you're qualifying the customer's brain.

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Guest Niel Reichl

Posted

Here’s what I would suggest:

Carry our vinegars and olives and we’ll sell it for you.

Here’s how:

Every bottle of our products have a clear call to action :

"Scan me using Messenger and get 3 secret recipes that’ll turn you into a Michelin Star Chef with just 2 tablespoons of our vinegar and a couple of olives."

We instantly send them (your buyers) the 3 secret recipes and a ton more of ideas.

We’ll make sure that our olives and oils and vinegars are top of mind.

But wait, there’s more!

You’re probably thinking, “Yah right and every other chain grocery store’s going to have the same thing”

Na ah... We got you covered. We value your business and the only we make more revenue is if you continue ordering.

So we have a unique messenger scan code for your grocery chain. This scan code is only for our customers who place an order that’s good for the next 6 months.

The idea is we want your buyers to go back to your stores and buy from you again and again and again.

We’ve got this ninja loyalty reward for buyers who buy from the same grocery chain.

Each scan code has a unique identifier tagging the customer that they bought from you.

We can even do co-promotions and a ton more!

Win win right?

How many crates are you ordering?

Please call us at:

0998993-OLIVE

between 9am EST to 5pm EST and our representative will gladly answer your call.

Sincerely,

Dewey

By the way:

Here’s the scan code so you can test it for yourself.

Open your messenger app and tap people and scan code.

Hold your phone’s camera towards the scan code 👆🏻 and voila!

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Guest Sunny

Posted

Depends on his strengths. But Multiple brokers and a sales guy wouldnt hurt.
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Guest Klemen Bobnar

Posted

Easy - write a persuasive sales letter package that will get him presentations in front of retail buyers (then the pitch deck comes in). Mail it, learn to sell the hell out of it with authenticity and rake in the moolah (or whatever word for money copywriters like to use these days...).
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Guest Jonathan Kiilerich

Posted

How about a nice video?

Go pick some olives and hire a videographer to shoot it.

A little slow motion and low sun.

It would cost some money to get a really nice one done.

But probably worth it, if a grocery chain place a $10,000 order.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Oh that's a cool idea, I bet it would cost less than $1,000 to do it also, or even much cheaper if it's a friend.

In my experience the FILMING itself is cheap, the editing process however is time consuming and expensive.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Bahahahaha, this week I'm using the word, "Smackaroo's" to describe money  🤪

That's a good idea Klemen, he can craft one good cold email to pitch to the buyers at these large grocery store chains.

Even better is have someone cold call, as that industry is still a little old school!

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

That's always a solid option! I'm sure someone on his team can start dialing, as there's only a handful of large grocery store chains that exist.
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Thank you Renee! You definitely should try to make a little Google Presentation for your products, because then you have something to "pitch" when talking to a larger retailer.

I think the "cost structure" part is especially important, so they can see they'll make more money for their shelf space!

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Guest Kevin Wood

Posted

Get 20 customers/fans to write, call, ask manager of grocery store to carry the olive oil.

If customers demand the product the stores will carry it.

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Guest Matt

Posted

For grocery stores, you want to show that there will be some sort of demand for your product in the geographical area where the stores are located. Grocery store buyers care about velocity, or in this case how quickly the olive oil will move off the shelves.

For starters, he could try giving his olive oil away for free to any restaurants in the area that serve bread- with the stipulation that they must offer their guests his olive oil for free with the bread (for dipping). If he's got 20 restaurants doing this in a city, there's a good chance there might be some people that are now loving his olive oil and looking to buy it. Since his olive oil is pretty special and has different occasions for use, there are probably hundreds of different businesses he could get his olive oil into using this model. It's not copywriting, but it would work.

He could also try selling it at local pop-up markets and/or farmers markets. If he can show that there's impressive demand for the product in the area, the grocery store buyer would be more interested in putting it into a store in that area.

Hope that all makes sense. Food and Bev is a fun world and I'm hoping to see more posts about this industry!

-Matt

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Guest Jonathan Drake

Posted

have a link to this new slide deck either on the site or behind an email capture here https://wildgroves.com/pages/wholesale (retarget visitors to this page with wholesale specific ads)

Watch the analytics to see who visits this page.

Have a store locator on the site where he shows people where to buy his product locally. Include this in the pitch deck.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Hey Jonathan, those are some good suggestions, I can't believe I missed he doesn't have a "Where To Buy" section on there.

Def shirt-worthy suggestions!!

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Guest Neville

Posted

Great feedback Matt, possibly shirt-worthy comment!

I guess as a beverage business owner yourself you have some experience in this ;)

Your approach seems solid, as if you increase demand on the consumer level, businesses will be more likely to carry your product in their stores.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Dang Niel, great comment, possibly shirt-worthy :)

Ya know, I'm not sure why more packaging DOESN'T utilize the fact that every single shopper in the world has an internet-connected super computer in their pocket.

I wonder if anyone has tried something like this? I go to the grocery store all the time and haven't seen anything like it.

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Interesting idea Mirza, Dewey already does have some good marketing materials like this already made, so we'll see if he does it!
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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

Hey Bart, thanks for the feedback! This is a very traditional way of doing things, and it tends to only boost sales while the promotional people are IN the store.

It definitely raises brand awareness, but it's relatively slow. However if it works, it 100% can result in more orderssss$$$ :-)

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Guest Neville Medhora

Posted

BWAHAHAHAHHA!!! I feel like Option #2 can work with many different products.

....also, I'd probably just take Option #1 and hire 5 people off Task Rabbit to sit there for 8 hours and glue it all together 😎😎😎

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Guest Jonathan Drake

Posted

Could hire people to go into the store and specifically ask for it. Do this enough times and the store will seek out the product... a variation of what Hampton Creek did https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-04/food-startup-ran-undercover-project-to-buy-up-its-own-products. They bought up the product and then could show demand.

It worked.

"What Tetrick and his team neglected to mention is that the startup undertook a large-scale operation to buy back its own mayo, which made the product appear more popular than it really was."

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Guest Dewey Lucero

Posted

Hi Jonathan,

Great point and idea. We have talked about doing this, and it has really come down to time and manpower. However, I think having you make this point makes it worthy to get it done sooner rather than later. Of course, there is the argument that the customer may then go to the store to buy the product over buying it from the website. I make more money from them on the website. However, the benefit of having them make it a popular product in a chain of grocery stores, that buys pallets at a time, makes it all worth it! This also is partly a question of where the company focuses it's time, on wholesale or direct to consumer (the website), which for now, as we grow our startup, we focus on it all :)

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Guest Dewey Lucero

Posted

Hi Matt,

Great ideas, we had not thought of the free bottles to restaurants to drive grocery store interest. I could see that working, and wonder how many bottles it would take...plus, I'd imagine you would need to really have a strong relationship with the restaurant, to make sure they mention that it's your olive oil they are eating, maybe provide some literature if they wanted it. Yes, farmers markets can work, I've done them in the past. However, here in CA, there is a small mom & pop olive oil company about every town it seems, so it's very competitive to get in, and if you do, high foot traffic is really important, which not many markets have. One challenge we've also had is finding staff to man the tents at farmers markets on the weekends. Festivals, however, have been really great and successful for us, the biggest we do is the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, it's huge!

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