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Food Brokers – Partners in Successful New Product Launch

Getting on the Supermarket Retail Shelf with an Expert

By

Consider a food broker to help you on your Journey to Placement on the Retailers Shelf . This is a guest article written by Judy Alexander, founder of Specialty Gourmet, located in Hurley, NY. As a Specialty Food & Confection Consultant & Brokerage Company they have a focus in Natural, Organic, Specialty and Ethnic Foods

What is a Food Broker?

You are asking… "What is a Food Broker?" A food broker represents food brands and helps you Get Your Product on the Retailers Shelf in an ever more competitive supermarket and specialty food retail environment. Think of a food broker as your partner as well as your outside sales force that becomes an integral part of your new product launch strategy.

There are a variety of food brokers. They come in every size and shape. Some specialize in a specific area in the food business such as, specialty food brokers, organic food brokers, natural food brokers, kosher food brokers… the list goes on.

As a food entrepreneur starting or running a food business finding the right broker can be challenging. There are many options for you as well as questions to be asked and clarified before you begin the process. First look at your business model. Are you happy with it? Do you want to make changes to it? If so what are they? Look at your business and see where you need help. Then look at your dollars. How much do you have to allocate towards expansion?

How to Find the Right Food Broker

Consider your needs by asking these questions:

  • What are you looking for in a food broker?
  • What are your expectations of that person/s?
  • What is your Marketing Budget?
  • What are the fees and/or commission rate you can pay? Be realistic.
  • What territory will you give them? Again be realistic.
  • What distributors are you willing to give them to expand your business?
  • Look at the distributors you are currently in and the territory they cover.
  • Have Representatives sell kit ready to go and a Sample Kit to show.
  • Contact person for that broker.
  • Price sheet - Wholesale and Distributor.
  • Have your Marketing Plan available that illustrates how you will be competitive. Keys aspects are New Product Launch tactics (advertising, social media plans), Food Demos, and overall Trade Promotion plans (includes price reductions and market development funds).
  • Remember time is money for the both of you.

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