The Importance of Finding the Right Food Distributors or Importers
Food importers and distributors play a vital role in getting food products from the manufacturer to the consumer. Working with a food distributor allows food manufacturers to gain greater access to shipping and distribution channels that may not be available to them when they are attempting to manage the distribution on their own. The importance of a good food distributor or food importer is intensified when the food in question has an advantageous shelf life. And, although distributors have not traditionally taken on a major role as it relates to the marketing aspects of the food distribution process, they are increasing their efforts in offering their clients more ways to leverage the platforms and channels used by them in order to optimize their own marketing efforts.
Availability is a Key Element in the Distribution Process
Marketing is a complex mechanism of engagement in which businesses interface with consumers on multiple levels, including customer service and ads that work to raise the awareness of a specific product and its usefulness to the consumer. When a food manufacturer works with a distributor for the purpose of making their product available at multiple retail locations, in essence, the manufacturer is able to leverage the distributor’s ability to place their products in areas in which those who are in need of it will likely be looking to buy it.
Availability is an immensely vital part of the marketing process that can be simplified by working with a qualified and reputable distributor who will make the product available in multiple locations, which can be a viable alternative to having customers order them directly from the manufacturer.
The Role of Food Importers
Much in the same way that a distributor simplifies the distribution process, reputable food importers will facilitate and simplify the importation of food products. Because food importation is subject to a number of government regulations, it can be an overwhelming process for small food producers and retailers who depend on food products that are shipped from other countries. Food importers function as third-party service providers that will handle the entire import process, from clearing the shipment through customs to trucking it to the required destinations. This is an invaluable service for businesses that need food import shipments handled on a regular basis.
Often, food importers and distributors will work together to provide services to their clients, providing a cohesive process that can manage the entire import and distribution process from beginning to end.
Expanding Distribution Channels
The distribution channels through which food can be effectively distributed is constantly increasing. Where there was once a time in which most food manufacturers were restricted to grocery stores and convenient stores as primary channels to offer their food products, the advancement of technology has produced a number of non-traditional alternatives that are offered by most food distribution companies.
Having access to multiple channels has a number of benefits that include standardization for the purpose of improving efficiency of the system, monitoring product availability, and managing product availability in order to dictate price.
The Role of Distributor Representatives
While it is likely that new food manufacturers and producers will be looking for the best possible distribution opportunity, there is a good chance that they will be contacted by representatives from a number of food distributors. These representatives play a major role in ensuring that products are properly placed with the right retailers. The representative will work with the manufacturer to gain a clear understanding of how they want to present their product, as well as the market that they are looking to target with their product. Afterwards, they will approach retailers that they believe are a good fit for the product in question.
For instance, a representative may set up a taste testing spot in a local grocery store, where customers will be able to obtain free samples of the product. If they like the product, they will be able to purchase it on the spot. Even if the customer does not purchase the product after sampling it, they will, at least, be aware of it, which is a part of product awareness.
When working with food distributors, it is in the best interest of the producer to develop a good working relationship with the distributor’s representatives, because these will be the people who will have the most direct impact on how the product will be presented to the public. Working with the representative to create effective strategies is one way for producers to be more directly involved in the distribution process, while leveraging the channel access that the distributor provides.
Using the Internet as a Distribution Channel
Because of the advancement of technology, there are very few food products that cannot be offered online and shipped fresh. While this type of service can be expensive for certain types of food, many foods can be offered by distributors online. Not only does the internet serve as an actual distribution channel for all types of foods, but it is proving to be a very powerful marketing mechanism, serving to increase product awareness.
The Use of Discount Promotions to Promote Food Products
When food producers and manufacturers work with food distributors, they have the option of offering their products at a discounted price for a specified period of time, which will encourage retailers to offer the product to their customers at a discounted price. These types of promotions are great for raising the awareness of the product. Most food distribution companies provide a monthly sales sheet to the retailers that they work with, informing them of what products will be offered at a discounted price by the producer for the month.
We focus on providing our clients with maximum access to our distribution network in a manner in which they will be able optimize brand recognition and availability of multiple channels. We will work with you, as a producer and importer to insure that the overall distribution process is simplified but effective — working to clear food shipments through customs, and ensuring that they are placed with retailers that service your target audience.
We work with many different food distributors, suppliers and products, ranging from seafood, cheese, gourmet as well as traditional national products from the US, Italy, Asia and so on. If you are interested in particular branches, please use the category menu above.
It is important for food importers and distributors to develop efficacious plans of action; however, not all food distribution companies are created equal, and we work hard to position ourselves in a way that we are able to provide you with a complete and effective distribution service. To learn more about how we can assist you with a customized distribution plan for your food product, contact one of our distribution specialists for a consultation.