Launching a brand into Foodservice; regional or national approach?

You have worked out your commercial proposition, you have mastered pack size, case size MOQ and now you are looking to launch your brand into the world of Foodservice.

It can be a daunting task that’s for sure! With hundreds of wholesalers around the country, it can be difficult to decide the best approach for your brand. Is it best to start locally or do you approach a national operator? Do you work with different wholesalers in the same region or put your efforts into one? 

These are just two of the questions we regularly get asked by those who work with us at Visionary Food Solutions.  Here are some helpful tips to help you out:

 

·     If you are going from a standing start with no suppliers currently taking your product then it is always best to look at both a local and a national approach.

·     The key is to speak to a number of your local wholesalers in your area first. There may be immediate interest here because you are a local supplier.

·     Most regional wholesalers put a large emphasis on local brands and you might find conversations happen quicker than you expected.

·     Local wholesalers may ask you to work with first and launch with exclusivity. In this this really is your decision. If you believe the deal and opportunity the local wholesaler has offered, you are strong enough you may want to agree to this.

 

How do you approach the national wholesalers?

This is a unique task altogether. It is very likely that they will ask you to go out to the market and get from their customers to take back. This will all form part of the 'strategy to launch' that you want to develop.

You will need to look at customers and national account managers who are interested and pull together a strong and competitive commercial proposition; not forgetting costs such as ongoing marketing costs, launch costs, storage rates and rebates. Compiled together, this will form a strong pitch to take to the national wholesaler.

This takes time to do, hence why we always believe a national and regional focus is key. You can focus on local quick wins and plan for a strong national launch in time.

 

Although there is a lot to do, don’t let that hold you back! Visionary Food Solutions are here to support your Foodservice journey. Whether market exploration, launch strategies or account management our experienced and flexible team can ensure you do no go through this journey alone. Our experience speaks for itself…just call us and ask! 

Matthew Norton