Marketing your food product in the grocery store

How to market your food product in the grocery store to gain customer loyalty and higher sales.

Once a grocery store buyer approves your food product to be sold in their store, it is not time to kick up your feet and wait for the money to roll in. There are many methods will to you to ensure that your product sells while in their store. If it doesn’t sell, you will not get another order from that store and you will be back out in the streets looking for another outlet.

Your success will hinge on how much time and energy you dedicate to in-store demonstrations. Do what you can to ensure you and your demonstration area will stand out while in the store and provides a good experience for consumers of all ages. Demonstrations by you, compared to a demo company, will allow the customer to hear your story and develop a relationship with you while tasting your product. The relationship consumers develop with you will result in a loyalty to you and your product. This loyalty will help consumers accept a higher price point of your new product.

Another responsibility will be to take care of your product while it is in the store. This may involve putting it on the shelf, dusting the packages, rotating product if needed and, most importantly, pulling expired product off the shelf.

Once you are approved in the first store within a grocery chain, you can’t assume that you are automatically approved to be in the entire chain since each store within the chain has different local buyers. For example, if you are accepted into one store within Whole Foods, it will be up to you to approach the other stores after you establish a good sales record within the first store.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling for product development and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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