Nailing your first buyer meeting: 5 tips from food and drink startup founders

first_imgAideen Kirby of Brew Tea Co (top left), Vivien Wong of Little Moons (top right), Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals and Pip Murray of Pip & NutThat first conversation with a supermarket buyer is as nerve-wracking as meetings come – and small brands can feel especially exposed.So how do you make sure you deliver the best possible pitch? The founders of Pip & Nut, Spoon Cereals, Little Moons and Brew Tea Co. share their top tips for food & drink entrepreneurs.Tip 1: Do your research“Apart from the obvious – why your product is amazing and the story – know the retailer and tailor your pitch to them,” says Vivien Wong of Little Moons.Here’s a quick checklist to bear in mind:Understand who you’re targeting and where you sit on-shelf relative to everyone else. You can only tailor the pitch by understanding on-shelf pricing and competition. “Store, shelf and product research make up as much of our pitch as our own products do,” says Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals.Roughly know what margins the retailer is looking for and incorporate that into your pricing.Lay out payment terms, minimum order quantities, customer contribution, stores and SKUs count, so these roll up into one negotiation.Understand the available marketing mechanisms (vouchers, introductory discount, banner ads) – work out which suits your product best.Understand rebates, over-riders and other sales mechanisms so you’re ready for the conversation. “Be clear about all the commercial terms you need to agree, not just case price,” adds Pip Murray of Pip & Nut.Tip 2: Ask for helpAideen Kirby: “Ask for help from as many people as you can. Buyers have hundreds of other suppliers, so a conversation with someone in the industry on tactics can get you further.Vivien Wong: “We were lucky to have guidance from a fellow foodpreneur. It is useful to talk to others in the industry, which is why a platform like Young Foodies is so helpful.”Read more: 5 tips for budding food entrepreneurs from people who have made itJonny Shimmin: “Understand each retailer’s supply chain systems – they don’t always explain this up-front but investing our own time with supply chain teams was worthwhile.Pip Murray: “Fmcg mentors/investors are really beneficial when navigating the intricacies of supplying larger retailers.”Tip 3: Be human and interestingJonny Shimmin: “Tell your story! We have more interesting stories to tell than account managers who the buyers see daily.”Vivien Wong: “Share your delicious product. The buyer got our product immediately and really liked the texture of the mochi.”Pip Murray: “Set the tone at the start of any new buyer meeting: introduce your story, vision, mission and values. I’m passionate about what we are working towards and I want to bring any buyer into our world.”Aideen Kirby: “Let your buyer know you’re working hard. We used to send postcards from stores we visited and sampled in.”Tip 4: Appreciate the work once you’re on the shelfAideen Kirby: “A listing is the start of the hard work! Once your product is on the shelf, make sure it sells – meaning a lot of graft along the way.”Jonny Shimmin: “Plan getting your products off the shelf, not just on it. Rate of sale is important and your activation plan for making it work is key to getting on the shelf in the first place.”Pip Murray: “Lay out your marketing plans about how you are going to activate both in and out of stores to drive awareness of your brand and rate of sale. Whether this is through sampling in store, PR or point of sale, it’s key that buyers know that you are going to work hard to get products moving off the shelf.”Tip 5: Final thoughtsAideen Kirby: “Have agendas for discussions instead of ‘catch-ups’. Send your plan in advance so everyone is prepared and you don’t rely too much on busy buyers after the meeting.”Vivien Wong: “Getting listed takes time – manage your expectations accordingly. Don’t fret too much.”Jonny Shimmin: “Be honest about what you can realistically achieve. There is no point in having an amazing product you have slaved over if you cannot be a reliable and consistent supplier going forward. Don’t overpromise.”Pip Murray: “Pitching to a supermarket is not Dragon’s Den! You do need to know your numbers and tailor a presentation to that specific customer, but it’s not an interrogationAideen Kirby: Sell them the future. Small brands are a risk – but we’re more interesting, so that’s in our favour.”Thea Alexander is founder of Young Foodies, a community for early-stage fmcg brandslast_img read more

Girls Track Regional Results

first_imgGirls Track Regional Results.Tuesday (5-23) @ Franklin.The Warren Central Lady warriors were the team Regional Champs.Locally, East Central placed 5th, Greensburg 11th, Batesville and Franklin County tied for 15th, South Dearborn 19th, and South Ripley tied 22nd.2017 Girls Track Regionals @ FranklinCongrats to all of our local participants on a job well done.last_img

Mancini baffled by City dismissal

first_img The former Inter Milan boss was dismissed on May 13 – the anniversary of the previous season’s dramatic Barclays Premier League title success – after three days of mounting speculation over his future. Quoted in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Mancini said: “Even now, (almost two months) later, I still do not understand why. It is still painful, I admit. I think I deserved more respect for what I had done for Manchester City.” Press Association Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini remains baffled by his sacking, claiming he deserved more respect for what he achieved at the club.center_img He added: “In three and a half seasons with my staff, I believe I did an extraordinary job. The club had not won a (league) title for more than 40 years. I won a championship title, FA Cup, a Community Shield and, in the worst season – the last one – I lost a final and I came second (in the league). “The numbers are clear. This sacking still does not have a reason. The Arabs called me and said to me ‘in three years we want the title’, and I won it in the second year. And then I rebuilt a club that was not at the top level of football. Evidently, chairman Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) must have had in his head some situations that were not true.” Mancini pointed a particular finger of blame towards chief executive Ferran Soriano, saying: “For him, I was a person too big (within the club). He and I did not speak the same language and I do not mean Italian, Spanish or English.” Mancini’s final season at the Etihad Stadium was also notable for the sale of Italy striker Mario Balotelli to AC Milan, seemingly marking the end of a tempestuous relationship between the pair. The 48-year-old gave Balotelli considerable support during their two and a half years together in Manchester, despite voicing his frustration on numerous occasions – and a training-ground bust-up four weeks before his departure. “By that time, I understood that in England he was not very well any more,” Mancini said. “He – like (Liverpool forward Luis) Suarez – was targeted by opponents, referees, the public. “Sure, he has not done anything to avoid certain situations. I love him, but I have not heard from since he arrived at Milan.” last_img read more

Curragh raid pays off for Easterby

first_img Press Association Entering the final furlong there was only Mattmu in striking distance and David Allan managed to force his mount in front just a couple of strides before the line. Sent off a 3-1 chance, Mattmu prevailed in a tight photo finish. Allan said: “He’s only been out of the first three once and that was down to the ground, as it was very loose. “He’s as hard as nails and that’s my first winner in Ireland.” A Group Two winner in France as a juvenile, when he was kept especially busy, the only time he has been out of the first three in his 13-race career was when he finished fifth in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. Mick Halford’s Toscanini set out to make it a real test and it was all too much for the red-hot favourite Anthem Alexander, who was never travelling. center_img North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby made a successful raid on the Curragh when Mattmu just pipped Toscanini in the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes.last_img read more