Retail Food Buyer Pitch Meeting #4: Show Expertise

The Retail Perspective: The Retail Food Buyer Pitch Meeting

Recap: The more we know about what food buyers are looking for in a vendor partner, the better we are at helping our clients. We conducted over 25 in-depth retail food buyer interviews and surveyed several thousand more for my book: 
Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain. The buyers were from all size stores, big chains to small independents.

Picking up from:

How do the best food manufacturers show they know the category?

Have you ever been in a meeting or conversation with someone and you can tell how smart they are by questions they ask – full of insight and knowledge of the subject? Be that person.

A client once expressed how nervous they were to go to a major buyer meeting. Afraid they were going to ask questions he couldn’t answer. For instance – he doesn’t have the budget for syndicated data like IRI or Neilson to track sales velocity for the category. Most emerging food brands don’t.

So he asked the buyer he is currently selling to what the sales velocity is for his product line vs. the competition. Then we took a field trip to that retail POG, and when we got there I asked him: what do you see?

He talked non-stop for 15 minutes breaking down the POG. Too many of one item, not enough of another or how consumers are looking for these flavors and packages as well as trends. This can go on and on.

This person was an expert. We added retailer POG analysis to his pitch deck and selling story, and he is now selling more than ever.

Imagine sitting across from a buyer – and asking them informed questions about the SKUs they have in their POG.

Why they have so many of this type of product or that flavor?  Has the buyer seen any lift/or downturn from a specific trend that is affecting the category?

Asking POG-related and sales trends questions seems like a no-brainer, but buyers would not have offered up these answers had they not had to sit through meetings with food vendors that didn’t know the buyer’s business or their POG that well.

Moreover, there is no better addition to your selling story than demonstrating how well you know the category and how your product fits in it. Also, it makes the buyer money.

Pro tip: Demonstrate your expertise—Include your buyer’s POG analysis—the product, ingredients, flavors, packaging, price points, as well as trends for your shared category in your meeting deck.

So here’s a secondary question. Do your brokers and reps have the same knowledge? Be the expert and package it up in presentations for your sales/broker teams if you can’t be there.

The Key Takeaway: Show Your Expertise

If you have any questions or would like to talk more about your retail food buyer pitch meeting or what it takes to be an expert in your brand’s category, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our Food for Thought page or check out NewPoint’s Patrick Nycz’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.