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elissa.doxey
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Hi Jill,
This sounds like quite a daunting proposition for someone without experience in this particular field, or without existing distribution connections. If the wholesaler is not interested in rolling out a smaller experiment state-by-state, or as Rowan suggests, store-by-store, you’re carrying a huge risk – especially for a perishable item, like food.

Becoming a sole distributor comes down to your negotiation skills & capital to secure a big contract.
Being a distributor still requires you to carry the burden of risk between the payment from the retailer to the wholesaler – retailers don’t often pay in full in advance of a shipment, but pay on delivery, or within set terms of delivery (i.e. 7 or 21 days).

Unless you have something to value-add to the process (i.e. distribution channels, warehousing, connections), there is no reason why the wholesaler and retailer won’t bypass you.

I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but I think you need to have a good think about how what you will do can add value to the whole process (do a google search for Porter’s value chain), plus a bit more research.

Cheers,
Elissa