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MH08
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I recently sold my beverage and foodservice distribution off in Sydney back in 2017, with a turn over $15M and over 2000 lines in 2,500sqm warehouse.

I can tell you a fair bit about it, but I’ll tell you pointers now, I’ve seen many juicers like yourself and I’m close friends with pretty much every large distributor in each state, large enough to be sole state licence distributor of San Pellegrino for example because San Pell, the distributor has to buy $3 million per quarter, and I’m probably the only reason the Raw Sugar pump for baristas even exist in Melbourne including Coles today due to my contacts, I used to even transport their product for them. CostCo was acquiring San Pellegrino 500ML PET bottles from warehouse in Sydney supplied by a distributor in Melbourne nationwide.

Here’s some advice – push forward and be relentless – distribution is an old game with sharks that pretend their nemo fish all day when their not, the more professional you come across (counter-intuitively), the more will you’ll get knocked back for not coming off as experienced their’s actually a lingo in the game that’s how we know your experienced.

  • Experienced Distributor will cross match pricing against current juice markets by simply phoning a friend once you’ve left the room if your price can’t give them 30% gross you won’t get a call back.
  • If its highly perishable your level of success is close to 5% due to logistical nightmare it is, think Emma and Toms.
  • Boutique Cafe’s tend to buy them I had a few cafes buying a fresh juice for $4.50 per unit and they were selling it for $7.00 let me tell you it lasted a month because people want to see the fruit being crushed infront of their eyes, no matter how much convincing its fresh in a jar they still won’t care.
  • If you think for a second you’ll outsmart a distributor, we (they) all know each other, I used to bring in Lipton Tea from Adelaide cheaper then buying it from Nestle within Sydney.
  • A distributor is never your friend at this current retail level they are all cutting each others throats at the moment, they do want something new but they want it for free.
  • If the product is highly perishable they’ll want a rebate to have the product
  • If the product can’t move at least 5 pallets per week for them, they will want the stock on consignment with 1 pallet mixed first.
  • Retailers need to make at least 2.75 times the purchase price to survive today.
  • Distributors anywhere between 30 to 50% margin depending how hard they bargain you down.

The list goes on but pretty much they’re the main points.

Best way, prepare a catalogue, hit the shops they’ll tell you who the distributors are contact them directly that their own shop wants your juice, it’s faster because they’ll think your taking a customer from them and probably range your juice. Essentially you’re acting as a ghost rep, if you’re in an area that’s highly concentrated by one distributor, ringing them and saying 10 of their shops want your juice, it will entice them.

Be careful with large grocers, I’ve seen so many companies go bust trying to reach Coles and Woolworths they have very strong contracts and essentially you become a slave to them. IGA’s are independent their not that bad.. Sorta, I have friends that have a few like Romeo’s for one.

Do the research and the hard work. Make the juice and store it in a make shift chiller at home and hit the streets, no one will order from a website because BidFood and others have companies like Ordermentum for a shop to do all it’s ordering through one app to their supplier. They will not visit your site to have you as another supplier and order like that because it’s too difficult.

I built my business purely from Sales, I had a website like 3 years later and I was turning over $7.5M by then.