Creating businesses and launching food brands along the path from the test kitchen to the shelf to the consumer’s plate

10 Steps to Creating a Successful Food & Beverage Sales Pitch

The Food Entrepreneurs Journey

All food entrepreneurs travel down the same path and it consists of 3 steps and they are big steps:
  • Getting Out of the Kitchen.
  • Getting on the Retail Shelf.
  • Getting on the Consumers Plate. (The plate is a metaphor for the marketing terms of Trial and Repeat Purchase)
Food Entrepreneurs always start in the kitchen because that is where you exhibit culinary creativeness.


Getting on the Shelf is Challenging

Before you know it, your new retail food business will need to get its product Out of the Kitchen and on the Retail Shelf. Getting on the Shelf can be the most frustrating step in the process because it has little to do with "the food"… this is New Product Launch. Surprisingly how your product tastes is only ONE factor in the buyer's decision making process. Let's face it, do you think the retail buyer believes food entrepreneurs will present new products that don't taste good?

Successful New Product Launch

In order to be successful in the launch of a product, you will first need to effectively pitch your product to a retail buyer. The retail buyer pitch is more than standard sales pitch and different from an investor elevator pitch. It must address Merchant Issues and Marketing Issues in a balanced way. The retail buyer pitch is an expected component of the food entrepreneur's new product launch plan and requires significant planning prior to ever speaking with a prospective buyer. Retail buyers are very busy people and you have to assume you get one shot at the apple so to speak. So how do you ensure that your pitch will be successful?

10 Critical Elements to Consider in Your Pitch

There are critical elements in developing your retail buyer pitch[1] and they vary based on the market you are preparing to launch your product. Don't be set back by 10 elements since it is far easier to develop than you think. A number of the bullet points may only be one sentence and you may not need every component illustrated here in your meeting. This allows you to be highly prepared since you may only get one opportunity to pitch the buyer.
  • Identifying your Retailer Prospects
  • Determining the Retailer Action Desired
  • Creating your brands Product Positioning
  • Features / Benefits (what is in it for the consumer and then the retailer)
  • Frame Your Brand to other Brands
  • Identifying Your Target Audience
  • Market Trends that Support Your Case for Shelf Space
  • Competition, both Direct and Indirect
  • How Will You Support the Brand?
  • What is the Buyer's Reason to Buy? Merchant issues? Marketing issues?