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Food Trade Channels

   Where will you sell your products?  There are a lot more options than your local grocery store.  For current and potential creators, marketers, and manufacturers of packaged Specialty Food Products the retail trade channels available include:

bulletSupermarkets and Grocery Stores (Chain and Independent)
bulletSpecialty and Gourmet Stores
bulletHealth Food and Natural Foods Stores
bulletClub Stores
bulletMass Merchandisers or 'Big Box' Stores
bulletDrug & Department Stores
bulletConvenience Stores
bulletFood Service (Business, Institutional, Chain and Independent Restaurants)
bulletVending
bulletMilitary
bulletExport Markets
bulletInternet, Mail Order and Catalog
bulletNiche Gift & Gourmet Stores and Gift Baskets Companies

   Each retail trade channel offers its own unique opportunities and challenges and will be determined by your target audience. This is an ever-changing environment with many variables, so careful planning and selection is required.  It is an intricate puzzle to piece together success, so think about where your biggest potential lies, and the impact on the other trade channels while achieving that potential.

   For example, if your market is the natural foods industry, find out which ingredients and packaging are allowed into that channel.  Generally, products that are acceptable in the natural foods trade are fine for the other trade channels: whenever possible, keep your products 'clean' by avoiding preservatives and chemicals.  Also, consider the market impact when selecting the order you approach different channels.  For instance, if you intend to sell upscale specialty and gourmet stores, you do not want to sell your product into club stores first.

   To be successful at retail, in any or all of the retail trade channels, you must successfully merchandise and cross-merchandise products in appropriate areas of all possible departments: (this list is specific to foods, but you get the idea)

bulletDry Grocery: All Categories
bulletProduce: Including Natural Foods
bulletRefrigerated Grocery: All Categories
bulletFrozen Foods: All categories
bulletDeli: Hot / Cold, Self and Full Service

Remember, your success at retail is ultimately up to YOU!

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