February 12, 2012

Tim presenting Channel Insight to European Food Company Delegation

This past week, I presented my US Food Retail Channel Insight to a group consisting of various food companies from Europe. We then spent the remainder of the week visiting representative retailers from each channel. They flew out on Friday and it was a fun and demanding week.

The presentation focused on the importance of channel selection, distribution, geography, consumers, and programming in growing a food business in the USA.

Channel selection will be key to their growth and success with US consumers. Your channel selection is often the key to your food success and the decisive factor in how fast and if you will grow your business. If will begin to think of channels and not just customers in your approach the decisive points that are so important become more easily understood and accessible.

Programs – Programs are relatively similar by channel and demands of one channel will be significantly different when compared to another. Delivery, package sizing and purpose, along with promotion methods will not be consistent from one to channel to the next. Your goal is to find that special channel that values your product offering more than the others.

Order Information – one area that was enlightening to the companies, and verified by one participant with substantial US business, was the average per store food sales of an item at $12 per week. When you do the math it becomes apparent how much work will have to happen to be a success. Also, retailers are under pressure to keep inventories low and will base ordering off of consumer take-away and not on ordering or container logistics. You have to serve the needs of the customer.

Georgraphy is critical to success and so many food companies neglect this most basic and important factor in planning, actions, and growth. There exist more than 240 cities in the USA with more than 100,000 consumers. How are you gearing your market strategy to these important cities? How many are in your market area? Have you considered what your market area is? Also, with the European companies I suggested finding success in specific regions and to take advantage of ports that work best for their market plans.

Upcoming, my plans are to present similar information on a couple of trips to Europe. For more insight, sign-up below for food reports and my upcoming seminar this summer on the island.

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