Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1061591

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FROM THE PUBLISHER Buyers Want Makers to Get Smarter About Business SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERS: Discuss this topic in the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com S FA recently commissioned a study of the buying trade to get a better understanding of the path to making trade purchases, to understand buyer preferences, and to discover unmet needs. Chris Crocker Senior Vice President, Content & Marketing ccrocker@specialtyfood.com Among the insights gained was a dominant theme across every buyer persona and class of trade: While buyers increasingly want specialty food products, they need mak- ers to become more knowledgeable about what it takes to do business with them. As an organization increasingly invested in both in- forming and training industry professionals, we're often sur- prised at the low priority given to learning among makers. It shouldn't come as a shock that a buyer will choose to do business with someone who is prepared over someone who is not, but here are a few quotes to help drive the point home. "Sometimes people … especially if they haven't been in this world before, don't necessarily realize there are a lot of little steps necessary to getting the product to customers." – Independent retailer "A lot of times we'll find a great product—the concept is great, but people don't know the execution part of it. Leading someone down the road of how to actually sell it on a broader scale can be challenging." – National retail chain buyer "That's very troublesome for us, when we give ven- dors commitments for products and they can't meet our production needs or get them here in time." – Foodservice distributor "I would look for [a producer] who understands the market at a macro and the category at a micro. I would look for someone who has a solid, realistic plan—someone who has put the correct type and amount of thought into what a launch looks like, and then what sales look like, and has specific goals. Someone who's done a lot of research." – Grocery chain buyer There are ample opportunities for makers to sharpen their business acumen: live programming at the Fancy Food Shows (bit.ly/FancyFoodEducation), downloadable resources (learning.specialtyfood.com), peer-to-peer exchanges on our Solution Center (community.specialtyfood.com), and the two-day Spe- cialty Food Business Summit (sf bs.specialtyfood.com). If you know someone who would benefit from a little more knowledge, SFA is here to help. Some say that buyers need to better understand the nature of specialty food makers, too. The very things that make specialty food products attractive also make it harder for makers to accommodate demands that might be reasonable for mainstream producers. That's a discus- sion for another day. WINTER 2019 5

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