How Artisan Food Producers & Specialty Importers can Provider Retailers with Visual Merchandising Support.
As artisan food producers or even specialty distributors, I’m certain many of you consider your specialties an extension of who you are and the summary of your passions, skills, and experiences.
A little of you is in every morsel, and unfortunately that little bit of your brand could also be sitting on the bottom of the back shelf, outdated, at your local gourmet retailer.
For those of you who wholesale, you’ve elected to out-source the retail merchandising responsibility of sales to the end user. As I’ve traveled the United States consulting food companies on how to present their products, I’ve recognized the symbiosis of the system. Producers rely upon retailers to professionally merchandise their offerings, and retailers expect information, point of sale support, and display ideas.
Visual Food Merchandising includes proper fixtures, color contrast, sounds, lighting, uniforms, signage, service, and creative display development. Now let’s be real. Despite great products developed through culinary passion, exemplary packaging, and your world-class customer service, your product can end on a hideous display. Does this represent who you are?
Successful merchandising seeks to affectively and favorably present high-end food products in a manner and service level the end customer finds compelling and hopefully worth paying for again and again.
Ideally, retailers will be presenting your products, in the lead display, with no product damage, great lighting, no out-of-date products, and a demo sampling station with a wonderfully cheerful beautiful employee sharing your story with every guest. Consider how you can impact this process to improve your sales and retail visual image.
Successful producers recognize how discounts, value-added service, educational, and point of sale support position retailers to succeed. On the other hand world class merchandisers can make even a mediocre product look great. Let me challenge you this season, to consider the following strategies to improve how your product is presented to the retail customer this upcoming year.
Jonathan Raduns is a professional restaurant & food merchandising consultant, who enjoys farmers markets, unique culinary experiences, & ginger kombucha.
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