Any successful enterprise depends upon finding and working with the right people. This is relevant in the wholesale food distribution industry, where a vendor’s reliability is crucial to keeping the wheels turning and the network running smoothly. When you’re deciding on a wholesale grocery distributor, make sure to find a vendor you trust.
Depending on what you produce, you may decide to work with several wholesale distributors, a few, or just one. Among wholesale food distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, Atlantic Dominion Distributors is well known for its reputation and professionalism.
What is a Wholesale Grocery Distributor?
Within the supply chain, wholesale food distributors are the companies that serve as a liaison between retailers and manufacturers. Wholesalers buy products from manufacturers. They sell them to other businesses. That inventory is then passed along to the customers.
One major advantage of working with a food distributor is that it has well-established relationships with grocery chains around the country, it’s much easier to expand your customer base.
What Should My Priorities Be When Choosing Grocery Distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina?
Creating your unique product is only half of the process. Plan to spend almost as much time finding a distributor as you invested in creating your item because if customers can’t access what you make, they can’t buy it!
A reputable grocery distributor will connect you with the products and manufacturers you need, will fit within your budget, and have a reputation for being reliable and easy to work with.
It should also serve your geographic region, which is why if you’re located in the southeast, Atlantic Dominion Distributors, one of the best wholesale distributors in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina should definitely be on your list.
Here are some pointers when you’re getting started:
- Understand Your Industry’s Supply Chain
Learning about your industry’s distribution channels and different types of wholesale food distributors will make finding the right one easier. There are many ways a product can travel from manufacturer to retailer, and not all wholesalers cater to the same market.
Here are a few varieties:
Manufacturers: This can be as small, even just one person, who usually sells to specialty stores like boutiques.
Importer/Exclusive Distributor: These distributors might have proprietary rights to import and distribute a certain product in a particular country, sell directly to retail businesses, or deal with smaller local wholesalers.
Wholesaler/Regional Distributor: These take boxcar loads of products and sell them to local wholesalers, who then sell them to small businesses.
Jobbers: These are the people who make daily deliveries to local grocers and retail stores.
- Find Your Tribe
Experienced small business owners are the best resources for information about wholesalers. The catch is they might be hesitant to share what they know with you, a potential competitor.
Joining industry groups, subscribing to newsletters and trade publications, and taking part in online forums is a great way to network and develop trust and connections. Another good source for contacts is LinkedIn and your local Chamber of Commerce.
- Choose a Distributor That Matches Your Niche
Find wholesale food distributors with existing protocols in place for the type of food items you make, such as refrigeration needs or frequent distribution.
If you’re just breaking into the business, you’ll probably have to start by buying from smaller wholesalers and paying higher prices. As your volume increases, you’ll move up to a bigger wholesaler and/or find better pricing.
- Be Prepared When You Meet With Prospective Wholesale Suppliers
Ask different manufacturers for suggestions. Research online wholesale directories to find out which region they serve, minimum order requirements, and wholesale unit prices. Check out which companies your competitors are using. When you’re ready, send an email or call the top food distributors on your list to schedule a meeting.
During these meetings, make sure to thoroughly educate your distributor, and be clear about what services you’re looking for. The more information a distributor has, the better they can answer questions from grocers, and create a good impression of your brand.
- Take Feedback Seriously
While it’s important to trust your gut when embarking on this process take into consideration any suggestions you receive from colleagues, wholesale grocery distributors, and grocery chains about how to improve your product’s presentation.
- Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
It’s best to start small, even if your ultimate goal is mass production and major grocery chains. Work with local distributors in your area so that you can target which markets will welcome your food item.
Choose Atlantic Dominion Distributors as Your Wholesale Food Distributor in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
At Atlantic Dominion, our goal is to make the supply chain process easy with our huge, varied product portfolio, streamlined distribution services, and next-day delivery. We keep up with purchasing trends so we can update our products and ensure your inventory is relevant. Our reputation in the industry is excellent, and we’ve been around for over a century, which means you’ll benefit from a hundred years of expertise! Give us a call today at 757-497-1001 today so we can start a rewarding partnership.