July 14, 2014

How To Sell Wholesale – A New Book For Food Businesses

wholesale food businessI am so very happy to announce the publication today of the newest Small Food Business book Getting Your Products Onto Store Shelves: A Wholesale How-To Guide For Artisan Food Businesses.

This book, which was driven from numerous requests from producers like you for more information about how to build a successful wholesale business, is the compilation of several years worth of effort and many many interviews with buyers, brokers, distributors, and food producers of all types.   It’s available now on Amazon in paperback form.

Here’s a peek inside at the chapters: (I know, it’s a lot – but I wanted to make sure this was the most comprehensive guide possible!)

Chapter 1: Understanding the Wholesale Landscape
Food Brokers
Speaking the Language of Buyers
Chapter 2: Developing a Strategic and Profitable Pricing Strategy
The Food Industry Is a Margins Game
Calculating Your Cost of Goods Sold
Calculating Your Wholesale Price
Calculating Your Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Price
Calculating Your Broker Price
Calculating Distributor Pricing
Common Pricing Questions
Chapter 3: Knowing Your Market
Understanding The Industry
Hyperlocal Market
Outlining Your Target Market
Knowing Who Your Competitors Are
Defining Your Unique Selling Point
Chapter 4: More Than Just a Pretty Package
When Designing Packaging Keep in Mind…
Packaging Concerns
Packaging Sizes
Chapter 5: Labeling Requirements for Small Food Businesses
Nutrition Labeling & Education Act
Nutrition Facts Label
Ingredient List
Product and Health Claims: What You Can and Can’t Say
UPC Barcodes
Evaluating Your Packaging Checklist
Chapter 6: Keeping Up With Production
Determining Production Capacity
The Role of Copackers
Finding Copackers
Working with Copackers
Chapter 7: Preparing To Make Sales Calls
Sending Out Samples versus Meeting in Person
Marketing Material
The Wholesale Order Form
Talking Terms: Will You Extend Credit?
Chapter 8: The Benefits of Staying Local
Chapter 9: Working With Food Brokers
How a Good Relationships with a Good Food Broker Can Help You
Finding Food Brokers to Work With
Setting the Terms of Your Working Relationship
Advice from Food Brokers about Working with Food Brokers
Chapter 10: Working with Distributors
Pros of Working with Distributors
Cons of Working with Distributors
How to Know When Your Ready for Distributors
How to Find Distributors to Work With
Getting Signed On with Distributors
The Fine Print
Chapter 11: Selling to the Specialty Retail Channel
Getting into Specialty Retail Stores
Maintaining Your Shelf Presence
Chapter 12: Selling to Mail-Order Catalogs
Understanding How Mail-Order Catalogs Work
Finding and Working with Mail-Order Catalog Buyers
Chapter 13: Selling to Supermarkets
Finding Supermarket Buyers
What Supermarket Buyers Are Looking For
Chapter 14: Selling to Drug, Mass, & Club Stores
Selling to Drug and Mass Stores
Selling to Club Stores
Finding Drug, Mass, and Club Buyers
Chapter 15: Selling to Food Service and Hospitality
Opening Food Service and Hospitality Accounts
Selling To Convienance Stores & Gas Stations
Chapter 16: Supporting Your Retailers
Laying the Foundation of a Good Retailer Relationship
Promotions: Terms and Phrases
Knowing When Promotions Make Sense for You
Chapter 17: Growing Your Wholesale Business via Trade Shows
Finding the Right Trade Shows for Your Company
Before the Trade Show
During the Trade Show
After the Trade Show
Final Notes on Trade Shows
Trade Show Checklist

I certainly hope those of you who are looking to start selling wholesale or who want to grow your wholesale business find this book to be your go-to resource.  If you have any questions, certainly don’t hesitate to let me know and, as always, if you’d like to leave your comments (good or bad!) on the Amazon.com page I would certainly appreciate that.   

Click here to purchase the book through Amazon.com.

4 comments on “How To Sell Wholesale – A New Book For Food Businesses

  • Rania Zaki on said:

    Wow! Looks VERY comprehensive – must have taken years to research all of this info! I’m sure that anyone who is interested in the wholesale food business will be so thankful to have a one-stop book to refer to. Good stuff!

    • Jennifer on said:

      Thanks Rania – it’s been a fun but definitely a long project! Hopefully it will be useful to food entrepreneurs.

  • Jeanne Petrus-Rivera on said:

    I purchased the book and know it will be something that I go back to again and again. However, the one thing that I find lacking and with which I am struggling, is how to price for restaurants and food service. I make a high-end, specialty product that would be a great addition to many a local restaurant, but I’m unsure about how to price it. I was told by one business owner that they knock about 20% off the retail price when selling to restaurants. When I calculate my price that way, it seems pretty high and I wonder how many chefs will actually go for it. Can you shed any more light on this aspect of pricing? Thanks!!!

    • Jennifer on said:


      Everyone has different philosophies and approaches when it comes to foodservice but I personally prefer too offer the regular wholesale price to foodservice just like if they were a regular retail establishment assuming the wholesale price provides adequate margins. With a lot of foodservice you might end up needing to package the product in different quantities than for retail (assuming they’re using the product as an ingredient) but the per piece price on that packaging often times ends up cheaper because it doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of retail packaging so, if you run the numbers, you may actually find that your wholesale ti foodservice program yields you better margins than your selling direct to retailers. Let me know if this answered your question and thanks so much for the nice comment about the book.