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How the Beverage Industry is Changing

The beverage industry has witnessed drastic changes in the last few decades. It is evolving at faster rates to accommodate changing consumer choices. These changes are often drastic turns from conventional methods. Innovative and disruptive methods of doing business have been prevalent in the industry in recent years.

Even with the significant changes, the revenue generated in the food and beverage industry keeps shooting up yearly. There’s high demand for energy drinks, carbonated soft drinks, and other beverages. Consumers are seeking better value for their money, more variety, healthier and better-tasting drinks made with natural ingredients with better and convenient packaging.

The changes in consumer lifestyle and choices make it necessary for beverage companies to seek alternative ways to satisfy consumers, while maintaining operation at a minimal cost. These laudable changes have, however, affected the entire production processes and distribution channels

Sustainability: reducing environmental impact.

Beverage companies are taking sustainable approaches to their operational procedures. Eco-friendly practices are now a must. Consumers are now aware of the impact of waste and their activities on the environment. Thus, they are seeking more environmentally friendly options.

In terms of packaging, there are environmental concerns about the single-use plastics. Beverage companies are minimizing their use and seeking green alternatives like paper packaging and edible packaging made from seafood.

Functionality: increased focus on wellness and health.

Consumers’ demand for healthier products is shifting the beverage companies’ attention to the need for the production of more functional products. They are producing drinks with more emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Beverage types are mashed up to produce different flavors.

This rise of innovative beverage products has caused category blurring. Before now, soda was just soda. But in recent times, mashups of different categories to form unique products and added benefits. Energy drinks infusions, sparkling water, sparkling tea, and coffee are products that have risen along with this category blur.

Convenience.

Consumers want the best quality in the most convenient way. In response to this, we have beers, wine, hard seltzer, spirits, all available in cans. Consumers are provided with ease of drinking to satisfaction with their favorites at their chosen locations.

Online platforms are new market platforms for beverage manufacturers to sell their products. Direct-to-consumer strategies are employed by manufacturers to get their products to consumers. These platforms enable them to obtain data from their consumers, analyze the data, and use it to deliver further personalized consumer experiences.

The major driver for the changes in the beverage industry has been consumer preferences. However, these changes are present opportunities for development in several ways. As beverage companies take advantage of these changes and align their products to meet the demands of the consumers, there is no telling of the changes and possibilities that could happen.

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Want to be a Beverage Distributor

The demand for food and drink products keeps increasing daily. There is a need for more distributors to help channel these products to the consumer. Distributorship is a profitable business. According to entrepreneur, it contributes about 7 percent to the United States GDP. Though the business is a lucrative one, it is not immune to failures.

To get you started with the process of becoming a beverage distributor, here are some tips.

Start with the basics.

Try to understand the industry and how it works. There are many sub-sectors in the beverage industry and each sector has its peculiarities. It is paramount that you identify where your interests lie and research about it. The kind of beverage you want to distribute would determine the sector of the industry you operate in.

Know the requirements and government regulations guiding the industry. For example, in the United States, beer distribution follows a three-tier system. The manufacturers require distributors to get their products to the retailers before the consumer can access it.

Make sure you draft a business plan. Define your distribution model, start-up costs, target market, and operating costs. Outline strategies that will help your business soar.

Get licensed.

Make sure you obtain the proper licenses and permits. Your company should be registered with the government and organizations that govern the distribution industry in your operating location and market. You need to do some legal work, obtain official documents and industry permits from the State and Federal government. Strict regulations guide operations in this industry. Right certification and licenses are what can keep your business safe.

Build relationships

A strong network of partners, clients, and suppliers is crucial to success in the distribution industry. Build relationships with manufacturers, retailers, and other distributors. Successful beverage distributors have a network that consists of partner distributors, manufacturers, and clients.

Make sure your books are in order

Inventory management and record-keeping are essential to the distribution business. You need to develop systems to ensure that your books are in order; every stock and business proceedings are well accounted for. Your profitability in the business depends on how well you manage and track your business operations.

Remain Fresh

To be leaders of your game, you need to stay current on new trends in the industry. Every member of the supply chain is affected, each party has to find ways to make the business profit them. Successful distributors spot trends and use them to their advantage.

Also, use technology to your advantage. The use of the right tech and software would allow you to minimize your operating cost and increase your profit margin. For example, technological advancement may help with customers and inventory management.

Your chance for success as a beverage distributor is high if you start off on the right foot. This implies that you have the necessary tools that can guarantee your success; the right connections, business finesse, keen insight, and proper equipment.

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Launching a new beverage, 3 things you need to know edited

Whether you have perfected your formula, or are just about to start the process of creating a new beverage, it is essential to understand how the beverage industry works and how you can get the best of it.

The beverage industry is one of the largest in the world. When combined, the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage industries are estimated to be valued at nearly 1.5 trillion dollars. The industry is dominated by giants who know their cards well. To be successful as a new player therefore, you need to know certain fundamental rules.

Below, we’ve curated some of the things you need to know when launching a new beverage, here goes nothing!

1.   Understand Your Consumers And What They Want

Satisfying your customers’ cravings and wants should be your goal. And if this is the case, you need to understand what they want and how they want it.  Your product, drink, has to be a solution to their problem. If you identify the problem, you would be able to develop the right solutions, and they would buy it.  Know what your consumers want and make sure your product satisfies that craving.

2.   Branding is Vital

Show that you are unique. NielsenWire estimates that only about 10 percent of new products launched in the food and drink industry survive the first 5 years. This does not necessarily mean that new products are inadequate, rather it is attributable to the fact that businesses suffer identity crisis in their early days. This mainly serves to emphasize the importance of branding.

Branding simply means identifying your niche and what you stand for. It is your selling point and competitive advantage. While creating your brand, you should focus more on the distinct selling appeal of your product. These could be its outstanding benefits, pure ingredients, rare taste, and or excellent feel.

Branding also involves fashioning the appropriate packaging for your beverage. The ideal packaging should be so remarkable that customers can instantly identify it among 100 other brands.

3.   Your Map to the Promise Land

Developing a brand and identifying your unique selling point may not be enough. You need to communicate well. You need to build the right strategy to let people know how you intend to solve their problems. Simply put, you need a marketing plan.

A marketing plan details description of your target market, which represents the people that are most likely to purchase your product. It includes the various advertising and marketing channels you will harness to reach these targets. It takes account of the sales strategies and distribution channels you would employ to get your products to your customers.

Regardless of where you choose to begin, whether it is the local or global market, understanding these underlying principles is crucial to a successful product launch.

You should recognize that there is intense competition in the industry, and thus, you need to create a brand that sells your uniqueness and calls attention to the privileges customers will gain from buying from you. With strict adherence to the golden rules mentioned above, your success rate in the beverage industry is guaranteed. Congratulations!

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How to get a Convenience Store to carry your Beverages

Beverages are reported to be one of the fastest-selling products in convenience stores. With an estimation of over 150 million Americans visiting convenience stores daily, there is a thousand-and-one opportunities for manufacturers of convenience products.

Both large- and small-scale manufacturers are taking advantage of these opportunities. The convenience store is a destination for new beverages and their initial sampling is done via the distribution channel.

If you are look forward to getting convenience stores to carry your beverage, it is vital that you develop a strategy to get your product into these stores.

What possibilities are available?

Convenience stores depend exclusively on distributors to supply their stock. These distributors serve as links through which manufacturers get their products on the shelves of these stores.

There are different types of distributors: wholesale and retail distributors, as well as, broad-line and specialized distributors.

Wholesale or regional distributors buy from the manufacturer in large quantities and sell directly to convenience stores or smaller retail distributors that sell to convenience stores.

Broad-line distributors, such as McLane and Core-Mark, distribute a wide variety of products. In contrast to specialized distributors, who deal with specific products, they provide the convenience stores with every product ordered.

In addition, there are self-distribution opportunities for beverage manufacturers. As a small beverage manufacturer, self-distribution involves you contacting convenience store managers directly and pitching your products to them. Most non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers use their extensive distribution to get their products into a variety of stores.

Pros and Cons

For manufacturers seeking a wider market reach, convenience store distributors are viable options. They can provide you with wider market coverage at lower costs because of their already established network with convenience stores. We’ll be discussing shortly on types of distributors, merits, and demerits as they case may be.

Working with specialized beverage distributors makes it even easier. However, it is not an easy task to convince distributors about the market feasibility of your products. Broad-line distributors distribute limited brands of a single product and make sure these brands have market dominance.

Self-distribution, on the other hand, incurs extra costs on the manufacturers. The market coverage may be limited by how much the manufacturer has to spare in reaching convenience stores in their different locations.

You can access convenience store distributors via the distributor directories published by trade organizations. Also, you may find these directories online on websites like C-Store.  In these directories, you will find contact addresses and physical locations of these distributors. To your strategy, make sure to add quality and effective marketing tactics.

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5 Things to know about Beverage Distribution

The beverage industry is a thriving industry due to its indispensable relevance to human survival. This sector owes its success to efficient supply chain systems, especially the distribution segment.

Distribution in the beverage industry has taken significant turns. It is evolving with pressures from consumers for faster access to the products. In the same vein, manufacturers’ desire to make the most efficient use of its resources. A complex, but exciting scenario, builds upon the chain with pull from both ends.

Here are five things you should know about beverage distribution:

Different distribution systems.

The beverage industry is further divided into different sectors. The two main sectors being, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Each of them has various sub-sectors. These sub-sectors produce different beverage products, and they utilize different distribution channels to ensure that it gets to the consumers.

Evolution.

Distribution in the beverage industry is dynamic and is always improving. Technology is a significant influence. Technological initiatives are deployed in market analysis, customer management, inventory management, marketing, and business planning. The industry stakeholders are always seeking ways to operate with minimal costs and also increase efficiency.

Branding.

This is an integral part of the distribution processes in the beverage industry. There is a plethora of products available in the market based on consumers’ preferences. The winning brand is one that convinces the consumer; thus, distribution channels are designed to create the perfect conditions for sales.

Beverage companies devise creative means to ensure that their products are purchased by consumers by highlighting their differences and benefits. Thus, creating a lasting impression that ensures the continual demand for the product.

Prices & Competitions.

The prices and competitors affect the distribution of a beverage brand significantly. Price pressure from retailers, and the competition for more market shares determines which distribution channels would be utilized for a beverage product. This is because stakeholders of the supply chain seek ways to operate their businesses at the minimum cost possible.

It is Risky

Distribution is based on demand, and this poses serious challenges. Demand is founded on consumer preferences, which are subject to changes, and responding quickly enough to these changes is a game of luck beverage distributors have to play. Anticipating these changes might be possible via market analysis, but human behavior is not always totally predictable. Other risks associated with beverage distribution include compliance with regulations and packaging hazards

Beverage distribution is a soup with many essential ingredients. There are limitless possibilities that could be explored in the beverage distribution industry if there are proper understanding and deployment of the principles of its operation.

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What you Should Ask your Beverage Distributor

The distribution process is essential to the success or your products in markets. It increases your market coverage at lesser costs. However, establishing a strong relationship with your distributor is the key to tap into these immense benefits of distribution.

Working out a strategy for your beverage distribution is one of the first things you do when you meet your distributor. To do this, you need to evaluate your chances by asking questions. The information you get will help you work out an effective strategy with commitment from both ends that would seal your success and help achieve your aims.

The following are a list of questions you should ask your beverage distributor:

1.  What do you find unique about our beverage product and our company?

The beverage distributor would have worked with different beverage products. An understanding of the uniqueness of your product, among other products, would make him see the need to patronize your brand.

This question would help you know what the distributor thinks of your product; if he is customer-oriented or just interested in his products and not your business needs.

2. What solutions are you providing, and how do you intend to incorporate it with our current solutions?

You need to understand what solutions he is proposing to help you achieve your stated aims and how he intends to apply it. Also, how he will integrate these solutions with the current methods you operate with.

3. What are your terms and conditions?

You should seek to understand what he requires, the modalities of his business relationships. Ask him for his price and every necessary information. If you think his prices are high, you may bargain for a lesser price. Meanwhile, this would help you identify a range of possibilities and price ranges that suit your budget.

4. Tell us about your past experiences and give references.

Ask for past experiences, former clients, who can shed more light on the nature of business relationships with the distributor. This information would help understand the nature of doing business with the distributor. Just a quick warning, you don’t ask for references until you are genuinely ready to commit with the distributor.

5. What information do you require from us?

There may be a need for specific information, probably contacts with some of your personnel. Ask ahead, so you can have control over what kind of information you are giving out.

6. What information would you relay back to us?

You need information on how your product performs in the market. Sales data are essential. You need to set things straight before entering into a partnership that is crucial to your success.

Asking the right questions is equivalent to getting the correct answers. If you develop a mutually beneficial relationship with a beverage distributor, you stand to gain higher rewards.

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Non-Alcoholic Beverage Distribution

The beverage industry is made up of two sub-sectors; the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic industries. The supply chain in each sector follows different trajectories and bear little similarities depending on the economic environment and government regulations.

Products of the non-alcoholic beverages industry are collectively known as liquid refreshment beverages (LRB) and they include bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, sports beverages, fruit beverages, and ready-to-drink coffee and tea.

The demand for non-alcoholic beverages has been reportedly high. On the global scale in 2016, the industry was valued at 967 billion dollars and was projected to grow by 5.8 percent. This rising interest and consumption of non-alcoholic beverages are due to changing consumer behaviors.

For health and safety issues, and also preferences, consumers are getting more concerned about making conscious choices about the kinds of foods and drinks they consume.

In the United States, the non-alcoholic beverage sector operates a unique distribution system. Instead of the three-tier system observed in the alcoholic beverage industry, distribution in the non-alcoholic beverage industry is, mostly, a direct connection between the manufacturers and the retailers, and even the consumers.

This distribution system is what enables large soft drink manufacturers to expand their market reach and sustain their acceptability. And also make it difficult for smaller brands to penetrate the market.

The choice of distribution channels for non-alcoholic beverages is dependent on certain factors.

The marketing strategy of the beverage manufacturer and the kind of beverage are important factors that contribute to how the beverage product is transported from the manufacturing plants to the consumer’s reach. Direct distribution channels like vending machines and convenience stores may be utilized if the manufacturer’s goal is to minimize cost or penetrate an existing market.

On the other hand, dairy beverages cannot be passed for too long in a distribution chain. Otherwise, big losses await the manufacturers.

There are a lot of safety precautions and strict regulations that must be followed in the production and distribution of food and drink products. Many regulatory bodies are dedicated to ensuring compliance and they monitor every step and process in the industry. There are strict rules guiding the production processes, there are also regulations that guide the distribution process. Strict compliance with the rules is necessary to ensure that the product is received in a wholesome condition. And the manufacturer does not run at loss.

Distribution is the soul of the beverage business. The unique supply chain and distribution system in the non-alcoholic beverages industry is its greatest asset. However, for the industry to realize its full potential, industry stakeholders must find creative ways to handle the pressure of the ever-increasing demand for more by consumers.

Soft drink manufacturers like Coca-Cola have extensive distribution channels that transcend conventional distributors. They deliver their products directly to retailers who sell to the consumers in most cases. Wholesale distributors are involved, but they are not the sole distribution channel.

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Natural Beverage Distributors

The market for natural beverage products is booming. And this growth is strongly influenced by the consumers’ changing lifestyles and choices. Consumers are making their food purchasing decisions based on more than just the norm; convenience, price, and taste. Other factors such as health and wellness, safety, social impact, and experience now have strong influences on their choice of the food and beverages they eat and drink. Thus, there is an increase in the demand for more products from the natural food and industry.

Typically, natural products are free from artificial sweeteners, colors, flavor, and additives such as stabilizers. They undergo minimal processing and are made exclusively from natural ingredients. They are sometimes called organics. These kinds of products are now in demand higher than they were before. Foodservice providers now offer these products as part of their adjustment to the changing needs of their health-conscious customers.

Natural beverages are of products of a sector of the beverage industry. This natural drink sector is further segmented into non-dairy beverages, coffee & tea, beer & wine, and others. Beverage makers have turned to make drinks with more natural ingredients and less artificial processing. Though these products are appealing to consumers, it is imperative to establish distribution channels for consumers to access them.

Natural beverage distributors are links between the makers of the natural beverage products and the consumers. They are traditional distribution channels for consumer products. The supply chain, which starts with manufacturers and ends with the consumer, exemplifies the crucial role of the distributors to the success of the supply chain and the industry as a whole.

A strong working relationship is essential to achieve desired results while working with a distributor. Manufacturers invest in developing a good rapport with desired distributors. Besides, the distribution of goods, a distributor is a valuable source of feedback. Information provided by distributors helps the manufacturers to get insights on the performance of their products.

To access natural beverage distributors, a directory of specialized beverage distributors or general food and drink distributors is needed. In this directory, phone numbers and email addresses are provided.

Notable natural beverage distributor companies include Power Brands, Rainforest Distribution, and Texas Specialty Beverage. Some of these companies offer special services for startups. They’re also independent distributors who deal with the distribution of natural beverages.

Natural drinks manufacturers, however, are going beyond traditional ways of distribution to ensure that products reach the consumers. They are utilizing new approaches like online platforms, which allows the manufacturers to have direct access to the consumers. The implications of this on the conventional distribution process may suggest that natural beverage distributors are no longer required.

However, this may not be the case, as there are various opportunities for development that make natural beverage distributors relevant to the natural beverage industry. This will be possible if they take advantage of the technology advances and take new approaches to how the business is operated.

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Beverage Distributors Near Me

You are probably searching for beverage distributors for your products. Here is a quick guide on how you can find them.

Beverage distributors are an integral part of the supply chain in the beverage industry, especially the beer production sub-sector in the United States. They are essential connections between you, the manufacturers, and the retailers who sell your products to the final consumers.

First, you need to know there are different types of beverage distributors. They may be classified based on the kind of beverage product they deal in. There are also nationwide, local and specialty distributors. However, the most important thing to note is that your goals would determine the kind of beverage distributor you should search for.

A beverage distributor will be responsible for the processes involved in transporting your beverage product to retailers. They will buy the beverage product from you at a below retail price, and then distribute it to retailers, and specialized stores depending on the kind of beverage product you produce. If you choose the right distributor, they will give your products a more extensive reach at lesser costs than if you undertake the process yourself. Relationships with the right distributors for your beverage product is a significant business asset, and it increases the profitability of your business.

How to find a Beverage Distributor

There are several methods for finding a suitable beverage distributor for your product. The most effective ones are explained below.

The first method involves the use of distributor directories. They are usually provided by the trade associations of the stakeholders in each beverage sub-sectors. For example, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) provides a list of their members, which include distributors and other stakeholders. From these directories, you will get the contact addresses of distributors and their phone numbers. From the information provided, you can mark out close beverage distributors.

Internet searches. You start by entering a search query for the type of distributor you are looking for, either a nationwide or local distributor. From the search results, you get a list of possible distributors to work with, and from this list, you can narrow down your choices. However, you must use the right keywords. You may want to add the location where you require the services of the beverage distributor to get a refined search result.

Another approach you can take to locate beverage distributors near you is to ask around simply. Talk to the retailers where your kind of beverages are sold and see which distributors they work with. A not-so-bad idea is to try to figure what distribution company your competitors are using. You may also attend trade shows and sales expos, you may get acquainted with distributors.

The right beverage distributor for your product is key to its market success. You will be starting a rewarding journey by searching for the right distributors. However, you must explore the right places.