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.