ood companies who want to get holiday food products into a store need to work at least one year in advance. Executives must consider many different factors, and working from this timeline can help.
Most of the heavy work for a holiday must occur at least a year in advance. Listen to buyers and food brokers to spot trends so the company is positioned correctly for a holiday. Buyers and brokers usually have the best ideas, so listen to them carefully.
Once early decisions are made, think about how the food packaging. Consumers usually want food products that look store-made, but convenience stores do not have the employee hours or equipment to make that a reality. Therefore, food companies need to create packaging where the food looks store-made, but the heavy preparation work occurs in a different location.
Food companies who want to get holiday food products into a store must work at least one year in advance.
Furthermore, consider how to create eye-catching food displays. The food company may need to order risers and other items well ahead of time so that their food captures people's attention.
Finally, the food company needs to listen to food brokers who have developed relationships with buyers to determine required marketing incentives to get products into multiple locations. The company may need to arrange for unique food labels, and In-store signage must be ready to send to sales locations.
The polished presentation must be ready at least one year in advance. For example, if a food company wants to increase its holiday sales for Christmas 2023, everything must be prepared by Christmas 2022.
Before marketing teams head into the field with their eye-catching material, consider how inflation impacts pricing. Predicting the future can be frustratingly difficult, but an experienced food broker can give their expert best guess.
The food company's marketing team will be bustling during these three months as they must constantly make presentations to buyers. Buyers become equally busy listening to these presentations. Therefore, it is vital to have already established relationships with convenience store buyers. Working with a food broker with established contacts is often more effective than sending a marketing team into the field.
It is also essential that food companies work with their vendors to get the best possible price on raw materials, including food packaging. Signing contracts at this time, especially for later delivery, can help beat inflation.
After a lonely three months when buyers are not ready to commit yet, about nine months ahead of the holiday, the food company should start to see some early orders. During the next three months, orders should steadily increase as buyers commit to which products they will feature during the holiday.
This should be a busy period for food companies as they start food preparations. Seriously look at the steps involved in making the food product. Discover if there are ways to streamline the process while still producing the same results. This may include moving equipment around or moving to an entirely different location.
Talking to employees involved in food preparation can yield valuable insights that management would not have gotten otherwise.
Make a final determination on how the food company plans to get the holiday food to convenience stores on time. Sometimes, this involves prepositioning your product at various locations around the country. If so, sign contracts with those locations before shipping begins.
Shipments made around holidays often experience shipping delays. While these delays may be unavoidable, ensure to keep buyers and others informed as quickly as possible.
It can be challenging to keep all these dates in mind along with daily operations. Putting it all on a calendar and assigning each job to a responsible individual can help. This is another place where food brokers are beneficial because they understand how other companies are handling the challenges. Advanced planning is key to driving holiday food sales.