NPD Food Conference 2014.....Advice from a Buyer
Nicola Berry, Supply Chain Manager from the Lincolnshire Co-op spoke at the conference last week. She was warm, open and gave out liberal doses of advice and guidance to the audience about how to get their products stocked in a regional supermarket. She was really clear about the whole buying process and explained it in lay terms to the Conference. Here’s a brief snapshot of just some of the advice she gave…..
- Great product
- Great packaging – both eye-catching but also legal[!]
- Availability/distribution possibilities
Why don’t products stay on supermarket shelves?
- An inability to supply 100% of the time
- Faulty batches/recall
- Not selling enough
What is a Range Review?
- When supermarkets look at a category on a rolling basis
- Every buyer wants products that sell not shelf warmers – a range review is a chance to review this
- Look at EPOS sales per 4ft bay and also per sq foot
- Looking and review the ‘hurdle rate’ to stay within the range
Bravo Nicola for being so honest, for de-mystifying the buying process and being a great ambassador for Regional Coops. During my time at Mars before I started Breckland Orchard I spent my whole time interacting with the major supermarkets, and its a difficult task to explain some of the complexity of decision making/factors that Buyers need to consider.
Nicola’s parting words were:
‘it’s a hard world, you’ve got a great product, we want it, but it’s got to earn its keep’
There’s lots of think about when you supply the supermarkets – be they regional or national.