Back Door Distribution Techniques to get your Distributor

One of the greatest challenges for foreign wineries, breweries or spirit brands these days in the U.S. market is to find a point of entry.

One of the greatest challenges for foreign wineries, breweries or spirit brands is to find a point of entry.

Importers are inundated with requests for representation and most brands don’t appear to distinguish themselves from any other unrecognizable brand name. Once an importer takes on your brand it is just the beginning of the journey.

How do you stand out from all the other wines? How do you ensure that one order from the importer turns into two?

The key is often to think outside the box.

In the case of a winery which has a U.S. importer, but is unhappy with the level of sales or simply wants to ensure the relationship continues, opportunity can be found in developing a rapport with a chain. Not the typical chain that readily comes to mind — supermarkets and enormous national accounts with hundreds or thousands of stores. Not only are these almost impossible to penetrate and require an established broker or national distributor to develop the relationship, but they may require more volume than the average winery can provide. Smaller restaurant and retail chains which are theoretically easier to approach may provide all the case movement a winery could wish for.

The importer is providing the basic infrastructure and the wines are warehoused and available in the U.S., allowing a chain to build from one store or a handful, from a few cases to a pallet. Whatever the size, they don’t normally start with a container order unless they have made a commitment to a very inexpensive brand with a national distribution network. Container orders can come, even for small or higher priced wines, but taking a chance on wines that are already in the country is a much more feasible option.

Continue reading this article at BTN Academy.

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