Do you run a bakery business? If YES, here are 10 tips on how to sell bread in wholesale and find highly motivated distributors to move your baked goods.
Not every bakery in the United States has a storefront open to sell its products. There are some bakers, including popular brands that only sell wholesale to retailers such as supermarkets, grocers, convenience stores and delis. These bakers offer breads, sweets and pastries of all types.
Selling a product wholesale typically involves negotiating bulk orders at a discounted rate. For instance, a Grocery Store that buys a dozen bread from your bakery for a dozen at wholesale price, rather than $6 a dozen at retail price, will then resell the product to their own customers and realize a profit.
A key element in taking your bakery from retail to wholesale is finding a niche. You will have to set yourself apart by offering something that none of your competitors can match. For instance, if you find that most of your competitors sell wholesale breads and pies, concentrate on cookies, brownies and tarts.
You might also consider offering reduced fat or sugar – free pastries while the competition distributes more traditional high – calorie sweets. Anything that helps your products stand out from the masses will cut competition and increase profits.
Although it might cut into your profit margin, you may be best served contracting with a bread wholesale distributor. This representative will essentially be your outside sales representative, pitching your bakery products to potential buyers.
If you decide to go this route, find a distributor with proven track records and existing contacts. When you meet with the store representatives, ensure you are ready to explain how your baked goods would suit their customer base, your production capacity, the incentives you can offer, and bring samples for them to taste.
How to Sell Bread in Wholesale
If you already own a retail bakery business, you might as well create extra and sustainable income by providing bulk products at wholesale prices. The key benefits of selling bread in wholesale are consistent and predictable daily orders and minimal customer service labour. If you’re interested in selling your breads wholesale, below are the few steps you ought to take.
- Analyze the Market
Since you already have a retail bakery, you ought to know your local competitors already. However, do some research to find out how many of them offer wholesale baked goods, what kinds and at what price. Take your time to analyze their wholesale products, pricing and who they distribute products to.
This will give you an idea of which types of baked goods are in demand, who is buying them and what you can offer that your competition does not. From this research, you can choose a distinct specialty to help your business stand out from the competition.
- Offer Competitive Pricing
You have to first understand that the selling price for bulk and wholesale items is less than that of retail. Bakery customers might be happy to pay $12.95 for your signature chocolate bread, but your wholesale clients will not. You must lower the price for bulk orders.
According to research, the typical mark – up percentage for retailers is between 35 percent and 50 percent. It simply means that you should expect to reduce your price per bread by at least 35 percent to accommodate wholesale buyers.
- Target Specific Markets
Have it in mind that you are less likely to attract wholesale clients within a retail client base. It’s highly unlikely that a single customer will ever need two dozen breads at once. Nonetheless, target the markets that have a consistent need for multiple breads, sweets and pastries.
This might include restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, banquet hall facilities and corporate cafeterias and convention centres. You might also consider targeting convenience stores, coffee shops, catering truck services and anywhere that services rush-hour “breakfast-on-the-go” consumers.
- Offer Free Sampling
After you must have created a wholesale product listing and pricing schedule, consider offering free samples to your target market. Create complimentary assortment trays with small samples of each pastry item you intend to sell in bulk and distribute them among your prime sales candidates.
Note that you might elect a company representative to make the rounds, but a personal introduction armed with a competitive product and price list will often do the magic. You might also consider holding a closed – door, invitation – only taste testing event at your bakery to mingle with prospective wholesale buyers.
How to Find Highly Motivated Distributors for your Baked Goods
- Understand Your Distribution Channels
Have it in mind there are many ways your bread can go from manufacturer to retailer. Not all distributors serve the same market. Understanding your presumed distribution channels and supply chain can help you find the right wholesale supplier for your retail or Online business.
- Fix a First Contact Meeting
Make initial contact with your wholesale distributors, either using the list you got from your detailed research, phonebook listings, or a wholesale directory. You will want to find out: their minimum order requirements, their wholesale unit prices, and the region they supply. You can make this initial contact by phone or email, and then follow up by phone if you need more information or would like to move forward.
To find the best possible match for your business, be honest about what you’re looking for and don’t try to sound bigger than you are. Also don’t be afraid to let the people you talk to know you are doing research and looking at other competitors as well. This can help you get better prices, even if you are starting out small.
- Get Specific With Your Searches
Even if you do an online search, don’t just search for general wholesalers or distributors. Be sure to include keywords from your bread or niche. Try product names, model numbers and brand names.
If any of the potential distributors you find don’t have an email address or phone number readily available, you could do a WHOIS search to find the website owner’s contact information. The more potential wholesalers you find, the better you will be able to comparison shop and get a feel of what normal industry prices are, as well as get competitive quotes.
- Check Major B2B Marketplaces
There are many large B2B marketplaces in the united states where you can buy large lots of products at low prices. Alibaba.com is one of the largest B2B marketplaces of manufacturers, importers, and wholesale distributors. Look for a marketplace that serves your country or region. There are also industry – specific B2B marketplaces; these can either serve a single country or a global population of retailers.
- Join Industry Groups, Forums, and Other Professional Networks
More experienced bakers in the industry are often the best source of information about distributors. However, other retailers likely will not be eager to share supplier information with competitors. Invest time in networking to build the trust and connections that will help you find the best possible wholesale suppliers for your small business.
Also consider participating in online forums which can be a great source of free information. You can also build your LinkedIn profile, subscribe to industry newsletters, and join your local Chamber of Commerce or small business networking groups to build your professional connections.
- Subscribe to Your Industry’s Trade Publications
Have it in mind that trade magazines are a wealth of information about businesses and relationships in your industry. Almost every advertiser in the magazine will be a product manufacturer or distributor looking to reach you and a single issue of a trade magazine can provide the names of dozens of wholesalers or small manufacturers.
Coupled with magazines, subscribe to online newsletters and blogs. These are often the best way to keep up with daily or weekly industry news and updates.
- Attend Trade Shows or Bake Sales
Note that trade shows or bake sales are one of the most powerful ways to build and grow your business. These events are designed for retailers to connect with distributors and manufacturers. These shows allow you to meet and speak with dozens of wholesalers or manufacturers in a single day.
These face – to – face conversations often avoid misinformation or communication difficulties that can occur when contacting people online. The Trade Show News Network is the largest directory of trade shows online. You can search for a trade show by industry, date, city, state or country and/or event name.
Your first wholesale distributor may not be the vendor that you work with long term. Remember that all you need from your first distributor is a channel that can bring in profit. It may not be the best wholesale price for you, but you can make changes as your business and professional network expand.
If you are a talented baker looking to go into business, consider opening your own wholesale bakery. However, first develop an attractive, effective packaging for your goods. If you are on a budget, consider buying inexpensive, food – safe bags or boxes you can embellish with eye–catching labels.
Also establish your selling polices before contacting any retailers. For instance, you can have a minimum purchase amount, require that retailers keep your labels on items sold or specify that retailers must provide you a copy of their resale licenses before opening an account with you.