Small to Medium Australian Food Suppliers offer a ‘Point of Difference’

In this article, I want to explore the opportunity for you the food service operator to differentiate your business from the rest in your street! Before we start there are 2 comments ringing in my ears as I’m writing this article;

1.Everyone’s got the same stuff…..same cookies, same syrups and even the same coffee. As soon as I hear or see this, then every food business is now on the same playing field, so it comes down to location, service and price!

2.The other thing that grabs me is -Food Service Operators are saying they can’t get different product; their food distributor doesn’t/won’t provide the product – rule number 1, it’s your business not the distributors!

So what is Differentiation? Let’s get this clear in our heads before we venture off and find a solution. Differentiation is ‘being different’; however in our case you need to ensure that being different is suited to your clientele otherwise you’ll marginalize yourself as something ‘too’ different. Remember, differentiation is an ongoing process; it’s NOT a one off exercise! Why, because others will follow success – some faster than others!

When I managed a well know cookie brand, a comment was made to me that we always come to look at your stand to see what you had NEW – Why because it was always cutting edge, innovative and most important relevant – the interesting thing about this was that it took about 50-100 goes to get it right, for someone to have a 10 minute look and think wow (if only they new the man hours it took to get this product right!). Only recently a comment was made to me how boring the very same product range now looked and felt – something so simple had been noticed!

Have you done some research -?
1.So how many food service businesses do you have in the same street, area, suburb or town?
2.Have you had a good look at what everyone has to offer?
3.Which business has the most customers & why?

So let’s go back to your business and expand on my first 2 points – Everyone’s got the same thing! Of course they have, they are doing the easy yards buying what the distributor has; not what your customers want. Start from your display cabinet and work through to your kitchen, change your cookies to something that looks great and that is not a familiar brand, as this makes people want to try them, as they’ve never seen them before. Make sure no one else stocks them; you’ll then start to become different from the others! Take a good look at all your treats, make sure you have products with unique selling points for example if your banana bread is dairy free and 100% natural then let your customers know as people are starting to look at the inclusions in a treat. From the Kitchen start adjusting your sandwiches with a ‘to die for relish’ so that your ham cheese and tomato toasty becomes this mouth watering sandwich to good to refuse next time! A great thing to do is offer all the products you use in your kitchen for a retail purchase, by this I mean grab that chutney and put in on your shelf, let the customers know this is what you use and why. Become an innovator so that once a month you have something new to offer, all be it a new treat, sandwich, relish, something to entice that regular visit.

This takes me onto the ‘How do you find it’, well most of you will start on the internet, searching for other wholesale food distributors and Wholesale Food Suppliers, asking for samples, asking how do you go about buying their product or where can you find their product locally so you can try it out, the task is huge! And this is why food service operators keep going back to the same food distributor, same products. Sourcing products becomes a ‘time hungry’ exercise.

Another key element is to ensure you work on your business not in it. Easy to say I know, particularly when you’re the one who opens & closes the shop along with every other task to ensure the day runs smoothly. By doing this you can start to build your ‘point of difference’. I go to a local cafĂ©, why? They are within walking distance from my home and they always have something new to try, the kids love it.

Kids, if you can capture that market in your area you’ll have regular mum get together. Mums go out for a Coffee & Treat fix there is no doubt about it. The level of treats you offer can be from naughty to nice. Gluten Free products are in demand; more people are tending to want to be wheat free just because they feel better so make sure you’ve got a good range of Wholesale Gluten Free- cookies, rocky road, slices, nougat. This also goes for organic food products, if you are a baking kitchen then search for raw organic products to make those great cakes, breads etc…If a customer knows your business bakes bread fresh every morning for sandwiches then you’ll get a following, fresh organic bread is too good to refuse.

So in summary; don’t do what everyone else does, be a leader in your street, area, suburb or town by doing something different with your food & beverage. Gluten Free, organic, retail offerings, you’ll start to notice a swing in your customers as they start to purchase not just a Coffee and treat but a take home pack or gift. Food is one of life’s great pleasures and everyone remembers a good food experience!

As part of your sourcing process goes onto Good Food Warehouse, if we don’t have products of interest, let us know we’ll find them. Why would you look at us?We represent a growing list of small-medium producers who are looking to get their products Australia wide; we provide the mechanism do this. So when you order via us, you’re ordering direct from the food supplier, making all products fresher and cheaper. We provide access to wholesale produce with a ‘point of difference’. It’s as simple as, browse your products, pack a carton, sent to checkout and we’ll do the rest.